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Germany's Merkel, Myanmar's Sein look at development differently

Published on Sep 4, 2014 12:19 AM

BERLIN, Sept 3 (Reuters) - When German Chancellor Angela Merkel met visiting President Thein Sein on Wednesday, they agreed on the things Myanmar needs to do, but disagreed on the order in which it needs to do them.

"For good economic development you need peaceful development and that requires equality and tolerance towards minorities," Merkel said.

Sein put it the other way round. "If we have economic success, then democratisation is easier," he said. He also pointed out Myanmar's three years of democracy had seen many difficulties "but we have nevertheless been able to carry out this enormous democratic process without spilling blood".

Merkel acknowledged a lot had been done in Myanmar since its political transition from military rule in 2011, such as on press freedom and added that though it was still a poor country"it has growth rates of over 7 per cent so the signs are very good".

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