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Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon, Burma / Photo: racoles

As it has become clear that Western sanctions on Burma will be dropped, the once-sleepy city of Rangoon has become like a gold rush village. The few business-class hotels in the city centre, once so empty you could walk whole floors without seeing anyone, are now taking reservations months in advance. Every day, business delegations tour Rangoon and Naypyidaw, the capital. Conferences, a new phenomenon in Burma, are sprouting up: oil industry conferences; aid conferences; conferences on media reform; conferences on the financial sector. The Burmese are beginning to pick up the jargon…

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