Suu Kyi to attend Myanmar energy conference

May 30, 2013 at 6:51 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 30 (UPI) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to attend an oil and natural gas summit next month in Myanmar, event organizers said.

Myanmar is working to build up its oil and natural gas sector with the help of foreign investors that may be drawn to an economy free of sanctions. International sanctions pressure on Myanmar has eased in response to democratic reforms.

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was freed from house arrest in 2010 and secured a seat in the Myanmar Parliament in elections the following year.

Neil McKenzie, manager at event organizer Oliver Kinross, said in a statement published by energy reporting website Rigzone there was a high level of interest in a June oil and natural gas conference in Myanmar.

"Due to the very high level of international interest in Myanmar at the moment we are delighted to hear that Aung San Suu Kyi has decided to attend the Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit," he said.

Myanmar ranked last in a report from Revenue Watch Institute on transparency in extractive industries. Myanmar Energy Minister Than Htay pledged to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative during a May visit to Washington.

The statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department reports that Myanmar produces a minimal amount of crude oil. Natural gas production, however, increased from 61 billion cubic feet in 1990 to more than 400 billion cubic feet in 2011.

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