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Overseas Health Insurance News: Burma looks to Britain to boost financial sector

The number of British expatriates in Burma is set to increase as the country's government looks towards foreign investment, especially in the financial services sector.

Since its trade barriers were lifted last year, Burma has been on the up and can now officially trade with the rest of the world, reports the Telegraph.

Having once been one of the richest countries in Asia, Burma became a military dictatorship in 1962 – a situation that lasted until 2011.

Western companies have been quick to realise the state's potential and are keen to become involved in the nation, which is home to 59 million people.

Now the Burmese and UK governments have launched a taskforce focusing on financial services and designed to develop a number of products that could lead to providing credit.

The financial sector in the country also needs more provision for education, qualifications and training, so that the Burmese people can work within the industry and the taskforce aims to encompass these areas too.

Lord Green, UK minister for trade and investment, told the news provider: "Financial services is a sector in which the UK is a world leader and I am confident that British business can play an important role in supporting president Thein Sein and his government in achieving the economic reform they are striving for."

A selection of key companies within the UK's financial sector are involved in the taskforce, offering up their expertise.

It is thought that Burma's outdated banking system may need as long as seven years to bring it in line with those of developed nations.

Expats with a background in finance are likely to see myriad job opportunities coming up in Burma over the course of the next few years.

Burma plans to open up its stock exchange in the next year or so, while 18 Western banks have established representative offices in Burma already.

By 2015 overseas banks will be able to enter into joint ventures with local banks, if the plan continues to schedule.

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