The Scramble for Burma

Sim Chi Yin / VII Mentor

Changing fashions on the streets of Rangoon could portend a new era of consumerism

William Selig had scoped out investment opportunities in Mongolia. There was a uranium mine in Kyrgyzstan that also held promise. But on a trip to Thailand in 2011, a friend sold the New York native on the isolated, impoverished country next door: Burma, also known as Myanmar. "He said that it's going to be bigger than anything you've ever seen before," Selig recalls. By January 2012, he had moved to Rangoon, the country's largest city, to start a firm that shepherds foreign investment. "I expected to spend two years just setting up shop," he says, "but we're already doing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!