Executive Roundtable Series with Ambassador Scot Marciel
(President's Circle Event)
Executive Roundtable with Ambassador Scot Marciel
Ambassador Scot Marciel previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs. He also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia (2010-2013) and has worked for the United States Department of State since 1985. In 2016 he was confirmed to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which was the country of focus for this President’s Circle Executive Roundtable.
Throughout the discussion, Ambassador Marciel emphasized some of the current developments and issues Myanmar is facing, including a lack of energy and power on the grid network, as well as political dissidence between the Rahine and Rohingya. Ambassador Marciel also stated rural areas are being developed more and industries such as telecommunications, IT, and agriculture are doing well, however, there has been a dramatic decline of Foreign Direct Investment coming into Myanmar, especially from the West.
Ambassador Marciel continued to go in-depth on Myanmar’s relationship with China, especially in regard to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Although China has proposed many BRI projects, very few have been signed. Citizens are strongly opposed to these incoming projects because of Myanmar’s checkered past with China. Despite energy and power deficiencies, there is strong opposition to the BRI in regard to hydropower and coal because of environmental concerns. Communities as a whole do not want BRI to infiltrate the country because of Chinese encroachment and corruption. Many other countries are also wary of China’s BRI. The US is trying to help Myanmar beware of some BRI projects while Japan wants to counter BRI by investing in Myanmar themselves.
About Our Roundtables: Asia Society Northern California hosts our private Executive Roundtable Series with industry leaders every month in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Program topics are around headline news, business analysis, and critical issues coming out of Asia. These monthly briefings, launched in September 2017, have grown in popularity to generate wait-lists quickly. Most events are off-the-record to encourage open debate and discussion.