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According to UPI and AFP wires of 15 Sept, 450 European and Asian
business leaders, 100 experts and officials, and 50 prominent
government figures will meet for 3 days from 20 Sept in Singapore
at the fourth annual Europe-East Asia Economic Summit.
The conference, "in hopes of improving business ties between the
two economically powerful regions", will focus on "financial
issues, intellectual property rights, environmental concerns,
human resources, stability and security and the role of the
private sector in helping to develop national infrastructure".
David Abel, Burma's Minister of National Planning and Economic
Development and other Burmese officials will address a special
closed-door seminar on Burma. 
The conference is organised by the Geneva-based World Economic
Forum, whose Director, Colette Mathur, said Burma's attendance at
the conference was particularly exciting to participants from the
business world. "Every year we choose a country that is not fully
open - last year it was Vietnam", she said.
Mekong area development will also be discussed.
Apart from David Abel, who will no doubt encourage the European
business community to benefit from Burma's particularly cheap and
disciplined labour force, participants will include Australian
Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, Norwegian Premier Gro Harlem
Brundtland, Sir Leon Brittan and Manuel Marin (European
Commission Vice-Presidents), Jeffrey Garten, a U.S. Commerce
Undersecretary, Singapore Premier Goh Chok Tong, President
Suharto of Indonesia and South Korean Premier Lee Hong Koo. The
conference will be opened by Singapore elder statesman Lee Kuan
Yew. Its Chair will be Tommy Koh, Singapore's ambassador-at-
Singapore is probably not the best place to arrange adequate
welcoming committees or street theatre for this notable event.
However, people like Sir Leon Brittan, Gro Brundtland and Gareth
Evans, as well as the World Economic Forum and the various
European governments attending, would no doubt be gratified to
receive faxes and phone calls with ideas concerning business with
Burma. If a list of participants at the closed-door seminar on
Burma were posted on the net, these people, businesses or
governments could subsequently be approached with similar ideas.
If the fax numbers of the conference or the hotels the various
delegations were staying at were posted on the net, useful
suggestions could be sent during the conference by our jolly
There will be a 25-nation inaugural Europe-East Asia summit of
government leaders in Bangkok next March.