Burma's textile industry growing
20 December 2012 Last updated at 01:27 GMT
Political reforms in Burma are bringing about much change, not least of which are economic.
In Karen state a ceasefire and peace talks are boosting hopes of an end to the conflict between ethnic insurgents and the central government.
The BBC's Jonathan Head reports from the capital of Karen state, where he has been to meet a Burmese businessman who last month opened the state's first factory.