October 12, 2016

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Matching challenges with demand

With the advent of the quasi-civilian government in 2011, the then president formulated a reform strategy that was aimed at transforming the country into a modern, developed, democratic country. Since then, Myanmar has witnessed dramatic growth and development. Nevertheless, there is a general consensus that sustainable development requires structural reforms inclusive of reformation of labour market institutions. In fact, one important prerequisite for sustained growth and development is transformation of labour market institutions, which are especially critical to effectuate inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The business environment needs to be enabled. Better employment opportunities offering decent remuneration packages, safe, healthy working conditions and strong industrial relations are major conditions to attract FDIs as well as to effectuate export-led economic growth.
At present, however, labour market institutions are still rather weak in our country. This is the reason why the incumbent government has been committed to make further reforms of the legal framework, to provide support to those institutions which are responsible for implementation and enforcement of the new laws and to promote capacity building for labour market actors in order that they can be effectively engaged in social dialogue.
In this regard, it is worth recalling that Denmark is noted for being a pioneer in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). Furthermore, it has a proven track record of combining the promotion of workers’ rights with high productivity and economic growth through a particularly well-developed model of social dialogue. This being so, the previous government has decided to co-operate with the Denmark government, and signed an MoU last year that laid the foundation for strategic sector co-operation (SSC) on labour market affairs. In this function, a growth counsellor has been recruited and assigned to Denmark Embassy in Myanmar.
An SSC preparation project has been concluded with the result that a full SSC project was approved in March of this year with a focus on strengthening capacity of the Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection Department (FGLLID) to advise on, implement and enforce the OSH legal framework; improving OSH legislation to facilitate transparent, uniform and effective enforcement of the OSA legal framework, and the practice of social dialogue; and improving social dialogue. In fact, co-operation with Denmark is a good match for meeting Myanmar challenges, said the Danish growth counsellor.


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