Myanmar National Export Strategy (2020-2025)’s first Stakeholders’ Symposium was held at the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) with an opening address by Vice President U Myint Swe, Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President said holding the first Stakeholders’ Symposium and e-Commerce Payment Platform for Digital Economy at the same time in the same venue can be considered a strong step towards the all-round development of the country and the digital economy sector can be called as a driving force for development of the National Export Strategy.
He stressed the need to make proportional development of the trade and investment sectors as they are considered driving forces for the country’s economy.
Vice President U Myint Swe expressed thanks to the UK Department for International Development-DFID and International Trade Centre-ITC for their monetary and technical assistance to the Myanmar to keep the economic development trajectory with the implementation of the trade and investment plan and the National Export Strategy.
To develop the trade sector, Ministry of Commerce took a leading role with the technical assistance of the International Trade Centre in implementing the National Export Strategy giving priority to seven sectors and four support sectors.
The country has been some achievements as the ending of the five-year implementation period is drawing near, said the President, acknowledging that the National Export Strategy helped to build a road map for drawing a work plan for promoting export of Myanmar products and build a link between the government and the private sector.
Five new products to be added to National Export Strategy (2020-2025)
In the National Export Strategy (2020-2025), five new products including jewelry, digital economy, fruits and vegetables, agricultural products, basic food production and handicrafts, said the Vice President, adding that the strategy would be drawn together with producers from regions and states.
As a result of the National Export Strategy (2015-2019), it can be seen that Netherlands Trust Fund III (2014-2017) in Kayah State and Netherlands Trust Fund IV (2018-2021) in Taninthayi Region, the project for boosting income from peas and pulses (2015-2019), the project for gardening and tourism (2018-2021) around Inle Lake.
He urged the attendees to make efforts for attracting investment to prioritized sectors of the National Export Strategy (2020-2025).
Afterwards, Union Minister for Commerce Dr. Than Myint reported on implementation of the National Export Strategy (2015-2019) and future plans for the National Export Strategy (2020-2025).
Afterwards, Dr. Gail Marzetti, Head of UK Department for International Development Myanmar, explained the components of the National Export Strategy 2020-2025. UMFCCI President U Zaw Min Win also explained the detailed procedures of the NES. The Vice President then took a documentary photo with the attendees.
Public-private dialogue key to long-term solutions
Afterwards, Vice President U Myint Swe, in his role as Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC), attended the 25th regular meeting with Myanmar entrepreneurs at the UMFCCI.
In his speech the Vice President first said all the responses from relevant government departments to the submissions on difficulties and suggestions from the previous 24 meetings have been sent to all business associations submitting through the UMFCCI. He said the PSDC immediately takes care of all issues that can be resolved in a short period. He said the responses that require a significant length of time will be navigated step-by-step through public-private dialogues between the PSDC’s five work committees, private businesses, and relevant ministry departments. As an example, the Vice President said the submittals from the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association, Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Myanmar Gems Entrepreneurs Association held public-private dialogues until a final result was achieved.
Development gaining traction for investments
The Vice President said it is evident to everyone that we are improving the investment environment for Myanmar by basing our work on four specific sectors. This includes making work related to investing go smoother, placing protections on investments made, increasing investment, and lessening restrictions on the investment sector. He said while it is true foreign investment is necessary for developing the national economy, it is equally true to develop the domestic investment sector so that domestic businesses and the general public will receive uniform socioeconomic development. He said we will eventually go from competing equally with foreign investors to having our citizens invest abroad. The Vice President said the PSDC is working on reducing economic restrictions and attracting more investments to develop Myanmar’s economic community. He stated his belief that cooperation between the government and private sector in the investment sector will jointly shape the future of the nation’s economy. As relevant Union ministries, Deputy Ministers and officials were in attendance, groups and associations participating in this meeting were urged to openly discuss about the difficulties they are facing, said the Vice President.
Officials discuss economic issues
Next, PSDC Vice-Chairman Union Minister Dr. Than Myint explained about the aims and processes for private sector development and the UMFCCI President explained the implementation status on the previous meeting’s decisions, future public-private dialogues, increasing imports and other tasks.
This was followed by discussions on the challenges and recommendations for relevant work sectors by Chairman U Ye Ming Aung Vice-Chair U Aung Than Oo of Myanmar Rice Federation, General-Secretary U Myo Myint of the Federation of Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association, and U Ko Ko Gyi, member of the UMFCCI’s Working Committee on Improving Border Trade. MoC Permanent Secretary U Aung Soe also explained plans in motion to launch the Myanmar Doing Business Website.
The Vice President, Union Ministers, Deputy Ministers, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, the Yangon Region Minister of Development Affairs, and other officials then responded to the recommendations submitted and gave suggestions as necessary. The meeting concluded with a closing speech from the Vice President.The 25th regular meeting between the Private Sector Development Committee and Myanmar entrepreneurs was attended by Deputy Ministers U Win Maw Tun and U Maung Maung Win, CBM Deputy Governor U Soe Thein, regional ministers, the President, Vice President and Central Executive Committee members of UMFCCI, officials from the 5 working committees, department heads and other officials. —MNA
(Translated by Zaw Min)