Vice President U Myint Swe delivered an address at the opening of the Crans Montana Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation yesterday, stressing the urgent need to seek solutions to global problems with collective efforts at the national, regional and world levels.
“We all have one common goal, to live in a better world that would ensure peace, security and prosperity for all the peoples. However, the world is facing numerous challenges caused by mankind, including armed conflicts, poverty, hunger, migration, climate change, unemployment, terrorism and violent extremism, cyber security and even the threat of nuclear war,” said U Myint Swe.
In his opening address following the speech of Joint-Chairman of the forum Mr. Jean-Paul Carteron, he said he congratulated African countries for their collective efforts in addressing their challenges through adoption of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development over two decades ago and the implementation of Africa 2063 Agenda with the aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and the Kingdom of Morocco.
“Our Government’s strong desire to strengthen relations, friendship and cooperation with Morocco and other brotherly African nations has motivated us to participate in this important Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation,” said U Myint Swe.
“We hope that this forum will provide opportunities to exchange views on various development issues and challenges facing the developing world, as well as to deliberate ways and means for strengthening trade and economic relations between Africa and the rest of the world, with the vibrant region of Asia,” he said.
In our part of the region, the ten member States of ASEAN has successfully established a community since 2015 and charted out ASEAN Community Vision 2025. In addition, Myanmar has also been working together with other countries in the region through regional arrangements such as BIMSTEC and GMS cooperation programme which help foster economic corridors to promote connectivity, market access and to conduct other activities supporting trade and development in a comprehensive manner.
In the 21st century, Asia and Africa are the continents of growing opportunities for trade and investments, he said.
“We wish to highlight the tremendous potential in our collaboration in many areas for mutual benefits through south-south cooperation and the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership”, U Myint Swe said.
Myanmar was one of the leading countries in building friendship and solidarity among Asian and African countries over six decades ago, as one of the organizers of the historic Asian-African Conference known as the Bandung Conference. He also pledged that Myanmar will make efforts to revive the solidarity and friendship and explore ways to strengthen trade and economic ties with African friends.
“Our Government has made peace and national reconciliation a top priority to end the seven-decade long internal armed conflicts with the aim of establishing a democratic federal union that will ensure peace, security and prosperity for all the peoples. We have also made significant economic reforms and opened our doors wide to foreign investments,” he said.
Today’s forum is an important venue not only for strengthening solidarity and sustainable development for the African Continent, but also for forging closer partnerships between Asia and Africa. Asian and African countries have an enduring friendship bonded by the spirit of Bandung, a guiding principle for Asian-African Cooperation enshrined in the 1955 Bandung Conference.
In conclusion, Vice President U Myint Swe urged Asian and African countries to work together to enhance people-to-people connectivity, which is key for partnerships, strengthening contacts and networking among businesses and academics so as to bring about equitable prosperity, harmony and peace among them. At a time of a growing trend of retreating from globalization and a climate of uncertainty on the part of our traditional development partners, the role of South-South cooperation has become all the more important than ever before.
Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Set Aung and Myanmar Ambassador to Moroco U Myint Lwin also attended the sector-wise meetings on normal trading, fishery and sufficiency of food and sustainable development of Africa.