Tue 5 Jun 2012
Filed under: Business / Trade,Regional
Myanmar will build stronger ties with other countries as it moves to develop and strengthen its economy, said U Than Htay, the Union Minister for Energy.Than Htay, speaking at a session on Myanmar’s future at last week’s World Economic Forum on East Asia, said the government was moving forward with domestic reforms to encourage foreign investment and support new partnerships with other countries in the region.
He said the government hopes to achieve reconciliation and serve its people. The government sees this as the “key” to boosting the economy.
The government let all stakeholders take part in parliamentary by-elections recently to confirm its intention to achieve reconciliation, he said.
The government is also attempting to create peace with ethnic groups.
It has negotiated with many groups, and hopes to forge a good relationship with 11 ethnic groups in particular despite ongoing tensions in troubled Kachin State.
“We’re revising the labour law, which will allow the establishment of labour unions and other steps to protect the workforce,” Than Htay said.
The Myanmar government is also easing media censorship which it believes will help create reconciliation and transparency.
Than Htay said reconciliation with other countries could be achieved through strengthening economic and trade ties.
The International Monetary Fund recently declared the country was likely to attract foreign investors.
Foreign investment has increased gradually and has spread to all sectors after the US and Europe lifted sanctions. The government expects foreign investors to boost the country’s economy.
He said the government had to change the investment environment and the country as a whole if it desires to welcome these foreign investors.
The currency exchange system is being revamped, while business transaction costs are being reduced.
The government is also working on investment promotions so that it can attract foreign investors.
Myanmar is building the Dawei deep-sea port and other basic infrastructure such as road and rail links, which will add to the country’s economic development. These moves could also help boost the tourism industry. “Myanmar has potential to become a key tourism destination in Asean,” Than Htay said. The government will also improve basic public services to boost citizens’ standard of living.