NAYPYIDAW — Long-awaited detailed economic policies were announced by the government in Naypyidaw today with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi pledging a secure business environment for both local and foreign investors.
“I would like to invite all business people to work with us,” the state counselor said. “That is why we host this meeting.”
“I agree that economic development during the last six months has been slow, we now invite investors and promise it is secure to work here in Burma,” she said.
The meeting, co-hosted by the Minister of National Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win, came two months after broad economic policies were released.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that the government will develop a skilled work force in the country to promote economic development. She added that law enforcement will also play a key role in the development of Burma.
“We will focus on anti-corruption in the country. If business leaders come across corruption cases, they should complaint to the State Counselor’s Office and we will investigate,” she said.
With these new investment policies, the government will focus on strategies to use Burma’s assets in the right way and at the the right time, said minister U Kyaw Win in the meeting.
“We would like to invite responsible investors to come here and promise that we can support them effectively in time,” he said.
He said that the government “will never grab private businesses unfairly.”
U Kyaw Win added that the government will promote investment in agriculture, small and medium sized enterprises, banking, health care and infrastructure projects.
He detailed promotion plans for each sector in the meeting such as to focus on technology in the agricultural sector, new payment cards to be issued in banks, inviting the local business community to invest in health care, and new infrastructure projects.
The minister added that with the newly enacted Myanmar Investment Law he believes economic growth could increase by two or three times.
“I believe the current slow economy will speed up within the next six months,” he said.
Both Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Kyaw Win admitted that economic growth in Burma for the first six months of their government had been slow.
They encouraged business people to pay their taxes to help development speed up.
“Business people should be leaders in paying tax, that’s why we have 158 top tax payers attending this meeting,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she will chair a committee to manage local and foreign investment in Burma as many international organizations are eyeing up investment in the country. She said “a detailed plan will follow.”
In the meeting chairman of Myanmar Bankers Association U Khin Maung Aye welcomed the promise of a secure business environment in Burma.
He said that the government must focus on trade policies, fiscal and monetary policies, investment policies and rural development and poverty reduction policies.
“These sectors are related to each other and should be tackled as soon as possible,” he said.
As the country is facing a higher inflation rate that could impact economic growth, the governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar U Kyaw Kyaw Maung said the bank is now selling treasury bonds and bills to public and private sector to reduce the inflation rate.
The meeting was attended by ambassadors from Rangoon-based embassies, members of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), leading business people and government officials.
Those presenting at the meeting included the governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, Singapore’s ambassador to Burma Robert Chu, president of the UMFCCI U Win Aung, Chairman of CB Bank U Khin Maung Aye, Ma Nang Lai Kham of the KBZ group of companies, Nick Cumpston of the Australian Embassy, and Nobuyasu Akagi of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.