Myanmar builds international confidence at WEF

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Thein Sein WEF
Myanmar’s president Thein Sein at the WEF

After the 22nd World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, held in Myanmar from June 5-7, 2013, it is time to draw the conclusion of what it meant for the country. Although Myanmar still lacks many things to achieve its ambitious goals, participants confirmed their confidence in the ongoing transformation of the country.

Certainty and confidence have been the common denominators of the WEF, bringing both the private and public sector to the same conclusion:  If the country continues its political and economic reforms, it has the potential to emerge as a new rising ASEAN star. Thanks to its young population, its strategic geographic location between India and China and its vast energy resources, Myanmar has, in fact, all the ingredients to succeed.

Adam Schwarz, CEO for Asia at The Asia Group, affirmed: “There was some scepticism in the beginning but over this period, I think they have convinced a lot of the doubters and sceptics that this is a sincere effort at reform, that they are open to advice”.

John Rice, Vice Chairman of General Electric, highlighted the need of organic growth as being the main challenge for the country, while Yorihiko Kojima, Chairman of the Board of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, added that “Myanmar has to move forward improving its infrastructure together with improving the transparency of its regulatory frameworks.” He also affirmed that his company was ready “to help Myanmar upgrade its infrastructure, bolster the agriculture sector and improve education and healthcare”, clarifying that “Japan is prepared to make a contribution.”

Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic Holdings, said: “The WEF has enabled the Myanmar people – whether it is government, civil society or businesses – to also understand the demands and the expectations of the international community. On his side, John McCreery, partner at Bain & Company, also showed optimism about the country, affirming “We have had very good discussions in and around the forum about regulatory reform, development of the national infrastructure and development of local capability”.

Talking about the energy sector, which is considered one of the main drivers of Myanmar’s economy, Arthur Hanna, Senior Managing Director, Accenture’s Energy Industry Group, affirmed that “The development of an integrated new energy plan and system offers Myanmar a significant opportunity to design a path to sustainable and secure economic growth, bolstered by its energy industry,”

The public sector also gave a positive feedback on the country’s achievements and foresees positive development even though Myanmar still needs a lot more integrated infrastructure. Stephen Groff, Asian Development Bank Vice-President, pointed out that “Myanmar urgently needs to attract investments by improving regulatory frameworks, promoting public-private partnerships and undertaking crucial sector reform”.

Helen E. Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), added: “For Myanmar, many boats have been pushed out and are midstream. It is now a question of prioritising and sequencing the reforms.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar’s president Thein Sein at the WEF

After the 22nd World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, held in Myanmar from June 5-7, 2013, it is time to draw the conclusion of what it meant for the country. Although Myanmar still lacks many things to achieve its ambitious goals, participants confirmed their confidence in the ongoing transformation of the country.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thein Sein WEF
Myanmar’s president Thein Sein at the WEF

After the 22nd World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia, held in Myanmar from June 5-7, 2013, it is time to draw the conclusion of what it meant for the country. Although Myanmar still lacks many things to achieve its ambitious goals, participants confirmed their confidence in the ongoing transformation of the country.

Certainty and confidence have been the common denominators of the WEF, bringing both the private and public sector to the same conclusion:  If the country continues its political and economic reforms, it has the potential to emerge as a new rising ASEAN star. Thanks to its young population, its strategic geographic location between India and China and its vast energy resources, Myanmar has, in fact, all the ingredients to succeed.

Adam Schwarz, CEO for Asia at The Asia Group, affirmed: “There was some scepticism in the beginning but over this period, I think they have convinced a lot of the doubters and sceptics that this is a sincere effort at reform, that they are open to advice”.

John Rice, Vice Chairman of General Electric, highlighted the need of organic growth as being the main challenge for the country, while Yorihiko Kojima, Chairman of the Board of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, added that “Myanmar has to move forward improving its infrastructure together with improving the transparency of its regulatory frameworks.” He also affirmed that his company was ready “to help Myanmar upgrade its infrastructure, bolster the agriculture sector and improve education and healthcare”, clarifying that “Japan is prepared to make a contribution.”

Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic Holdings, said: “The WEF has enabled the Myanmar people – whether it is government, civil society or businesses – to also understand the demands and the expectations of the international community. On his side, John McCreery, partner at Bain & Company, also showed optimism about the country, affirming “We have had very good discussions in and around the forum about regulatory reform, development of the national infrastructure and development of local capability”.

Talking about the energy sector, which is considered one of the main drivers of Myanmar’s economy, Arthur Hanna, Senior Managing Director, Accenture’s Energy Industry Group, affirmed that “The development of an integrated new energy plan and system offers Myanmar a significant opportunity to design a path to sustainable and secure economic growth, bolstered by its energy industry,”

The public sector also gave a positive feedback on the country’s achievements and foresees positive development even though Myanmar still needs a lot more integrated infrastructure. Stephen Groff, Asian Development Bank Vice-President, pointed out that “Myanmar urgently needs to attract investments by improving regulatory frameworks, promoting public-private partnerships and undertaking crucial sector reform”.

Helen E. Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), added: “For Myanmar, many boats have been pushed out and are midstream. It is now a question of prioritising and sequencing the reforms.”

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