March 27, 2017
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, right, and JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka visited Myanmar from Feb. 26 to March 5. He met with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, attended a signing ceremony for Japanese ODA loans, and visited ODA project sites.
On Feb. 27, Mr. Kitaoka visited Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which is being developed by the private and public sectors of Myanmar and Japan. There he met with the chairman of the Thilawa SEZ Management Committee, Mr. Set Aung. Next he visited Japanese factories that have begun operations in the zone and the site of Japanese ODA loan projects for improving such infrastructure as roads and bridges. Seeing the production processes in the factory and Japanese people and Myanmar’s people working together there, Mr. Kitaoka reaffirmed that Thilawa SEZ has the potential to create job opportunities, bring about technical transfers and develop industry.
The next day, on Feb. 28, Mr. Kitaoka met with Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. He expressed his respect for the government of Myanmar's initiatives to advance human-centered development that is balanced between urban and rural areas. Mr. Kitaoka said JICA would continue a wide range of cooperation in such areas as human resource training, rural and agricultural development, transportation infrastructure improvement and industrial development.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi thanked Mr. Kitaoka for Japan's past cooperation. She said that with Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers beginning to be sent to Myanmar, she expects greater interaction between the young people of Myanmar and Japan. She also expects the young people of Myanmar to learn from Japan, and Japan's young people to have an opportunity to rediscover their country's values, she added.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and Mr. Kitaoka also discussed assistance for Thilawa SEZ and cooperation in the field of agriculture.
On March 1, Mr. Kitaoka met with Union Minister for Planning and Finance Mr. Kyaw Win, and attended the signing ceremony for six new Japanese ODA loan agreements. "Japan and Myanmar have boarded the same boat bound for the future of Myanmar and will continue cooperating to move forward," Mr. Kitaoka said. He indicated that JICA will continue its cooperation aimed at the development of Myanmar and better lives for its people.
On March 2, Mr. Kitaoka held talks with Mr. Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of the Yangon Region Government, which is home to Yangon city, the largest city in Myanmar. They discussed the future direction of urban development in Yangon.
On March 3 and 4, Mr. Kitaoka visited Bagan, an ancient city where the ruins of Buddhist temples are found, and Tamu, a rural part of Myanmar on the border with India. During these visits, Mr. Kitaoka reaffirmed the importance of development that is balanced between urban and rural areas. He also affirmed the importance of strengthening connectivity between the Mekong region and India.