March 1, 2012
Workshop participants from Myanmar and Japan
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organized a workshop with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Government of Japan on February 28th, 2012, inviting the Minister for National Planning and Economic Development and high officials of the concerned ministries. Japanese researchers on economic policy and economic development took part in the workshop in which challenges and future vision for the development of Myanmar was discussed.
The workshop was organized as a roundup of the "Program for Economic Development" launched this fiscal year. Thirty government officials and private sector representatives who visited Japan last December under this program presented their achievements at the workshop. Their presentations, delivered by representatives of groups engaged in economy and finance, trade, investment and SME promotion, and agricultural and rural development, included suggestions for a future vision for Myanmar based on current situation. It was pointed out that, in order for Myanmar to achieve the vision, the capacity development of human resources and institutions as well as the improvement of infrastructure were indispensable, and that Japan's cooperation would be crucial.
In a keynote speech session, Japanese experts on economic policy, economic development and industrial policy, including Prof. Konosuke Odaka (Professor Emeritus, Hitosubashi University and Hosei University), made suggestions and referred to cases of the means by which Myanmar can rapidly catch up with the ASEAN nations based on the experience of economic development in Japan and the ASEAN countries. They also indicated the importance of human resources development, the role of the private sector, and the significance of cooperation with Japan and ASEAN countries.
High officials of Myanmar expressed, in their keynote speeches, their gratitude to Japan for its sustained operation of a JICA office even through the challenging decades for Myanmar and for Japan's continuous support for humanitarian affairs, recovery from disasters and cooperation on meeting basic human needs. They also introduced a policy agenda that would be addressed by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and expressed their expectations for Japan's assistance in tackling the agenda that ranges from the policy level to the field level.
JICA plans to further elaborate and scale up this Program, in order to support Myanmar in handling issues and agendas they now face. Further discussions are to be held through interaction with the business community and academics on March 1st in Yangon. The discussions of these workshops will be reflected in the next year Program as well as other types of future bilateral cooperation.