Myanmar releases economic policy

Economy August 02, 2016 01:00

By MYANMAR ELEVEN
ASIA NEWS NETW

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THE NATIONAL LEAGUE for Democracy has unveiled its long-awaited 12-point national economic policy at the MICC-2 in Nay Pyi Taw.



 
Only state-owned Sky Net and selected media groups were invited by the Ministry of Planning and Finance to attend the event. 
The policy said it aimed to foster long-term conservation and the fair allocation of natural resources among regions and states to promote national reconciliation.
Its four objectives were to help support the emergence of a federal, democratic union for national reconciliation; ensure better economic conditions for equitable regional development; help produce a qualified young workforce and set up an inclusive economic system that fostered innovation. 
The 12-point policy aims to boost a transparent public financial system and ensure the development of state-owned enterprises. 
It mentioned the possible privatisation of adaptable and lucrative state-owned businesses and providing assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which can create jobs and economic development. 
Human resources and voca-tional education needed to be promoted, the government announced. 
It said the development of basic infrastructure, such as the power supply, roads and jetties, would be a priority. It also mentioned data ID cards and digital government. Jobs needed to be created, especially to encourage expats to return. 
The policy called for a diversified economy which provided food sufficiency and promoted exports. 
Traders should prepare for a massive inflow of foreign investment and the establishment of a market-oriented economy. It promised a monetary system to support the sustainable development of urban areas that could support long-term environmental conservation, extend public areas and conserve cultural heritage. 
The announcement said it would establish an effective and fair taxation system to boost government coffers. It would protect people’s property and intellectual-property rights to foster the technology sector, in coordination with the rest of Asean. 
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who attended the ceremony, said that the policy on basic infrastructure would be released soon. 
Kyaw Win, minister for planning and finance, said “We aim to reduce state-ownership and red tape and turn SMEs into big employers and multinational corporations.”
The ministry promised to promote the country’s economy within its first 100 days in power, leading to widespread criticism that the country’s economy remained unchanged.
Soe Thein, deputy managing director from the Asia Green Development Bank, said: “These points are too general. I expect the government will release more detailed policies. It is very easy to say in general but nothing has materialised yet despite the changes to the state-owned entities since 1990. This announcement will have little significance if there are no any clear-cut policies to follow.”