UN official calls on Myanmar to foster private-public partnerships to support reforms

26 January 2012

A top United Nations official called today on the Government of Myanmar to boost partnerships between the private and public sectors to support the country’s recent reforms as well as to help accelerate development and job creation in the country.

“Myanmar is experiencing a new beginning that is generating an unprecedented sense of hope for a future where opportunities are created for all, including the poorest and most marginalized segments of the population,” said the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Noeleen Heyzer, during a meeting with Myanmar’s President, Thein Sein.

Ms. Heyzer noted that investment can play a significant role in supporting the President’s reform agenda and Myanmar’s social and economic development goals, and added that for partnerships to be successful open dialogue must occur between all stakeholders.

Her remarks were made during a two-day forum organized by the Government and ESCAP in the city of Yangon to forge public-private partnerships.

“We hope that this workshop will help Myanmar’s public and private sectors to respect and build on each others strengths, learn a common language of investment partnership, and create a new environment to achieve key development goals,” Ms. Heyzer said.

The President stated that the country needs “private sector investment to contribute to national development and inclusive growth,” and affirmed his hope that “ESCAP will continue to be a trusted partner and help develop a framework for public-private partnerships for development in Myanmar.”

Representatives from Government ministries and more than 130 members of the private sector took part in the meeting, the first in a series that will focus on the infrastructure sector.

Speaking about possible future developments, Ms. Heyzer offered to convene a special session of ESCAP’s Asia-Pacific Business Forum when the international community is ready to lift restrictions on investment in Myanmar.

Last year, Myanmar started a series of democratic reforms that are slowly opening the country.


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