Myanmar’s export sector to realise potential through targeted strategies
The government of Myanmar welcomes the National Export Strategy that is being developed with the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC) and public and private stakeholders in the country. The aim is to enhance the trade and economic potential of Myanmar. The country’s Deputy Minister of Commerce Dr Pwint San said his government looks forward to a close collaboration and co-ordination with ITC.
In his talks with ITC’s Acting Deputy Executive Director Ashish Shah at the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva on 12 March 2014, Dr Pwint San said plans are underway to establish a public-private body to spearhead trade development initiatives in the Southeast Asian country. He said the body will co-ordinate and monitor implementation of the National Export Strategy when it is launched later this year,as well as other trade-related technical assistance projects.
Dr Pwint San also called for support to move the National Export Strategy from design to implementation. ITC has developed a Country Programme for Myanmar by building on the National Export Strategy based on the country’s needs and priorities. This Programme aims to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Myanmar by supporting the government and private sector companies in business expansion and integration into regional and global markets. This is achieved through the strengthening of support to small and medium-sized enterprises, with particular emphasis on enterprise development for women and youth.
The ITC has been able to secure funding under the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF III) for one of the Programme components to support tourism as one of the country’s priority sector value chains.
‘We are interested in developing our export sector, particularly in agricultural goods, and we hope to obtain donor support for this Programme and the National Export Strategy implementation,’ said Dr Pwint San. ‘We are also keen to promote our tourism sector with a special interest in encouraging tourists to visit Myanmar, including other less well-known scenic areas which can help promote rural development and poverty reduction.’
Mr Ashish Shah said ITC will work closely with the government of Myanmar to mobilise funding support for the Programme, including the agricultural sector as a key area of focus.
‘In expanding our engagement with Myanmar, we aim to build synergies with development partners to avoid overlaps by adopting a systematic approach in implementing the National Export Strategy and the Country Programme which are in line with Myanmar’s national development priorities,’ said Mr Shah.
For this purpose, ITC is part of the Trade Sector Working Group, which has been established by the Myanmar government to provide a steer in trade development.