China’s mod­ern ‘Silk Road’ plans dis­cussed at Yan­gon meet­ing

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

A re­cent brief­ing look­ing at China’s One Belt One Road strat­egy and Myanmar op­por­tu­ni­ties was held at the Rose Gar­den Ho­tel in Yan­gon.

The Brief­ing was well at­tended, with over 100 at­ten­dees from com­pa­nies rep­re­sent­ing coun­tries such as Japan, Sin­ga­pore, Aus­tralia, China, Malaysia and In­dia.

The brief­ing was ar­ranged and co­or­di­nated in con­junc­tion with the Aus­tralia–Myanmar Cham­ber of Com­merce. It in­cluded an overview of the im­por­tant trans­port cor­ri­dors, the in­tent be­hind the strat­egy and the threats to coun­tries such as Myanmar and Sin­ga­pore.

The brief­ing was pre­sented by busi­ness strate­gist An­dre Wheeler, a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Mizzima.

Mr Wheeler was up­beat about the po­ten­tial for Myanmar’s in­creased eco­nomic role un­der this mas­sive trans­port and trade pro­gramme.

When asked about this Mr Wheeler re­sponded by say­ing: “Myanmar has an im­por­tant role to play in The One Belt One Road (OBOR), par­tic­u­larly when one con­sid­ers the al­ready close ties with Yun­nan Prov­ince. The Yun­nan prov­ince’s role in the OBOR is to co-or­di­nate, in­te­grate the Asia-Southeast Asia eco­nomic re­gion that is home to 600 mil­lion peo­ple and a mar­ket size of $2.6 tril­lion. In an ear­lier ar­ti­cle writ­ten for (Mizzima), I high­lighted the im­por­tance of Myanmar in pro­vid­ing a west coast marine ac­cess that as­sists by­pass­ing the Malacca Straits as well as the pro­vi­sion of labour for man­u­fac­ture (It is ironic to think that a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion the size of China, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing labour short­ages). Fur­ther­more, it en­ables Myanmar’s par­tic­i­pa­tion and ac­cess to this mar­ket and opens op­por­tu­ni­ties not just in man­u­fac­tur­ing, but shipping-mar­itime and ser­vices in train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion as well.”

Mr Wheeler added that the Myanmar Govern­ment would need to work quickly and co­her­ently to stream­line le­gal frame­works and re­duce bu­reau­cratic red tape as well as im­prove key infrastruc­ture to make this a re­al­ity. The OBOR can be used to upgrade the likes of rail, road and ports, he said.


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