Myan­mar ac­cused of weak union pro­tec­tions

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page -

Myan­mar is among 24 coun­tries that have the worst record in protecting the rights of work­ers to form unions, ac­cord­ing to the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions of Myan­mar, the largest labour group in the coun­try.

DE­VEL­OP­MENT of soft and hard in­fra­struc­ture is needed to boost trade be­tween Myan­mar and its western neigh­bours – Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia and Nepal – which at the mo­ment lags be­hind trade with China and South­east Asian coun­tries ac­cord­ing to govern­ment, busi­ness lead­ers and ex­perts.

In­dia’s Am­bas­sador to Myan­mar Vikram Misri said that it is not enough to fo­cus on build­ing “hard in­fra­struc­ture of trans­port cor­ri­dors like roads, bridges, ports” and oth­ers to move trade for­ward.

“It is also im­por­tant to sup­ple­ment hard in­fra­struc­ture with soft in­fra­struc­ture like trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion agree­ments, border in­fra­struc­ture, border-cross­ing agree­ments and mo­tor ve­hi­cle agree­ments that en­able both pas­sen­gers and cargo traf­fic to move be­tween coun­tries,” he said dur­ing a re­cent meet­ing of se­nior Myan­mar of­fi­cials, busi­ness­men and in­ter­na­tional ex­perts in Nay Pyi Taw.

The meet­ing, “Cre­at­ing an En­abling and In­clu­sive Pol­icy and Po­lit­i­cal Econ­omy Dis­course for Trade, Trans­port and Tran­sit Fa­cil­i­ta­tion in and among Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia, Nepal and Myan­mar,” was or­gan­ised by Mar­ket­ing Re­search and De­vel­op­ment in part­ner­ship with In- dia’s Con­sumer Unity & Trust So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional.

Aside from de­vel­op­ing hard and soft in­fra­struc­ture, the par­tic­i­pants also out­lined the dif­fer­ent is­sues that im­pede trade and con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween re­gional coun­tries, such as se­cu­rity is­sues on the Myan­mar-in­dia border.

The par­tic­i­pants also noted some de­vel­op­ment projects that have po­ten­tial to pro­mote con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween Myan­mar and its western neigh­bours, such as the Kal­adan multi-model tran­sit trans­port project, which could be­come an al­ter­na­tive cor­ri­dor be­tween Myan­mar and In­dia if com­pleted, and the In­di­aMyan­mar-thai­land tri­lat­eral high­way which is un­der de­vel­op­ment.

They also un­der­scored the need for Myan­mar to come up with a pol­icy for cross-border trans­port agree­ments with Bhutan, Bangladesh, In­dia and Nepal, sim­i­lar to the plan for the Greater Mekong Sub­re­gion or the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions frame­work.

Like­wise, they stressed the need to strengthen bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Myan­mar and Bangladesh in terms of trade and con­nec­tiv­ity, as well as the need to pour de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in Rakhine State– JAG

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