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Pursue projects that benefit Myanmar, young people told

The government and young people of Myanmar must refrain from embarking on national development projects that do not benefit the country’s citizens, U Thein Tun, chair of Tun Foundation, said at 2nd Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw on December 9.

U Thein Tun, who is also chair of Myanmar Consolidated Media, which publishes The Myanmar Times, said Myanmar must strive to educate and empower its own citizens. The country must avoid ending up like Indonesia, where 60 percent of the nation’s wealth is owned by 5 or 6 million foreigners. Indonesia has a population of 170 million.

In Malaysia, which has a population of 26 million, 60pc of the country’s wealth is in the hands of the Chinese and Indians. In Thailand, 70pc of the nation’s wealth is controlled by non-Thai residents.

“There is growth in the Myanmar economy as well as wealth generation, but our people are not educated. Therefore, it is the government and the younger generation’s responsibility to take charge and avoid having too much of our wealth and economy landing in the hands of foreigners,” U Thein Tun said.

“During the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League era, the government established a State Development Council for industrial development. That council helped in developing the people and economic viability of projects. As such, many Myanmar businesses, for example, rice mills and cooking oil mills, became prosperous,” said U Thein Tun.

1a: U Thein Tun, chair of Tun Foundation, said ownership of the Myanmar economy must lie in the hands of its people. Pyae Thet Phyo/The Myanmar Times1a: U Thein Tun, chair of Tun Foundation, said ownership of the Myanmar economy must lie in the hands of its people. Pyae Thet Phyo/The Myanmar Times

Therefore, it is necessary for the government to conduct a review into the proportion of ownership of the economy between Myanmar nationals and foreigners and implement major projects that will benefit the locals, he added.
“When setting policies and approving economic projects, the government must consider the development of our nationals and our ethnic people. It is very important because our country has improved but our nationals haven’t,” U Thein Tun said.

Indeed, young Myanmar people cannot be left behind when ASEAN is going for innovation, e-commerce and becoming engaged in the digital economy, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said at the opening ceremony.

She said the younger generation must try to keep abreast with other young entrepreneurs in the region and urged more experienced businessmen to share their experience with the youth.

Owing to Myanmar’s location between two emerging economies – China and India – it is a nation with many advantages and challenges, she added

“Actually, our country abounds in agricultural products and natural resources. But everyone is aware that we cannot compete with neighboring and regional countries in quality. Thus, we are facing difficulties.” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
“We have to innovate and try to widen the market access for Myanmar products and raise our competitiveness against other countries’ products,” she said.

Source: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/pursue-projects-benefit-myanmar-young-people-told.html