Forum on better economic reporting held in Nay Pyi Taw

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Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun addresses the forum on better economic reporting in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

The Forum on Better Economic Reporting (Availability, Access and Quality of Data and Statistics) facilitated by USAID, was held in Mingalar Thiri Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun said data and statistics are important for news, journalists represent the fourth pillar coordinating the public and the three pillars of government, besides disseminating information among the people, and economic reports are important for those involved in national policies, entrepreneurs and for every citizen. The deputy minister said the Ministry of Information has urged all relevant ministries and departments to publicize available information in a timely manner. The Right to Information Law is being drafted, creating better environment for journalists in newsgathering once it is enacted, he said. He also urged the forum to openly discuss current issues. The deputy minister said the country is undergoing democratic reforms and the new Foreign Investment Law was recently enacted, making it more important than ever to relay timely, accurate and reliable data and statistics to foreign businesses interested in entering the country. He added that the media presentation of a country is the primary factor on which international governments, organizations and entrepreneurs look to when making decisions relating to the said country. Therefore, journalists should be careful in avoiding errors in facts and figures concerning the country, said the deputy minister. Next, USAID Head Economist Mr. Paul Pleva said USAID is ready to assist in Myanmar’s myriad development processes and to ensure accurate news is disseminated in the country. This was followed by a presentation from Dr. Daw Wah Wah Maung, Director-General of the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), on CSO’s efforts to ensure it receives accurate data, to enact a new statistical law, and to collect data for each category.
During the second part of the forum, Deputy Minister U Aung Hla Tun assumed the role of panel chair for the discussion on assessing current state of affairs, while Director-General Dr. Daw Wah Wah Maung, Director-General U Soe Thein from the Directorate of Communications and 7-Day Media CEO U Thaung Su Nyein, who is also Chairman of the Myanmar Computer Professionals Association, presided over the discussions that included the constraints of journalists in gathering data and statistics for factual news reporting, difficulties in receiving information from ministries and gathering data, and developing the media sector. The forum was attended by ministry and departmental officials and journalists from media agencies.

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