A launching ceremony of the joint industrial complex between Myanmar and the Republic of Korea was held yesterday afternoon together with a forum to discuss a partnership for development and prosperity.
ROK President Moon Jae-in and Vice President U Myint Swe attended the two events held at the Lotte Hotel in Yangon.
Korea Internaitonal Trade Association’s Chairman & CEO Mr Kim Young Ju and UMFCCI’s Chairman U Zaw Min Win extended greetings to the attendees.
Documentary videos about the amazing Han River of ROK, New Southern Policy, future cooperation goals and the special economic zone were screened.
Korea Land & Housing Corporation’s President Byeon Chang Heum explained about the establishment of the industrial complex for economic cooperation between the two countries.
Vice President U Myint Swe expressed his thanks to be given the opportunity to speak at the launching ceremony of the industrial complex for economic cooperation between Myanmar and ROK and the business forum of the two countries.
He also said that he greatly appreciated the presence of President Moon Jae-in at the ceremony, and that he hoped the ROK President would enjoy his visit in Myanmar.
U Myint Swe added that he expected the visit of the ROK President would promote friendly ties, cooperation and partnership between the two countries.
Bilateral relations between Myanmar and ROK had become stronger through exchange visits of government officials and cooperation in the economic sector since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975.
The industrial complex for economic cooperation of the two countries has been a milestone for both nations, and it is expected to attract more investments from ROK, making the bilateral cooperation stronger.
The Vice President said he also appreciated the assistance of the ROK President and his country, together with the relevant organizations, in establishing the industrial complex.
He also congratulated the ROK’s New Southern Policy that aimed to promote cooperation with ASEAN member countries and India.
The Vice President also explained that Myanmar was making reform processes to create a more decent destination in the country for investors as it had adopted a people-centered all-inclusive sustainable economic development policy, and its 12 economic policies were geared for the sustainable development of the country. Meanwhile, the country has been practicing an investment policy which supported the national economic policy and economic development of the country.
Myanmar did not discriminate investors, and had been inviting responsible investments that could develop the country such as in infrastructure by adopting a sound legal framework.
Myanmar was trying to adopt the best international practices like other countries of the world including ASEAN members, in order to attract foreign investments, and was striving to overcome all the obstacles faced by the country.
The country occupied a geographically strategic position in the region, and had lower labour wages and human resources. These opportunities have provided great benefits for the manufacturing sector in the country, and had developed industrial and economic zones with partner countries.
The ROK was a country that was putting in major investments in the manufacturing and infrastructure sector of Myanmar. Due to the development of the private sector and its cooperation with the state sector, the investment flow from ROK had gradually increased in Myanmar year by year. According to the figures of the Myanmar Investment Commission up to July 2019, Myanmar had permitted US$81 billion worth of 1,779 businesses from 50 countries. The ROK had already invested $3.9 billion for 177 investment projects, standing at the 6th position among foreign investor countries.
In scrutinizing the investment proposals, Myanmar has favoured responsible businesses which take into consideration conservation of the natural environment and social environment.
In this regard, the investments of ROK were found to meet the priority sectors for the promotion of Myanmar’s foreign investment.
Vice President U Myint Swe concluded that ROK’s investments have brought employment opportunities, knowledge and skills into the country, and it was believed to create a better socio-economic situation for the Myanmar people. He also made a wish for further success in bilateral cooperation between Myanmar and ROK.
Also present at the ceremony were Union Minister Dr Pe Myint, U Han Zaw and U Thaung Tun; Yangon Region’s Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and the regional cabinet members, Myanmar Ambassador to ROK U Thant Sin, ROK Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Lee Sang-hwa, the members of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chairman & CEO of Korea International Trade Association and businesspersons of the two countries.
President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in said that in the vicinity of Myanmar’s economic capital, Yangon, a large-scale complex has been constructed housing a whole host of industrial infrastructure with capacity for various industries, including fashion, textiles, construction and telecommunications.
It is a significant result of the efforts of two governments working towards a common goal. And in doing so, Myanmar and Korea will together be able to go beyond Asia and into the global market. He said his appreciation that Korea may take its part in the powerful leap of Myanmar’s economy.
He also expressed his sincere gratitude to both the Myanmar Ministry of Construction and the Korea Land & Housing Corporation for their efforts in launching the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex.
Myanmar is the hub that links 3.4 billion consumers in China, India and the ASEAN. With a population of 53 million, half of which comprised young individuals below the age of 30 years old, Myanmar is a young and dynamic nation.
Myanmar government’s economic reforms have resulted in consistently rapid growth of 6-7% per year, growth visibly represented by daily changes to its skyline as hotels and shopping malls are constructed. Myanmar is making fast and strong progress in keeping with the country’s name. Myanmar is making fast and strong progress in keeping with the country’s name.
It is all thanks to the hard work and achievements you have accomplished together. He also expressed his hope that the Korea-Myanmar industrial Complex will be a stepping stone in creating the “miracle of the Ayeyawady River” in Myanmar, just as Korea made possible the “miracle of the Han River” through economic growth.
During the Korean War 70 years ago, Myanmar provided $50,000 worth of rice in aid to the Korean people, this was life changing to those who had to worry about each meal in the ruins of the war.
The bilateral trade volume between the two nations amounted to over $ 1 billion for the seventh consecutive year, as a result of the complementary relationship that has formed. The two countries have many things in common.
Myanmar’s culture of public offerings, sharing meals and building virtues resembles Korea’s similarly Buddhist culture. Moreover, there is a shared culture of respecting elders and observing the rules of manner.
Myanmar and Korea have nurtured a close relationship allowing them to be able to create stronger economic cooperation through shared culture and emotion.
Myanmar’s “Sustainable Development Plan” is composed of three pillars: “Peace and Stability”, “Prosperity and Partnership”, and “People and the Earth”. The Republic of Korea’s new southern policy seeks to prosper with ASEAN, sharing much of the same philosophy and goals as of what is contained in Myanmar’s development plan of “cooperation for people, coexistence and peace.” Based on these common goals, he highlighted three future-oriented cooperation directions for both countries.
The ROK President said, “First of all, we will strengthen cooperation among those who are willing to share knowledge and experience. Myanmar’s enthusiasm for higher education and outstanding human resources are the cornerstones of a new economy. We will endeavor to strengthen our higher education capacity and cooperate utilizing direct education to innovate Myanmar’s education system to ensure the successful operation of Myanmar’s R&D and Trade and Investment Promotion Organizations which will play a pivotal role in economic development, we will share experiences and cooperate.”
He added, “Cooperation” and “Start-up innovation” agreed yesterday will bring about an opportunity to explore and develop promising future projects such as bio, nano, space, and nuclear power industries. Second of all, we will reinforce cooperation in building infrastructure that contributes to helping people’s lives as well as industries. Our two countries have successfully cooperated in the construction of infrastructure such as with the Korea-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, the construction of transmission networks, railway renovations and further bridge construction.”
He continued that the two countries have hoped to further cooperate with each other through the $1 billion external economic cooperation fund agreed by the two countries. The Economic Industrial Complex will provide companies with well-equipped infrastructure to help businesses operate stably and successfully.
When ‘Korea Desk’, a window for Korean companies, is established, investment and entry of companies will be further expanded thanks to support from export financing and investment guarantee agreements.
He also pledged to promote and enhance cultural exchange while expanding cooperation on household goods. A K-Pop audition program in Korea inspired a similar program to be made in Myanmar, ‘Myanmar Galaxy star’, and a joint film coproduced between Korea and Myanmar has greatly enhanced cultural content exchange between the two nations.
He also quoted State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, saying “The film has the power of unity.”
The ROK’s President also said that culture and its exchange plays a significant role in understanding each other on a deeper level. Myanmar’s interest in Korean household goods such as food, cosmetics, and fashion also enhances the close relationship existing between the two countries.
Currently, the largest shopping mall in Myanmar has a space dedicated to Korean franchises, allowing Myanmar consumers to get to know more about Korea and its culture.
He also expressed his hope that this exchange of culture will be expanded with new items and services in Myanmar, and expected that the rich culture and household goods of Myanmar will be introduced and loved by the Korean people.
In commemorating the 30th anniversary of Dialogue with the ASEAN in November, Korea will be holding the “Korea-ASEAN Special commemorative Summit” as well as the “1st Korea-Mekong Summit” in Busan, Korea.
Cooperation between Korea and Myanmar will be especially active during these summits and we wish to continue this level of active cooperation, as he asked to meet again in Busan.
He also quoted Myanmar proverb that goes ‘from the moment you get on a boat, you are traveling together.’
President Moon Jae-in finally said, “I sincerely hope that today’s event will be a place where businessmen from both countries build friendships and whereby we may all ride the same boat for peace and prosperity. The Korea-Myanmar Economic Industrial Complex is just a starting point towards greater things and closer ties.
He concluded his speech with saying to continue to help each other, learn together and move upwards and onwards toward a brighter future.
After the speech, a video on Myanmar-ROK economic cooperation was shown.
President Korea Moon Jae-in also attended the signing ceremony of MoU’s for nine Korean companies which will be investing in Myanmar.
Then, the launching ceremony of the Korea-Myanmar Economic Industrial Complex was held.
President Korea Moon Jae-in, Vice President U Myint Swe, Union Minster U Han Zaw and Yangon Region’s Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein drove the ceremonial stakes to launch the project.
Both sides then posed for documentary photos.
At the ceremony, Yangon Region Government and KB Kookmin Bank signed an MoU for financial cooperation in the real estate sector. The regional government and Korea Land Housing Corporation also signed an MoU for the preliminary survey of the Dala New City Project.
The UMFCCI and the Woori Financial Group also signed an MoU for cooperation in economic development, holding economic forums regularly and exchange of economic information between the two countries.— MNA
Translated by Aung Khin