Industries body says local firms need help to support foreign entrants

Photo taken on Sunday of some plants and factories at a section of Hlinethaya Industrial Zone in Yangon.—Photo: Ye Myint
Photo taken on Sunday of some plants and factories at a section of Hlinethaya Industrial Zone in Yangon.—Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 28 June — Amid a number of practical difficulties that have been impeding Myanmar’s move towards development of its industrial sector, local firms are struggling to play a supporting role as domestic suppliers for foreign manufacturers entering the country, the Myanmar Industries Association said on Saturday.
The support industry is aimed at supplying manufactured inputs to foreign firms that are planning to set up business operations in the country’s planned Special Economic Zones.
In Myanmar, the US$1.5 billion Thilawa SEZ, a 2,400 hectare manufacturing complex set to host around 100 factories, is in progress while two others in Kyaukpyu and Dawei are being planned.
“Local small and medium-size enterprises have to strive to be qualified enough to provide goods and materials to foreign investors as there would be more business for the domestic firms on completion of the SEZs”, said U Zaw Min Win, chairman of the central executive committee of the association.
He also stressed the need for a boost to the country’s ailing industrial sector, of which small and medium-size enterprises account for 99 percent, ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Free Trade Area set to launch late 2015.
He frankly admitted slow progress in the sector due to a shortage of skilled labour, infrastructure and technology needs, tight finances and a lack of market access caused by higher production costs, unqualified products and uncompetitive prices.
“Well-developed supporting industries need high-quality engineering skills to produce components and spare parts that can meet technical requirements set by international manufacturers”, said U Myat Thin Aung, chairman of the Hlinethaya Industrial Zone Management Committee.
He expressed a different point of view that the country is more suited to assembly than production, which requires technical innovation as products made in Myanmar for foreign investors could be less competitive than those made in China.
Furthering human resources development would be among the needs for developing supporting industries in the country, said some association members.
The MIA chairman also highlighted the need for more vocational technical training schools in the country.
He called for strengthening the public-private partnership that can address challenges affecting the country’s industrial sector development.
According to the association, the body is now preparing to undertake a five-year mission that will define a concrete action plan—what to do and how to implement the country’s industrial sector development—for both the long and short terms.—GNLM

Share this post


Hot News
Hot News