Myanmar-Finland development cooperation to continue

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Union Minister U Thaung Tun holds talks with Ambassador of Finland Ms Riikka Laatu via videoconference on 20 November 2020. Photo: MNA

Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun met Ms Riikka Laatu, Ambassador of Finland to Myanmar and Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Embassy in Yangon via videoconference yesterday afternoon.
They discussed promotion of bilateral relations and Finland’s Country Strategy for Myanmar. The Ambassador reaffirmed that it is results-based, pursues a human rights based approach, and incorporates objectives specific to gender equality and climate sustainability and that it has been developed in response to Myanmar’s development needs and priorities.
The Ambassador informed the Union Minister of Finland’s plan to extend the development cooperation programme to Myanmar beyond the current end date. She apprised him of the draft Country Programme for Myanmar for the period 2021 to 2024 and affirmed that Finland is committed to expand its development cooperation while proactively engaging in political and development policy dialogue, including the issues of peace, quality education, gender equality and climate sustainability.
The two sides exchanged views on the draft Country Programme focusing on peace and promotion of law and order, quality education, low-carbon emission sustainable solutions, and climate sustainability.
The Union Minister took the opportunity of the meeting to reaffirm Myanmar’s aspirations to achieve inclusive development through democratic reform as well as its endorsement of the global development agenda –Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He informed the Finnish side of the launching this week of the revised edition of Myanmar’s Development Assistance Policy (DAP). The DAP he said, now paves the way towards a set of Strategic Coordination Groups(SCGs) through which we aim to monitor and coordinate the implementation of both our Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) and our new Myanmar Economic Resilience and Reform Plan (MERRP). He stated that the DAP would ensure greater transparency and effectiveness in the delivery of development assistance through clear procedures and guidelines applicable to all development partners.
The Union Minister also provided an update on the implementation of the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) and the status of the Myanmar Economic Resilience and Reform Plan (MERRP).
The meeting was also attended by U Bharat Singh, Deputy Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations and U Than Aung Kyaw, Director-General of the Foreign Economic Relations Department, as well as senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Finnish Embassy in Yangon.
Myanmar and Finland have long-standing diplomatic relations. However, Finland’s diplomatic presence in the country was only established in 2013 when it opened a diplomatic mission in Yangon. In 2012, Finland re-initiated its development cooperation with Myanmar in response to the country’s opening up that started in 2011and the opportunity this provided for political, social and economic reforms and development.—MNA

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