State Administration Council Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met the entrepreneurs from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Rakhine State yesterday morning in the U Ottama Hall and discussed matters relating to regional development and economic development.
Also present together with the PM were: SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, Council Members Admiral Tin Aung San and Dr Hmu Htan, the Union Ministers, Rakhine State Chief Minister U Htein Lin, the high-ranking Tatmadaw officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Western Command Commander Maj-Gen Htin Latt Oo, state-level departmental officials, town elders and business persons from MSMEs in Rakhine State.
Individual discussions on requirements in carrying out the MSME activities
First of all, the Rakhine State chief minister presented matters relating to the facts about the region, implementation of MSMEs, support being provided for the development of the MSMEs, conducting of the training courses on MSME production, implementation of the One Village One Product Project, progress on research and development, situation on domestic and foreign investments within Rakhine State, progress of tourism industry and issuing of loans to the businessmen from the MSMEs inter alia.
Afterwards, Rakhine State Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman U Tin Aung Oo, Rakhine State Rice Entrepreneurs Association Chairman U Shwe Tun Aung, Rakhine State Oil Mill Entrepreneurs Association Chairman U Kyaw Aye Maung, Rakhine State Salt Industry Entrepreneurs Association Chairman U Than Win and the entrepreneurs from the MSMEs in Rakhine State submitted matters relating to the difficulty they encounter in border trade because of the time constraints, construction of jetties and pontoons to facilitate the border trade, building of the all-weather roads, plying of the coastal going cargo vessels, establishment of a bank system for making direct payment with foreign countries, permission of establishment of the economic zones to promote the employment opportunities, situation on paddy cultivation within Rakhine State, situation on cultivation of the summer paddy, providing of water supply for cultivation of summer paddy, providing of rice technology for yield of pedigree seeds, providing of the necessary inputs on the part of the central government, the situation on cultivation of oil crops in Rakhine State, the need for capital for boosting of oil mills, the situation on the salt business, the need to finance the salt industry, the need to provide assistance for development of the MSMEs among others.
Next, the SAC Chairman PM gave replies to the discussions. Afterwards, the Union Ministers replied to the points raised in the discussions by the entrepreneurs. Their discussions included the efforts being made by their ministries concerned to improve road transport to ensure the smooth and secure flow of commodities, issuing loans at a low-interest rate, pumping the river water for cultivation purposes, formation of cooperative societies for the effectuation of agriculture and livestock breeding, extraction of forest resources with the exercise of restraint, the opening of training courses on MSME business technology and the measures being taken to fight illegal trade inter alia.
Encouraging manufacturing based on the agriculture and livestock breeding raw materials available within Rakhine State
The Senior General then discussed matters relating to the promotion of the national economy by boosting the development of Rakhine State, issuing funds amounting to K10 billion for making capital investments, encouraging manufacturing on the basis of agriculture and livestock breeding, over-reliance on foreign aid previously and promotion of the economic welfare of the rural people who account for 70 per cent of the country’s population.
The Prime Minister pointed out that consumption of domestic products is one way of promoting national economic growth, that production of value-added products can create employment opportunities and stimulate the capital flow, and that the SAC is making arrangements for exporting the value products manufactured by the MSMEs and that Rakhine State abounds in natural resources.
He went on to say that there is a vast number of rubber plantations in Rakhine State, that if the value-added rubber products can be manufactured, it will be of dramatic help to domestic consumption and that the surplus can be exported. In fact, what he said was concerned with import substitution industrialization.
Building the nation through the promotion of education
Man matters most, it is said. Tasks can be accomplished only through efforts by human beings. That is why in bringing about regional development, it is of utter necessity to upgrade the quality of human resources. This is where quality education comes in. Obviously, it is needed to develop the educational qualifications of human resources. Low-quality education will adversely affect the production of skilled labourers with the result that our country will lag in development. The 2014 census has demonstrated the need to promote the educational standard. To fill this gap, priority is to be given to education. Parents and teachers are needed to encourage their children and pupils to continue to pursue education. Only when people are educated will they be able to lead a prosperous life. We are obliged to leave education as a legacy.
Development of the tourism industry
Rakhine State has a great number of places of tourist attractions as it is possessed of scenic natural beauty. As known to all, if the tourism industry develops in Rakhine State, the local people will be able to sell their local food and products in addition to the typical souvenirs with the result that their businesses will be developed. In this regard, it is needed to keep the good quality of the products. Besides, it is also needed to improve the packaging system. On top of it, it is essential to keep tourist destinations clean and pleasant.
At a time when the central government is making an all-out effort to ensure security, the local people are responsible to contribute their part to restore stability and peace to their own region if they want their state to be prosperous. We are making effort to hold the election. And when this happens, we want to see the elections being held in the entire Rakhine State.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister urged all attendees to join hands in the effectuation of the development of the Rakhine State as well as to make concerted efforts to restore stability and peace to the Rakhine State.
Afterwards, the Senior General greeted entrepreneurs from MSMEs. Next, he went round the products displayed. — MNA