South Korea helps Myanmar with rural development plans

President U Thein Sein presents a picture of ripening paddy plantation to former ROK Prime Minister Mr Goh Kun at the Korea Flagship Projects Launching Forum.—mna
President U Thein Sein presents a picture of ripening paddy plantation to former ROK Prime Minister Mr Goh Kun at the Korea Flagship Projects Launching Forum.—MNA

Nay Pyi Taw, 2 Dec- President U Thein Sein addressed a Korea Flagship Projects Launching Forum at the Myanmar International Convention Centre here on Tuesday, describing two South Korea-Myanmar projects as a milestone in the history of cooperation between the governments and peoples of the two countries, with Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Myanmar Mr Lee Baek-soon extending greetings at the forum.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency is helping Myanmar establish the Myanmar Development Institute and the Saemaul Undong, literally meaning New Village/Community Movement.
According to the president, the establishment of the Myanmar Development Institute (MDI) will contribute to boosting the capacity and efficiency of national people, while the New Village/Community Movement is designed to reduce the poverty gap between rural and urban areas.
South Korea has so far helped improve two villages, with 100 more villages under planning stage, the president said.
Every nation needs to develop strategies to ensure higher socioeconomic status for its people, with the president calling for experts to do thorough research and all nationalities to pool their suggestions.
The president stated that Myanmar has integrated its national sustainable development strategy into the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and ASEAN Development Policies, stressing that the ‘right mix’ has also been designed to reinforce the country’s forthcoming national comprehensive development plan, which he said includes equitable development among states and regions.
The plan is aimed at lifting the people out of poverty and enabling them to secure considerable income through projects of agricultural and industrial development, the president added.
President U Thein Sein pointed out the need to form a strong research body that will help strengthen government policies to ensure good governance and clean government, bringing the Myanmar Development Institute into sharp focus.
Over the past three years, the government has implemented these new policies and initiatives by laying foundations for national development and higher socioeconomic status for people, the president stated.
Regarding the implementation of the two projects, the president expressed his belief that the forum would support the correct prioritization and sequencing of the 20-year national comprehensive development plan, which is currently being formulated based on the framework of economic and social reform.
The South Korea-assisted project, the Saemaul Undong, is an initiative that will vitalize the grass-roots implementation of Myanmar’s ongoing rural development and poverty reduction plan, the president said, adding that the project serves as a model that accelerates the Third Wave Reform.
A majority of rural people live in poverty, which is why the government has paid priority to poverty reduction and rural development tasks, with a focus on increasing productivity in agriculture and livestock, developing small- and medium enterprises, creating more job opportunities to generate more incomes, providing easy access to education, health, drinking water and transportation, all of which the president said require both long- and short-term plans to achieve success.
The president promised his government’s further assistance to the emergence of successful villages, stressing that sustainable development depends on villagers to make decisions regarding their own lives.
He urged institutions, organizations, intellectuals, technicians and the public to join hands with the government in implementing the 2015 development programmes and preparing to lay down foundations for the post-2015 development agenda.
He warned that no matter how good the policies are in place, failure to enhance the human capital will put success in dim light.

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