Ms. Jodi Weedon-Chief Executive Officer of Australia Chamber in Myanmar
Q: How important do you think this event is for Myanmar?
A: I think this event is a huge master in Myanmar’s development. There’s been a lot of successes in Myanmar over the last couple of years, particularly in the regulatory regime and other things for the private sector. But I do think this type of roundtable is a perfect forum for many different audiences but for me, I think this is a great chance for the private sector to show how valuable they are to Myanmar’s development effectiveness.
Q: What did you discuss in today’s events?
A: I talked about how the private sector could assist in development effectiveness. The private sector is able to provide assistance to development in very efficient time and costs. Across the world, the private sector is complying with sustainable development goals and there is a real emphasis on encouraging responsible investment. I spoke a lot about the responsible investment working group which I am the chair of and Vicky Bowman is the co-chair. Our working group has 26 private sector members, both foreign and Myanmar.
The Australian Government, the Trade Comnmission from Australia, and several NGOs work a lot with the Myanmar government in rolling out some of the work that we do in relation to responsible investment-encouraging responsible investment within member companies, as well as working with UMFCCI to make sure member companies are involved in this process.
Q: What challenges do you think are facing in building a democratic country?
A: I think in Myanmar, at the moment, peace and stability is at the forefront of everybody’s minds but I don’t think that it’s the only challenge that exists in Myanmar. In terms of doing business in Myanmar, I think there are still a lot that needs to be done in the regulatory regime. There are a lot of laws that need to be redrafted and a lot of work that needs to be done in that space. I know we’ve had great results in the company’s law and investment law and rules and regulations in the last 24 months, but I’d like to see the private sector getting more involved in drafting and assisting with bringing other Myanmar laws up to best practice in world class standards.
Q: Did you attend last year’s conference?
A: No, this is my first conference.
Q: What is your impression on this event?
A: It’s very interesting and I think the reason this is my first is that this is the first time the private sector has been invited to attend. i think this shows that the private sector is invaluable in Myanmar’s development effectiveness. I think it’s a great step forward.
Q: What suggestions would you like to give Myanmar in its journey to a democratic state?
A: I think peace and stability, which is obviously very difficult in this country, is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. I would really encourage all areas and sectors in Myanmar to really make this a priority.
Q: What do you think of the State Counsellor’s opening remark in today’s meeting?
A: I think it was very clear. She has a keen commitment to this Development Assistance Policy and also to her involvement in DACU (Development Assistance Coordination Unit) is critical in it being a successful unit.