Union Minister U Thaung Tun delivers Keynote Address at 2020 UNSW ASEAN Conference

Union Minister U Thaung Tun speaks at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) ASEAN Conference via videoconference on 17 October 2020.

U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations yesterday delivered a keynote address entitled “Inspiring the Present, Envisioning the Future” during the University of New South Wales (UNSW) ASEAN Conference 2020.
Recognizing UNSW as a centre of scientific and technological excellence, the Minister began with a special message directed toward Myanmar scholars:
“I must also state how pleased I am to see so many young Myanmar scholars attending UNSW. To those scholars, you represent the best of Myanmar. You truly do. And, when you return home, you will receive a warm welcome and find a nation that embraces your newfound skills – skills which will surely be in high demand, in both the public and private sectors.”
Coinciding with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Union Minister used the opportunity to reflect upon Myanmar’s development journey, believing that the Myanmar story should provide cause for optimism, noting that:
“GDP per capita has risen more than eleven-fold between 1990 and 2018. Poverty has been halved within the span of a single generation. For most of our people, malaria and illiteracy are vestiges of the past. While global growth has indeed slowed, Myanmar remains amongst a small handful of nations who will post positive growth this year– growth that we are now converting into tangible improvements in the lives of our people.”
The Union Minister also noted how Myanmar’s development gains are today being challenged into deep and structural changes in the country’s social and economic fabric, noting how Myanmar had:
“…successfully channelled this period of economic growth into a noticeable shift in our country’s economic makeup – triggering a transition from agriculture to industry. As a result, female participation in our country’s labour force has increased, with more women now working in more diverse sectors than ever before.”
The Union Minister went on to rally the next generation, calling for their assistance in addressing global challenges such as the devastating impacts of climate change, repairing a fragile multilateral, rules-based order, and addressing widening inequality within countries, all in the context of an ongoing battle against COVID-19.
The Union Minister made particular note of the upcoming signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as providing a platform for shared prosperity and security across the region and establishing a modern, comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic framework that will facilitate the expansion of trade and investment throughout the world.
“I believe our shared prosperity and security can only truly be safeguarded within a functioning multilateral system. The imminent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at the 4th Summit of RCEP Leaders next month will be, I hope, a testament to that.”
The Union Minister also used the opportunity to express thanks to the people of Australia for the country’s long-standing commitment to the expansion of peace, democracy and prosperity in Myanmar, including through, increased trade and investment, through government-to-government ties, and expanding people-to-people connections.—MNA

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