Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as Chairman of the Ethnic Affairs, Public Affairs Management and Service Committee, delivered a speech at the coordination meeting concerning the Myanmar Ethnic Culture Festival 2020 and the Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum yesterday morning.
Held at the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw, the meeting was also attended by Union Ministers U Ohn Maung and Nai Thet Lwin, regional and state Chief Ministers U Phyo Min Thein and U L Phaung Sho, Deputy Ministers U Aung Hla Tun, Dr Mya Lay Sein and U Tin Latt, state/regional ethnic affairs ministers, members of leading bodies of self-administered divisions/zones, and other officials.
The Myanmar Ethnic Culture Festival will be held from 1 to 7 February, 2020, at Kyaikkasan Sports Ground, Yangon, while the Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum is currently slated to be held in May this year.
In his speech, the Vice President first recalled that the Myanmar Ethnic Culture Festival was first held from 25 to 31 January in 2019, in the same location it will take place next month. He said the main dance this time will be the traditional Kayah monumental column dance.
He said the objectives of the festival are to assist the national peace process, showcase ethnic solidarity and culture to Myanmar citizens and foreign visitors, boost tourism, expand regional products and ethnic textiles to international markets, and create employment opportunities for ethnic youths.
The Vice President said this festival can be likened to a union festival where interaction with ethnic nationals and their culture is available and aims to boost travel and all-round development for their regions. He said Myanmar is gifted with beautiful natural scenery and has the potential to boost nature-based tourism and support the development of ethnic regions.
He urged media cooperation to proliferate ethnic culture and travel potential to domestic and international audiences and requested the ethnic nationals participating in the festival to deepen their admiration and respect for their own traditions and cultures in order to strengthen the union spirit.
The Vice President then said the first Ethnic Sustainable Development Forum was held from 18 to 19 January in 2018. He cited the emergence of ethnic entrepreneur associations from that forum as showing the importance of forum results.
He said the next forum slated for March aims to network ethnic entrepreneurs, increase the role of ethnic nationals in the business sector, uplift regional products into high-quality goods for international markets, strengthen economic market opportunities, and increase international investment in ethnic regions.
The Vice President said the voice and opinions of local ethnic residents is crucial in fulfilling their requirements and development as only when their actual needs are made aware can implementation be effective. He said this is the reason why economic forums need to be organized at the state and regional level. He said ethnic entrepreneurs of Kachin and Mon states have organized economic forums and he attended the Kachin State Economic Forum, which was held from 15 to 16 November, 2019.
The Vice President said ethnic entrepreneurs of other states and regions need to follow suit and organize similar economic forums and urged ethnic affairs ministers to work together with relevant ministries and state/regional cabinets for this purpose.
He said the union-level ethnic sustainable development forum would be immensely more effective ethnic entrepreneurs organized economic forums in all the states and regions and collected their results for consideration.
The Vice President concluded his speech by saying that the Union government is putting emphasis on ethnic development and urged the meeting attendees to offer their suggestions and ideas to ensure the ethnic culture festival and ethnic development forum are both imminent successes.
This was followed by in-depth discussions from the attendees on their respective assigned duties pertaining to the festival and forum, to which the Vice President responded and then concluded the meeting. —MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)