ESM Goh: With political and economic reform, Myanmar can be regional economic powerhouse
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong says Myanmar has the opportunity to become the new regional economic powerhouse if the country can succeed in its political and economic reforms.
Mr Goh adds that both Singapore and Myanmar can complement each other for mutual benefits.
He gave this assessment at the end of his two-day visit in Myanmar.
ESM Goh noted that Myanmar and Singapore are at different stages of development.
He said both countries can work together, but hopes Myanmar will benefit more than Singapore.
A strong Myanmar will also be good for the region.
"So if Myanmar reforms on the right track, opening up, growing by 8 to 10 per cent per year for 10 years, can you imagine what that will do to ASEAN? ASEAN will be more integrated, ASEAN will be a more powerful regional economy and we are there in a prosperous region."
Many Singapore companies have expressed interest in doing business in Myanmar.
In view of this, Singapore's investment agency, IE Singapore has plans to open an office in Myanmar in the near future.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Teo Ser Luck explains.
"In fact we have to do that quickly, to help facilitate or be the bridge for our business sector and also what the market needs here, and to provide those information and facilitate the whole process.
Singapore is also keen to tap on Myanmar's resources."
The National Development Ministry will be sending a team from the Agri- Food and Veterinary Authority to Myanmar to explore possibilities on importing fishery products.
Singapore's National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan,
"But they themselves are also keen to develop downstream industries. process, because they are not just selling raw food, or raw fishes. So, if you can process it, there will be better value add for the villages, and so that they will also reduce the need for the villages to come all the way to the city to get jobs."
Singapore is Myanmar's fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to some S$1.6 billion last year.
Myanmar is strategically located between China and India.
In addition, its own domestic market of about 55 million people provides businesses access to more than 2 billion customers.
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