Exclusive Interview With Chairman M. Arsjad Rasjid P.M.( ASEAN-BAC)

ASEAN- BAC ( အာဆီယံ စီးပွားရေး အကြံပေးကောင်စီ) ဥက္ကဌ M. Arsjad Rasjid P.M. ဦးဆောင်တဲ့ အဖွဲ ဟာ မေလ ၁ရက်ကနေ ၃ရက်အထိ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံကို လာရောက်ခဲ့ပါတယ်။ ခရီးစဉ် တစ်လျှောက်  မေလ၂ရက်နေ့မှာ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ ကုန် သည် များနှင့် စက်မှုလက်မှု လုပ်ငန်း ရှင်များအသင်းချုပ်နဲ့ ပူးပေါင်းပြီး မြန်မာနိုင်ငံကုန်သည်များ နှင့် စက်မှုလက်မှု လုပ် ငန်းရှင်များအသင်းချုပ် မင်္ဂလာခန်းမမှာ စီးပွားရေး ဖိုရမ် တစ်ခု လုပ်ခဲ့ပြီး ဖိတ်ကြားထားတဲ့ သတင်းမီဒီယာတွေနဲ့ လည်း တွေ့ဆုံ ခဲ့ပါတယ်။

မေလ ၃ရက်နေ့မှာတော့ မြန်မာ့မိုးသောက်မီဒီယာနဲ့ သီးသန့် တွေ့ဆုံခဲ့ပြီး မြန်မာ့မိုးသောက်က မြန်မာ့စီးပွားရေးနဲ့ ပတ်သက် ပြီး ဘယ်လို ကူညီ ပံပိုးမှုတွေ လုပ်ဆောင်ပေးနိုင်မလည်း ဆိုတာမေးမြန်းခဲ့တဲ့အပြင်  ဥက္ကဌ M. Arsjad Rasjid P.M. ရဲ့  အပြုသဘောဆောင်တဲ့ အကြံပေးစကား တွေကိုလည်း ကြားသိခဲ့ရပါတယ်။

အပြည့်အစုံကိုတော့ မူရင်းအတိုင်း အင်္ဂလိပ်ဘာသာအတိုင်း ဖော်ပြပေးလိုက်ပါတယ်။

Photo Credit:  Global New light of Myanmar, ASEAN-BAC

ASEAN- BAC ( အာဆီယံ စီးပွားရေး အကြံပေးကောင်စီ) ဥက္ကဌ M. Arsjad Rasjid P.M
Photo: MMT

Q: According to the ASEAN – BAC Indonesia’s five priority issues: What kind of support would you give us? To trade facilitation between Indonesia and Myanmar.

A: ASEAN-BAC Indonesia has identified five priority issues: Digital Transformation, Sustainable Development, Health Resilience, Food Security, and Trade and Investment.

Under each priority issue, there are several legacy projects that aim to address the challenges and opportunities faced by ASEAN countries. These legacy projects include:

Digital Transformation

ASEAN QR Code

Marketplace Lending platform

Wiki Entrepreneur

Sustainable Development:

ASEAN Net Zero Hub

Carbon Center of Excellence

Health Resilience:

ASEAN One Shot Campaign

Food Security:

Inclusive Closed-loop Model for Agricultural Products

 Trade and Investment:

ASEAN Business Entity

If you are asking about our support for trade facilitation, I would like to highlight that ASEAN – BAC  is  prioritizing Trade and Investment as one of our main areas of focus. One of our initiatives under this priority is the ASEAN Business Entity, which aims to strengthen intra-ASEAN investment, including between Myanmar and Indonesia.

The ASEAN Business Entity will provide a seamless platform for businesses to operate across borders,  streamlining and reducing regulatory barriers to create a more favourable business environment.

This initiative will benefit businesses of all sizes, from large multinational corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises. Ultimately, the ASEAN Business Entity is intended to create an interconnected commercial environment, opening up new opportunities and boosting intra-ASEAN trade.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages for the digital transformation of Myanmar. What is your opinion and advice?

A: Digital transformation can bring significant benefits to Myanmar’s economy, such as increased productivity, improved efficiency, and new opportunities for growth. Digitization of business processes can lead to cost savings and reduce the time needed to complete tasks. Digital technologies can also help Myanmar leapfrog in areas such as e-commerce, fintech and smart city development.

However, Myanmar must also be ready in terms of digital infrastructure, digital literacy, and cybersecurity. These are crucial factors that need to be addressed to fully realize the potential benefits and ensue that it is inclusive. Thus, my advice would be for the government and private sector to work together to invest in digital infrastructure, provide training programs of digital skills, and improve cybersecurity.

 The government should establish policies and regulations that support digital innovation while ensuring the protection of personal data and intellectual property rights.

Public-private partnerships (PPP) can be an effective solution to address the challengers. It can leverage the strengths and expertise of both the public and private sectors. For example, the government can provide the regulatory framework and infrastructure for digital transformation, while the private sector can contribute with investments, innovation, and expertise.

 PPP can also help share risks and costs. However, it is crucial to establish transparent and accountable governance mechanisms to ensure that the public interest is protected.

Striking a balance between the interests of the public and private sectors is key to achieving sustainable and inclusive digital transformation in Myanmar.

Q: In today’s world, Indonesia is a very popular and successful tourism country. I want to ask one thing here. Until 2020, Myanmar’s tourism industry was not successful as expected. Why and can you give some good advice?

A: I respectfully disagree with the statement that Myanmar’s tourism industry has not been successful as expected. I think the latest official data shows that tourism arrivals are on an upward trend. I believe that Myanmar has plenty of attractions and unique experiences to offer tourists. However, one of the biggest challenges Myanmar’s tourism industry has faced is a lack of investment.  

Unlike other tourist destinations like Thailand or Indonesia, Myanmar is still in the early stages of developing its tourism industry. This means that many areas lack adequate transportation, accommodation, and other tourism- related facilities. To address these challenges, Myanmar must prioritize investment in infrastructure and tourism- related facilities, particularly in key destinations. This could involve building new hotels, improving transportation links, and upgrading tourist attractions. Additionally, Myanmar needs to actively promote itself as a safe and welcoming tourist destination, highlighting its unique cultural and natural attractions. Overall, Myanmar has a lot of untapped potential as a tourism destination , and with the right investments and marketing efforts, it can become a successful and sustainable industry.

Q: Can Myanmar become a rich country in near future?

A: In order to fully realize its economic potential, Myanmar must address a range of challenges, including infrastructure, skill gaps, and ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably.I am confident that Myanmar can do it, and personally, I am impressed by Myanmar’s potential in renewable energy such as solar, hydro, and wind energy.

 In fact, Myanmar, along with Laos and Indonesia, is among the top 20 countries in the world with the most unused and profitable hydro power potential. I also think Myanmar is very rich in critical minerals that are essential for the growth of key industries, including the solar panel, lithium battery, and electric vehicle industries. If these resources are harnessed effectively and sustainably, Myanmar has the potential to generate significant economic development.

Q: What would you like to say to the Myanmar people?

A: To the people of Myanmar, I would like to express my admiration for your resilience and courage in the face of challenges. Your country has a rich history and culture, and your determination to pursue a better future is truly inspiring.

 I believe that Myanmar has enormous potential for growth and development, and  I encourage you to continue working towards building a brighter future for yourselves and future generations. Your country is blessed with abundant natural resources, a young and talented workforce, and a strategic location within ASEAN. It is important that you remain optimistic and continue to strive for progress, despite the difficulties you may face. Lastly, I pray that your country will continue to move towards greater stability, prosperity, and peace.

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