Parliamentary Sessions to Reconvene on October 17
Myanmar’s legislative sessions will resume on October 17, according to an announcement of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union), the national-level legislature of the country, on September 25. The 5th regular session of the 2nd Pyidaungsu Hluttaw started on May 18 and adjourned on August 31, and the upcoming meetings will be the 6th session.
International Day of Democracy Celebrated in Nay Pyi Taw
The ceremony to commemorate International Day of Democracy 2017 was held on September 15 at the parliament building in Nay Pyi Taw. Mahn Win Khaing Than, the Speaker of the Upper House as well as Patron of the Myanmar parliament, gave a keynote speech at the event. This year is the 10th anniversary of International Day of Democracy, established in 2007 with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy, and setting out a date for countries and organisations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness of democracy.
National Export Strategy Adds on Other Promising Categories
Further promising sectors have been added into Myanmar’s National Export Strategy (NES), which is aimed at achieving the country’s targeted export-promotion visions in order to pursue national development through export-led growth. Another five promising categories of gems and jewellery, agro-based foodstuff manufacturing, fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, and information and technology have been added to the strategy. Among them, fruits and vegetables category shows the most potential with a wide variety of export items. The NES, a five-year roadmap from 2015 to 2020 spearheaded by the Ministry of Commerce, focuses on seven sectors – rice, peas and pulses, fishery products, textiles, timber and forest products, rubber, and tourism. Myanmar suffered a recurrent trade gap value of more than $5 billion in the previous financial year, which ended on March 31, 2017.
Agriculture, SMEs and Construction in Priority
The government is set to give a priority to agricultural sector, small and medium enterprises (SME) sector and construction sector in the ongoing financial year that started on the first of April 2017, according to Kyaw Win, Minister for Planning and Finance. The minister told a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other sister associations in Pathein, Ayeyarwaddy Region in the second week of September.
Myanmar has designed a set of industries into a prioritised development framework for having high potential to play a vital role in pursuit of national development. The seven sectors identified as a major collective driving force for development are agriculture, energy and mining, tourism, financial sector, infrastructure, manufacturing and telecommunications.