High-Level Myanmar Ministers conclude Singapore Study Visit

A delegation of Ministers from Myanmar wrapped up a 5-day study visit to Singapore last week.

The knowledge-sharing visit, jointly organized by the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), provided an opportunity for the Myanmar Ministers to gain first-hand experience of Singapore’s industrial development policies and strategies to attract foreign investment, provide decent productive jobs and affordable housing for people, and to do so in an environmentally sustainable way.

The week-long programme saw the Myanmar leaders briefed on Singapore’s experiences in urban development, developing and managing industrial parks, land use planning, housing policies, and technical and vocational education systems to build employable skills.

Among the Singaporean institutions and organizations included in the mission were the Economic Development Board, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Institute of Technical Education and the Housing Development Board. The delegation also met with senior executives from Sembcorp and the JTC Corporation.

Speaking about the success of the mission, Dr. Heyzer said: “Asia has many rich development experiences that generate prosperity, caring for our people and our planet. This mission is an exposure visit to learn about Singapore’s experience of transforming itself from a labour intensive economy to today’s knowledge- and innovation intensive society.”

Some of the areas highlighted included the implementation of “integrated systems and whole of government” approach to decision- making for policy coherence; partnership between the State and the Private Sector to deliver for the country and its people; and investment in education, healthcare, infrastructure and affordable housing. Finance, banking and the mobilization of resources and capital for development including for SMEs were also discussed.

The five-member Myanmar delegation was headed by His Excellency U Soe Thane, the Union Minister in the President’s Office and Chairman of the Myanmar Investment Commission. During the visit, the delegation called on the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other members of the Singapore Cabinet.

“This knowledge-sharing visit is a good example of the value of closer regional cooperation and integration as the sub region prepares for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 and Myanmar prepares for the ASEAN chair in 2014,” said Dr. Heyzer.