Thursday, August 17, 2017

NLD will need support from all sides: advisers

The new government will need all the help it can get to create a constructive business environment over the next five years, say senior advisers.

U Aung Htun Thet believes the old and new governments should work together for the economic good of the country. Photo: Aung Khant / The Myanmar TimesU Aung Htun Thet believes the old and new governments should work together for the economic good of the country. Photo: Aung Khant / The Myanmar Times

Many members of the winning National League for Democracy party have limited experience of governing and will need to gain experience gradually while carrying out their new work, said U Aung Tun Thet, economic adviser to President U Thein Sein.

“The new government will gain experience gradually, and will need to carefully consider the result of its first five years in office,” he said, adding “We will all need to offer our support to help it to move forward.”

Everybody should work together, considering the needs of both local and foreign investors, he said. “We need to review our weaknesses and try to find a good solution.”

“Over five years we have achieved many things and we know that there are many things we still need to do.”

The new government has very little experience managing political and economic affairs, said U Than Lwin, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.

“[Building up experience] will take time. I think the current government will act responsibly after it transfers power to the new administration, and will help as much as it can,” he said.

“For the good of the country, both sides will need to collaborate,” he said, noting that parliamentary Speaker Thura U Shwe Mann has already made it clear that he will work with the NLD-led government.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should also make the most of her relations with international countries, he said.

“This is a strong point,” he said, likening the NLD leader’s international reputation to that of former prime minister U Nu.

“Most of all, the new government will need the advice of experts,” he said. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi recently said she will put the right person in the right place. Experts can bring great benefits – it is the best way to develop the country.”

There will be more freedom than before, he said. “Under a civilian government, transparency will improve and bribery will be banned. This is good – the country has suffered a great loss under a culture of corruption.”

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U Myat Thin Aung, chair of the management committee for Yangon’s largest industrial zone at Hlaing Tharyar agreed international support will be important for the new government.

“The winning party is supported by Western countries, so I see good prospects for aid and support.”

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have already been deeply involved in shaping Myanmar’s nascent business environment and the new government should rely on their continued support, he said. “It is the economy that that international community has to shape.”

Like many others, U Aung Tun Thet hopes a positive international reaction to the election will result in remaining sanctions being lifted, better business opportunities and more investment. “The international community was waiting for this election, and we will see changes based on this. Local businesspeople need to be prepared,” he said. “There is a concept of political economy. A country’s economy is improved due to its politics and its politics are improved due to its economy.”

Translation by Thiri Min Htun