Keidanren mission in Myanmar vows plenty of development assistance

Kyodo

A delegation of Japan’s biggest business lobby has told Myanmar President Thein Sein that it will provide money and expertise for the future development of the long-isolated country.

Heading the Keidanren delegation of around 100 senior officials from leading domestic businesses, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the industry group, said, “For the purpose of human resource development, Keidanren would like to consider specific measures such as the creation of a scholarship system.”

As many other countries are trying to make forays into Myanmar, one of the last major untapped markets in Asia as it rapidly opens up to the rest of the world, Yonekura underscored that Japan’s business community could play a pivotal role in the country’s development.

Yonekura, also chairman of Sumitomo Chemical Co., told Thein Sein that Japanese firms are ready to cooperate in securing a stable electricity supply and building many other necessary infrastructure systems during their meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar’s remote capital.

Thein Sein touched on Myanmar’s geographical advantage of sharing borders with the huge markets in China and India, saying his country should be the prime destination for global investment.

Yonekura also requested that Myanmar conclude a bilateral accord aimed at improving investment protection at an early date.

Given that Myanmar does not still have enough engineers and officials to work with foreign firms, Keidanren is also considering sending Japanese experts and training people from the Southeast Asian country for training at major companies.

The two agreed on the importance of building and improving Myanmar’s ports, railways, roads and other infrastructure. Thein Sein, in particular, expressed his hope to attract Japanese investment in the fields of solar power and electricity generation using natural gas.

Suzuki output to return

Kyodo

Suzuki Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will resume auto production in Myanmar in May after a hiatus of more than two years.

Suzuki, which withdrew from vehicle production in Myanmar when a joint venture contract with the government expired, will set up a new wholly owned subsidiary to be named Suzuki (Myanmar) Motor Co.