Myanmar invites S’poreans to invest in its key sectors

THE Myanmar government yesterday invited Singapore businessmen to invest in key sectors of its resource-rich country. “Singapore has the expertise and technology and we have the raw materials. That makes for a meaningful partnership,” Myanmar’s Minister for National Planning and Development, Brigadier-General David Abel, said at a press conference.

He said his government had identified investment opportunities for Singapore companies in agriculture, forestry, minerals and marine and light industries.

Singapore ranked as Myanmar’s largest trading partner, he said, noting that bilateral trade had increased by 320 per cent since 1988.

BG Abel is here with a 22-member mission for a five-day visit to discuss bilateral issues. The delegation, headed by the First Secretary of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, includes several Cabinet ministers.

Its programme includes visits to the Economic Development Board, Trade Develop-ment Board, Port of Singapore Authority, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Housing Board and Jurong Town Corporation.

On Tuesday, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt called on Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The delegation will meet Foreign Minister Wong Kan Seng today.

Besides BG Abel, Foreign Minister U Ohn Gyaw and Information Minister Brigadier-General Myo Thant were also at the press conference.

Responding to reporters’ questions on Myanmar’s political situation, U Ohn Gyaw said the national convention would be reconvened on June 7 to draft a Constitution.

An earlier convention attended by 700 delegates had already approved 15 chapters for the Constitution and it was now necessary to outline the principles, he said.

U Ohn Gyaw said that while the military had no intention to hold on to power, it had to be noted that the armed forces had fought for the country’s independence.

“If we fail again, who is going to rescue us?” he asked.

On the question of detained leader of the National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi, he said she was free to leave Myanmar to join her family in England.

Miss Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest since July 1989 after the military cracked down on anti-government protesters following violent street demonstrations.

The military regime has since been widely criticised for its violation of human rights and refusal to transfer power over to civilians.

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