Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mandalay development policy draft completed

The first draft of a policy to develop specific industries in the Mandalay Region has been completed and will soon be presented to the Hluttaw once the policy is finalised.

If budgets are approved on time, the projects involved in the Mandalay development policy are planned to start early next year. Photo - StaffIf budgets are approved on time, the projects involved in the Mandalay development policy are planned to start early next year. Photo - Staff

Work on drafting the policy began three months ago, and focuses on the sectors of agriculture, SMEs, tourism and transparency.

The project was initiated by Pa Nya Yaung Chi, which is led by Tin Maung Than with the technical support of the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID.

U Kyaw Soe Naing, who was a participant in discussions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said that he was optimistic that the policy will bring about positive developments in the region.

“We discussed the challenges of the SMEs, and said that for 65 percent of value-added food enterprises, the biggest challenge is loan problems for the banks.

“The banks are not able to give proper information on how to obtain a loan, and don’t have definite guidelines for giving out the loans.

“Based on data from the Ministry of Industry, there are only six people who have obtained the loans. And it is a complex process. We need six certificates including SMEs member card, Mandalay City Development Committee registration and so on,” he said.

U Kyaw Soe Naing said the food industry also does not have standards.

“The businesses are not ready for the Food and Drug Administration’s [FDA] strict standards. We discussed that the FDA should declare “Foods that are appropriate to be consumed”, rather than “Foods that should not be consumed” and that would attract the food enterprises to get registered.

“Our food industry needs to look towards exporting, so we should learn the food standards in Bangkok, China and ASEAN. And we discussed the need for the many existing complex laws. For example, we have SMEs law under the Ministry of Industry and have another similar law that is under the cooperative department. “Finally, we agreed that we need a support centre for SMEs,” U Kyaw Soe Naing said.

Ko Kyaw Myo Ko from Myanmar Upper Land Culture and Travels said that the tourism sector is different from the other three sectors as it already has a strong policy even if it hasn’t been implemented yet.

“The government drew the policy in 2012 for a responsible tourism industry, and the Master Plan is meant to be implemented from 2013 to 2020. So we discussed the needs according with this master plan.

“As the master plan, Myanmar Tourism Services has 11 associations, but in Mandalay, there are four or five associations which are not connected and do not cooperate.

“We found out five needs in HR, weakness in cooperation and security and so on,” said Ko Kyaw Myo Ko.