State Counsellor urges entrepreneurs to help grow nation’s wealth

Myanmar’s business community has an important role to play in ensuring the country’s political voice is heard on the global stage, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said at the meeting between government officials and business persons and at Myanmar Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

She said the reason Myanmar’s political voice is weak compared to other nations is its status as one of the world’s poorer countries, and urged businesses to help build up the nation’s wealth.

“Myanmar’s political voice is weak on the world stage and this is related to our low levels of wealth. That is why our business community has a role to play in helping the country raise its political influence. We need the support of wealth, manpower and intelligence to stand tall among the world’s nations,” the State Counsellor said.

To grow the nation’s wealth, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said further economic development is necessary by eliminating corrupt practices, inertia in the government’s tender processes, unnecessary barriers for businesses and promoting cooperation between the government, the public and the private sector.

She added that the economy, which consists mostly of small and medium enterprises, stands to gain from more flexible policies from the Central Bank. “Even the private banks say they have difficulties expanding their businesses. I call for the Central Bank to consider easing certain policies to encourage economic growth,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.

The meeting comes amid a challenging time for local businessmen, many of whom are facing difficulties from the rising dollar-to-kyat exchange rate. It also comes amid louder calls from businesses to lower the tax rate on property purchases.

During the meeting, U Zaw Min Oo, chair of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) said incentives should be given to encourage more export businesses, import substitution programs and foreign direct investments.

Meanwhile, proposals to make adjustments to the tax structure were also made. “In taxation, we are making a request to lower taxes paid by buyers. As the demand rises, the country can receive more taxes in other ways,” said U Shane Win, chair of the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association.


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