Kachin to focus on three sectors to boost economy

Kachin State officials will set a policy to prioritise three sectors for sustainable economic development in the state, business officials have revealed to The Myanmar Times.

U Hkyet Hting Nan, chair of the Kachin Entrepreneurs Association (KEA) said agriculture and livestock, hotels and eco-tourism, and natural resources and finished products will be the focus of efforts to diversify the state’s economy and make it more sustainable.

This comes on the heels of a state-level economic forum that took place on November 15 and 16. The forum, which was being held for the first time, focused on finding ways to reduce the state’s dependency of natural resources and building a sustainable economy.

It was attended by government agencies and members of the state’s business community.

After the forum a discussion between ethnic entrepreneur associations and potential investors was held on November 17. The KEA also held a meeting for its members on November 18.

“From the talks and consultations over the four days, we were able to set a policy on what we should do and what we should prioritise in our state. We also set policies to successfully put into motion our plans,” U Hkyet Hting Nan said.

Although Kachin State has fertile soil for agriculture, there are few commercially run agricultural businesses; fish and eggs consumed in the state are being imported from other regions; and it has fewer tourists than other states and regions. The state’s economy currently revolves largely around agriculture and the exploitation of natural resources such as teak, gold, and jade

According to U Hkyet Hting Nan, the policies will call for the participation of both local communities and foreign investors and the dissemination of technology and knowledge.

“As sustainable businesses are developed, locals will have more job opportunities and this will support the stability and peace of the region. The KEA will work to connect the government and the people,” said U Khat Htein Nan.

Since the KEA includes the heads of the Kachin State Fishery Federation, Mining Entrepreneur Association, Jewellery Association, Flower Association, Fruit Producers Association, and Tourism Entrepreneurs Association, U Khat Htein Nan said he expects the organisation will play a useful role in bringing about change.

“Everyone in the state needs to work together for economic growth. Despite having many natural resources, the state has lagged in economic terms for too long. Although the government has to deal with conflict in certain areas, it should still improve transportation and other infrastructure in safe areas. The private sector must now also do its part,” said U Yaw Sett, chair of Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association.

The ethnic entrepreneurs associations under the Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association have to step up efforts for regional economic growth in less developed parts of the country, he said.

Currently, there are only 19 large companies registered in Kachin and these companies have invested only K43billion in the state, said U Aung Naing Oo, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. Moreover, there are only1074 registered small and medium-sized enterprises in the state, he added. – Translated

Source: Myanmar Times

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