Vice President U Myint Swe, President U Zaw Min Win of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chairman Kim Young-ju of the Korea International Trade Association, distinguished guests and business leaders from Myanmar and Korea,
I congratulate you on the groundbreaking ceremony for the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex and the opening of the Myanmar-Korea Business Forum.
Near Yangon, the economic capital of Myanmar, a large-scale complex will be created to harbor industrial infrastructure and companies engaging in various lines of business such as textiles and clothing, construction and ICT.
Our two Governments’ endeavors have come to this meaningful fruition. Myanmar and Korea will be able to advance into global markets together beyond Asia. I am pleased that Korea can join Myanmar along the path toward its powerful economic take-off.
I extend my gratitude to the relevant officials from Myanmar’s Ministry of Construction and the Korea Land and Housing Corporation for their hard work to launch the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex.
Myanmar serves as a hub linking 3.4 billion consumers in China, India and ASEAN. With a population of 53 million, about half of which are under the age of 30, Myanmar is a young and dynamic country.
Myanmar has achieved speedy growth in the range of 6 to 7 percent each year thanks to its Government’s economic reforms. The skyline of Yangon is rapidly changing every single day while new hotels and shopping malls are being built one after another. Befitting its name, Myanmar is making swift and strong strides every passing day. All of these accomplishments have been made possible by the business leaders gathered here.
Today – just as Korea’s economic growth achieved the Miracle on the Hangang River – I hope the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex will become a stepping stone for the creation of the “Miracle on the Ayeyarwady River,” the lifeline of Myanmar.
Business leaders from Myanmar and Korea,
During the Korean War approximately 70 years ago, Myanmar provided Korea with rice worth US$50,000 at the time, and this aid was of great help to Koreans, who had to worry about getting their next meal amidst the ruins of war.
Now, Korea, as the sixth largest investor in Myanmar, is cooperating with the country on a wide range of sectors, including the clothing and sewing industry, gas reserves and financial services.
Our bilateral trade volume has exceeded US$1 billion for the seventh consecutive year, and our two countries have formed a complementary relationship.
We share a lot in terms of culture. The way people make public offerings to monks in Myanmar – sharing meals and cultivating virtues – resembles Buddhist culture in Korea. These days, this is evolving into a culture of sharing. Our two countries’ customs of respecting elders and valuing good manners are also very similar.
Myanmar and Korea have become closer on the strength of valuable ties and have been able to establish even stronger cooperative economic relations in the course of sharing our cultures and sentiments.
Myanmar's Sustainable Development Plan rests on three pillars of peace and stability, prosperity and partnership, and people and the earth.
Korea's New Southern Policy, which is about cooperation for people, prosperity and peace to promote mutual advancement with ASEAN, shares common goals with Myanmar's development plan.
Based on these common goals, I’d like to underscore a three-pronged approach to forward-looking cooperation between our two countries today.
First, our two countries will strengthen cooperation to share knowledge and experience between our two peoples.
High educational zeal and excellent human resources in Myanmar are the cornerstone for spearheading a new economy. By working together to strengthen higher education capabilities and vocational training, Korea will assist with Myanmar’s educational innovation.
Our two countries will share experiences and work together to ensure successful management at the Myanmar Development Institute and the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization, which will play a pivotal role in Myanmar's economic development.
During this trip, our two countries have agreed to cooperate in the science, technology and startup sectors, creating an opportunity to identify and foster promising future projects in such sectors as bioengineering, nanotechnology, space and nuclear energy.
Second, our two countries will strengthen cooperation in building infrastructure conducive to industries and the people's everyday lives.
Myanmar and Korea have cooperated on infrastructure building involving the Korea-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and other bridges, the electric power grid and railroad repair. We look forward to new cooperation in port and road construction following the agreement reached by our two countries during this trip on an Economic Development Cooperation Fund worth about US$1 billion.
The Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex will facilitate stable business operations by providing worksites equipped with all of the infrastructure needed. When the Korea Desk is set up as a window to deal exclusively with and support Korean companies, it will help them further expand their investment and entry into a new market with export financing and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
Third, our two countries will boost cultural exchanges and expand cooperation, starting with household goods.
The Myanmar TV show “Galaxy Star” was produced with cues from K-pop audition programs, and a joint Korea-Myanmar film production is under way, attesting to the vibrant cultural content exchanges between our two countries.
Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi once said that films have the power of uniting people. Culture will play numerous roles in the deepening of mutual understanding.
Myanmar’s interest in Korean food, cosmetics, fashion and other household goods is also drawing our countries closer together. Following an MOU signed during this trip, the biggest shopping mall in Myanmar will set aside an exclusive area for Korean franchises, giving local consumers a chance to learn substantially more about Korea.
I hope that these new items and services help increase bilateral exchanges. I’m also looking forward to Myanmar’s culture and household goods being introduced to and loved by the Korean people.
Vice President U Myint Swe and business leaders from both countries,
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations, the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit and the Mekong-Korea Summit will be held in Busan this November. These will serve as an opportunity to further bolster cooperation between Korea and Myanmar. I’m looking forward to seeing you there again.
Like Myanmar’s saying about people boarding the same ship reaching the same destination, I hope that this event today will serve as an occasion for business leaders from our two countries to solidify their friendship and put us on the same ship heading toward peace and prosperity.
The Korea-Myanmar Industrial Complex is our starting point. Let us move toward the future together, helping and learning from each other.
Chay-tzoo-tin-bah-the ! (Thank you)