CESD’s Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MEITI) team provided expertise and support to recent training in Nay Pyi Taw on resource governance and contract negotiation in the extractive industries. Myanmar has extensive natural resources. How these natural resources are managed, and how contracts are negotiated, will determine whether they deliver benefits and inclusive development to Myanmar.
The training on “Strengthening Assistance for Complex Contract Negotiations (CONNEX),” provided information on how parties, including governments, can negotiate complex commercial contracts related to the extraction of Myanmar’s natural resources. It focused on the development of commercial contracts that are”well-conceived , well-negotiated and support inclusive development”, while serving the interests of Myanmar and investing companies.
H.E. U Maung Maung Win, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Planning and Finance of Myanmar, opened the training session. He noted that “It is important for contracting processes to have a win-win resolution for all parties and it is critical that contract terms meet the national interests. In practice, it is quite challenging for us to find the right balance, as we have constraints on capacity and [limited] experience with multi-national companies.”
In addition, H.E. U Maung Maung Win noted “Myanmar is a country well-endowed with natural resources. Revenue from the export of natural gas and minerals remains the largest source of foreign income for the country. Today, the country still has vast reserves of oil and gas and minerals that have not been extracted. The sustainable development of the extractive sector and sound revenue management mechanism is critical to the country’s economic growth and future generations. Thus, the Government of Myanmar is working to improve institutions for better resource governance, in order to translate resource wealth into country wealth for citizens.”
The training session was attended by representatives from various Ministries, agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations and international experts. A delegation from the Mongolia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative also attended and presented some of their experiences on governance and transparency in their own extractive industries.
CONNEX is an initiative of the Group of 7 (G7), providing developing countries with “multi-disciplinary and concrete expertise for negotiating complex commercial contracts, with an initial focus on the extractive sector” (CONNEX guiding principles).