On March 21 and 22, 2018, the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), alongside the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Care International, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation and Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association (MRPPA), hosted the Myanmar Rubber Forum 2018 in Nay Pyi Taw. This year’s theme, “Sustainable Rubber Value Chain Development,” brought together international, government, private and local stakeholders to provide inputs on how to assess, target and develop Myanmar’s rubber sector. Distinguished guests including H.E. Vice President U Myint Swe, H.E. U Aung Thu, Union Minister of MOALI, U Ye Tint Tun, Director General of the Department of Agriculture, U Yu Sein, Chairman of The Rubber Producers and PA, Dr. Christy Williams, Country Director of the World Wildlife Fund, and Dr. Zaw Oo, Executive Director of CESD opened the forum with their inputs and views of Myanmar’s rubber industry. (more…)
The CESD field team has been busy visiting townships in Chin and Shan State collecting data on cultivation practices and current practices. The baseline survey seeks to understand avocado cultivator practices and identify their challenges and needs. Avocados are a nutrient-rich, high protein fruit with extensive international demand, especially in large, developed markets such as the United States, Japan, and China. The baseline survey will ultimately provide a set of next steps and recommendations for the Myanmar government, private sector institutions, and NGOs to provide Myanmar’s budding avocado cultivators. (more…)
During February, the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) collaborated on research with the World Bank during field visits in Yangon and Ayeyarwaddy in Myanmar. The field visits collected inputs for the World Bank’s ongoing Migration and Labour Mobility research. The research aims to promote jobs and facilitate labour mobility in Myanmar by deepening the policy dialogue, with a particular focus on labour mobility as a source of employment and productivity growth within the ASEAN region.
The Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) recently attended the 3rd Stakeholders Forum on Labour Law Reform and Institutional Capacity Building in Nay Pyi Taw. Hosted by the International Labour Organization and sponsored by the European Union, the forum brought together a variety of stakeholders such as labour unions, business representatives, government ministries, and international organizations contributing to the ongoing labour reforms in Myanmar.
As Myanmar begins to integrate itself into the global economy, CESD has sought to connect global best practices in value chain development to Myanmar’s ongoing modernization. Between December 20-22nd, the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) presented its findings at the International Chamber of Commerce and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (ICC-ESCAP) Workshop in Bangkok, Thailand. CESD’s Senior Program Coordinator, Ms. Nang Seng Pen, attended the workshop and presented CESD’s findings on how to upgrade Myanmar’s Agroforestry Value Chain. The value chain analysis specifically focused on rubber farmer development in Mon State, Myanmar.
Myanmar’s International Migration Day event on the 18th of December 2017 in Nay Pyi Taw was attended by representatives including Union Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Pyithu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw representatives, heads of departments, diplomats, personnel from United Nations, international non-government organizations and officials. The event was themed “Safe Migration in World on the Move” and showcased Myanmar’s active participation in global agreements on safe, systematic and legal migration in 2018. A multitude of stakeholders examined findings from research organizations and civil society to create strategies to ensure safe, secure and legal migration and extend services to migrants to facilitate better livelihoods through evidence-based policy reforms.
Since May 2017, the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) and International Growth Centre (IGC) have conducted research in Myanmar on the socio-economic conditions of hand pickers; freelance jade collectors who parse discarded soil and rocks from industrial mining. Many believe there are between 200,000-400,000 individuals working in the artisanal jade industry in Myanmar, with many self-employed as independent hand pickers. The research focuses on pickers who work shoulder to shoulder on the steep sides of towering loose rock formations. Landslides, malaria, and other hazards claim the lives of many pickers, however, individuals from all over Myanmar are driven by the allure of fortune to the hazardous occupation.
On 9 and 10 December, The Union of Myanmar Federations Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) held its second annual convention. Bringing together representatives of UMFCCI’s 30,000 members, the convention was a 2-day workshop filled with keynote speeches and discussions seeking to identify and synergize Myanmar’s business community’s efforts and goals. During the convention, the community established 2018’s national business agenda.
During the convention, CESD’s Chief of the Board of Directors, Dr. U Myint, presented a powerful keynote speech on the state of Myanmar’s economy, calling on the Myanmar government to focus on the economy alongside the peace process.
CESD has organized four workshops across Myanmar to solicit discussion and debate between stakeholders on the status of food and agriculture in Myanmar, especially food security, nutrition, land, and livelihoods. The workshops are part of an ongoing nation-wide dialogue on inadequacies and opportunities in Myanmar’s food and agriculture industry. The four workshops have served a multi-tiered role addressing policy shortcomings at the national and state levels, as well as coordinating public and private sector coordination to improve key agriculture sectors. (more…)
In September 2015, the Myanmar government for the first time in history set a minimum wage at 3,600 MMK ($3 at that time of exchange rate) a day, lowest in ASEAN but slightly higher than Bangladesh. A year and a half after implementation, robust discussions continue between unions, worker representatives, businesses, and the government about the impacts and possible changes in the minimum wage level. On November 4th, CESD was invited by the Ministry of Labor, Population, and Immigration to arbitrate a workshop between worker representatives and government and policy-making figures seeking updates from workers, open a policy dialogue, and support future changes to the minimum wage.