International Conference on Agricultural Development in Myanmar and China-Myanmar Agricultural Cooperation
On 22-23 April 2013, more than 30 representatives from China and Myanmar attended the international conference ‘Agricultural Development in Myanmar and China-Myanmar Agricultural Cooperation’, jointly held in Kunming by Oxfam Hong Kong and the Myanmar Studies Center of Yunnan University. Oxfam Hong Kong announced the publication of its book Agricultural Investments in Myanmar: Opportunities and Challenges for Poverty Reduction at the conference which facilitated dialogue among government representatives, scholars, and leading organisations on how enterprises can fulfil their corporate social responsibility (CSR) when investing in Myanmar’s agricultural industry.
Guests participating in the opening ceremony chaired the conference (from right to left): Professor Chenyang Li, Deputy Director of Humanities at Yunnan University and Director of Myanmar Studies Center of Yunnan University, Zhigang Hao, Director of the Policy Planning Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U Tin Htut Oo, Chairman of National Economic and Social Advisory Council of Myanmar, Professor Xian Xiao, Vice President of Yunnan University, U Zaw Zaw Soe, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Myanmar in China, Peng Wu, Director of the Department for International Development China at Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, and Kevin May, Programme Manager with Oxfam Hong Kong.
Agricultural investment by foreign enterprises has brought opportunities and challenges to poor people living in the Mekong River Basin. Oxfam Hong Kong has been supporting research on this issue since 2010 in an effort to develop an agricultural investment strategy to maximise the benefits for smallholder farmers and their environments in these countries, and to minimise the risks and costs. Oxfam Hong Kong’s research also aims to raise the awareness of stakeholders and facilitate dialogue among them.
The conference focused on the direction, current situation, achievements, and limitations of Myanmar agricultural development and Chinese agricultural investment in Myanmar. Representatives from the two countries also exchanged experiences in agricultural development and discussed major achievements and problems. Representatives from ministries, corporations, NGOs and academic institutes exchanged opinions on cooperation between China and Myanmar and on the practice of China's foreign investment in agriculture; they also offered policy recommendations on how to promote social responsibility in China’s agricultural investment in Myanmar.
Participants from China included representatives from the Policy Planning Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy Research Office of Yunnan Provincial Committee, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, Yunnan University, Yunnan Agricultural University, Xiamen University, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, and China-Myanmar Friendship Association.
Representatives from Myanmar came from the Department of Agriculture Research under Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar Embassy in China, Myanmar National Economic and Social Advisory Council, Myanmar Sugar Cane and Sugar Related Products Merchants and Manufacturer's Association, Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association, Myanmar Development Resource Institute, Myanmar Livestock Resources Development Association, Myanmar Farmers' Association, Myanmar Food Security Working Group, and Mandalay's Fuqing Confucius Institute.
Participants said that the conference deepened their understanding of the agricultural investment climate in Myanmar, of the opportunities and challenges of agricultural investment, and of CSR.
International Conference on Agricultural Development in Myanmar and China-Myanmar Agricultural Cooperation jointly held in Kunming by Oxfam Hong Kong and the Myanmar Studies Center of Yunnan University on 22-23 April 2014.