vrijdag 28 september 2012

Conference on responsible development and investing in Burma


Burma Centrum Nederland Conference:

Investing in Burma – challenges and opportunities.

11 and 12 October 2012

For information and registration: rikje@burmacentrum.nl



Venue: `De Burcht’ / Henri Polak Laan 9 / Amsterdam / Ph 0031 (0) 20 6241166

Program

Day 1

09.30 - 09.45:    Registration and coffee
09:45 - 10:15:    Opening address by Mrs. Agnes Jongerius

10:15- 11:00:     Session 1: Setting the scene - economic and political developments in Burma
Dr. Khin Zaw Win will give an overview of the current situation in Burma, putting developments, reforms and the ongoing process of transformation in the context of economic development.
11:00 – 11:30:    Discussion

11:30-12:15:      Session 2: The new investment law
Mr. U Ye Tun will share an analysis of the investment law, and its implications for foreign investors in Burma.
12:15 - 12:45:    Discussion

12:45- 14:00:     Lunch

14:00- 14:45:     Session 3: Responsible investment
Mrs. Donna Guest will speak on doing business in Burma in the context of corporate social responsibility, human rights (including labor rights) and economic policy development.
14:45- 15:15:     Discussion

15:15- 15:45:     Coffee/tea

15:45- 16:30:     Closing session: Wrap up the day
Ms Sue Mark will summarize what has been shared during the day, and draw some primary conclusions.
Mr. Hans Terhurne, who has been keeping track of the discussion through mindmapping, will share the mindmap he has made.

16:30- 17:00       Short introduction on the history of “ de Burcht”              

17:00                   Evening: Drinks and dinner reception

Day 2

09:15:                  Coffee
09:45- 10:30:     Session 4: Practical entrepreneurship in Burma
Mrs. Dr. Toe Nadir Tin will share her experiences doing business in Burma over the last 35 years. She will discuss what the reforms have meant for practical entrepreneurship
10:30-11:00:      Discussion

11:00-11:45:      Session 5: Investment opportunities
Mr. Bernard Pe-Win will talk about the opportunities for investment in Burma from an insider’s perspective. He will give examples of what is possible, and will also pay attention to possible setbacks.

11:45- 12:15:     Discussion
12:15- 13:00:     Closing session – wrap up of the conference
Ms Sue Mark will summarize what has been shared during conference and will draw conclusions and point out what issues need to be addresses further.
Mr. Hans Terhurne will share the mindmap he has made during the conference.

13:00- 14:00: Lunch

This conference is made possible through the support of: Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD); Oxfam-Novib; FNV mondiaal en NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Please note that the conference will be held under Chatham House rules.

On the speakers:

Agnes Jongerius
Agnes studied Social and Economic  History at the university Utrecht. She has been working with Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV) since 1987, being its president from 2005 till 2012. She is vice chairwoman for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and is actively involved in  the Committee on Human and Trade Union Rights of ITUC.

Bernard Pe-Win
Bernard Pe-Win is a Burmese born British citizen. He spent many years in the UK, Australia and South East Asia. After an absence of thirty years, he returned to Burma in 1990 to re-develop the famous Strand Hotel, The Savoy and several other properties in Yangon. He is currently CEO of Wah Seong Boustead Co. Ltd., whose constituent shareholders are two public-listed companies quoted on the KL Stock Exchange. He holds several directorships in companies related to investment holding, engineering and the energy sector. He served as Vice President Asia & Pacific for American Express with which he was involved for more than two decades. Since 1990 Bernard has participated in international forums and the media, speaking on Burma’s economy and politics. He has strong views in favor of engagement as a way forward to resolve issues in Burma and its development.
Donna Guest
Donna Guest has worked on human rights in South East Asia for over 20 years. Most recently, she served as Amnesty's deputy director for South East Asia and the Pacific. In May 2012, Donna facilitated and led Amnesty's first mission to Myanmar since 2003. From August 2012 onwards, Donna had joined the institute for Human Rights and Business, a London based centre of expertise on the relationship between business and internationally proclaimed human rights standards. For IHRB, she will lead the developing programme in Burma as well as outreach and advocacy with governments, companies and civil society throughout the region.

Khin Zaw Win
Khin Zaw Win served under the Department of Health at Taunggyi and Yangon General Hospital. He was a consultant for Unicef, and holds a masters in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore. From 1994 till July 2005 he was a prisoner of conscience for "seditious writings" and human rights work. At present he is the director of Tampadipa Institute, which builds capacity for civil society organizations around the country and does policy advocacy.

SiuSue Mark (facilitator)
After receiving her Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University ten years ago, Sue embarked on a career in international development. Having worked in Myanmar for over four years, she has developed broad understanding of development dynamics in Myanmar, through work with development agencies, civil society groups, business & government. Currently as the Research & Development Advisor for Pyoe Pin Programme (a DFID/SIDA governance initiative), she is managing research in a number of new market-based economic development initiatives, among them land tenure security, industrial development, and local governance initiatives in ethnic states  She also designs and implements initiatives aimed at civil society strengthening. To facilitate her communication across cultures, Sue speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Chinese, and Spanish.  She is also conversational in Burmese.

Toe Nandar Tin
Toe Nandar Tin has been the Chairperson of Anawa Devi Fishing & General Trading Cooperative Ltd. since 1977. She has 35 years of experience with deep sea fishing, hatchery, fish culture and is at present processing fishery products. She is also CEC of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation, treasurer of the Myanmar Processors and Exporters Association, Vice Chairperson of the Eel Entrepreneur Association, treasurer of Yangon Division Fisheries Federation and advisor to the Myanmar Shrimp Farmer Association. Toe Nandar Tin is also on the Board of directors of the Central Cooperative Society. She obtained a PhD in zoology and is actively speaking out for development in the fishery sector,  which is on decline due to the global crisis.

U Ye Tun
U Ye Tun studied from 1971 -1973 at Taunggyi College, Shan State. Before he graduated he took part in the armed struggle led by the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) against Ne Win’s government.
In 1989, when the CPB fell, he surrendered to the military government. Between 1991 - 1994 he set up Lucky Dragon,  a company that sent logs to Hong Kong. Between 1995 and 2010 he had a Poultry - Broiler farm in Hsipaw town. He became a member of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) and won the Parliament (Pyithu Hluttaw) seat for the Hsipaw constituency in 2010 election.
He is serving as an active member of Sport, Culture and People’s Relations in the developing Committee of Pyithu Hluttaw.

dinsdag 21 augustus 2012

Persvrijheid?

De regering van Birma heeft gisteren (20 augustus 2012) met onmiddellijke ingang de mediacensuur opgeheven die decennialang van kracht is geweest. Volgens de nieuwe regels hoeven journalisten hun teksten niet langer vóór publicatie  aan de censor voor te leggen.
Dat geeft de lang verwachte ruimte om snel te kunnen reageren op het nieuws, maar het is volgens Birmese journalisten nog niet genoeg om echte persvrijheid te bieden.
Journalisten hoeven hun werk weliswaar  niet meer vóór publicatie door de censor te laten beoordelen, maar eenmaal gepubliceerde verhalen worden nog wel door die censor getoetst aan de nog steeds bestaande draconische mediawetten.
Elke krant of tijdschrift dat een stuk publiceert dat  de reputatie van de regering schaadt, kan haar publicatievergunning verliezen en de uitgevers kunnen zware straffen krijgen.
Dat kan zelfcensuur tot gevolg hebben, zeker als je bedenkt dat de straf in Birma is voor dit soort overtredingen een jarenlange gevangenisstraf kan zijn.
Vooral corruptie–waar veel van de oude (en huidige) politieke leiders van beschuldigd worden - is een gevoelig onderwerp  
De beslissing de mediacensuur per direct op te heffen is genomen terwijl journalisten een groot protest organiseren tegen het trage tempo van de mediahervormingen, die al lang geleden zijn aangekondigd.
Pas nog zijn er twee tijdschriften  gesloten omdat zij over ‘ gevoelige’  onderwerpen geschreven hadden. Als reactie hierop richtten Birmese journalisten de CPF (Comittee for Freedom of Press) op.
De beslissing de tijdschriften permanent te sluiten is inmiddels weer teruggedraaid,  maar de toon leek gezet.
De CPF heeft besloten het protest door te laten gaan zoals gepland, ook al zijn er  nu dan versoepelingen van de censuur afgekondigd.
Het goede nieuws is wel, dat er vanaf nu dagbladen in Birma kunnen worden gemaakt, iets wat eerst vanwege de censuur vooraf onmogelijk was.
Dat betekent een verlevendiging van het media landschap, en meer ruimte voor breed toegankelijke actualiteit.  




foto: The Irrawaddy