Press release 25/2017
7 February 2017
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen will visit Myanmar on 8–10 February. The aim of the visit is to support the civilian government’s reforms, to promote human rights and to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries. Mykkänen will hold discussions on the bilateral relations, development cooperation and trade between the countries as well as the current situation in Myanmar. The Minister will be accompanied by a Team Finland delegation.
Despite its rapid economic growth, Myanmar is still one of the poorest countries in Asia, and it faces major development challenges. It is essential for the country’s development that the peace process continue and that the rule of law be strengthened. Armed conflicts still occur in the border areas. The situation is fragile especially in the region of Rakhine and, based on the UN’s reports, that has led to serious human rights violations.
“Official meetings with representatives of the civilian government will provide an opportunity to discuss efforts to improve the human rights situation in the country. Finland underlines that it is important to bring an end to the use of violence and to ensure the protection of civilians. An independent investigation into the events is needed and those responsible for violence must be brought to justice. Supporting democracy, rule of law development and the peace process is an important element of Finland’s development cooperation programme in Myanmar,” says Minister Mykkänen.
After Myanmar’s transition from military rule towards democracy, Finland opened a mission in the capital city, Yangon, and the country is now one of Finland’s partners in development cooperation. Additionally, there are good prospects for closer economic relations because Myanmar has recently opened its markets for international trade.
“Myanmar has its challenges but despite them also plenty of opportunities. Finland supports not only its democracy development but also effective management of the forest resources as well as education, in which the needs of children in the most vulnerable position are taken into account. Economic and social development in Myanmar call for major improvements in the basic infrastructure in a sustainable manner,” notes Minister Mykkänen.
The Team Finland delegation consists of representatives of 18 companies or other parties. The companies specialise in cleantech, energy, ICT, digitalisation and education. Mykkänen and his Team Finland delegation will meet Myanmar’s government ministers and other key public sector actors in Yangon and in the administrative capital Nay Pyi Taw.
The following companies and other parties will be represented in the Minister’s delegation:
CS Control Software Oy
Eltel Networks Oy
Ensto Finland Oy
Finland Chamber of Commerce
Lamor Corporation Ab
Outotec South East Asia Pacific
Timble Solutions Corporation
University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education
Vakava Technologies Ltd
Valmet Co. Ltd
Inquiries: Petri Wanner, Desk Officer, Unit for South Asia, tel. +358 40 731 4509 and Pasi Rajala, Special Adviser to Minister Mykkänen, tel. +358 400 464 393.
The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@example.org.