Minister Müller meets Aung San Suu Kyi – Germany launches vocational training campaign in Myanmar

Federal Minister Gerd Müller and Nobel peace laureate and Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw

Press release of 17.06.2016 |

Nay Pyi Taw – Germany will scale up its support for rebuilding Myanmar. Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, assured the government of the East Asian country of this support. Müller is the first member of the German cabinet to meet the heads of Myanmar's new government – President U Htin Kyaw and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. After decades of military regimes, the country's new government is faced with tremendous challenges.

Müller conveyed good wishes on behalf of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and paid tribute to the reforms that are the result of the people of Myanmar's struggle over the past years. The election victory that the National League for Democracy (NLD) won last November under the leadership of Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the peaceful change of government that took place this April are historic milestones in Myanmar's transition process.

A lot is expected from the new government. Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in Asia. In its development cooperation with Myanmar, Germany is focusing on rural areas in order to give people there opportunities for the future.

"Germany is enhancing its support for the reform process in Myanmar in a sustainable manner," Minister Müller said. "We want to do our bit and contribute to the development of democratic structures in Myanmar which will enable all population groups to benefit from growth. We can thus create employment and give young people a reason not to leave. We are training young men and women in vocational training centres in technical fields and crafts and trades. Another focus area is in sustainable food production, for instance in fisheries and aquaculture or mango and tea growing. And we are giving people better opportunities, especially in rural areas, by building roads, investing in renewable energies and in health centres."  Müller assured Aung San Suu Kyi that Germany will be a reliable partner supporting peaceful reforms.

The BMZ will scale up its funds for the vocational training campaign in Myanmar, increasing the more than 25 million euros by another 10 million euros. Germany resumed its development cooperation with Myanmar four years ago and has since invested more than 140 million euros in cooperation with the country that was formerly known as Burma. Since then, some 500 trainees a year have undergone vocational training, especially in the regions that are least developed due to ethnic and religious conflicts. 

Along with vocational education and training, Minister Müller and Aung San Suu Kyi in their meeting also raised the economic potential of sustainably produced products that are typical for the country, such as tea or rice, and questions of distribution. They also discussed peaceful coexistence with minorities in the country.

The day before, Minister Müller had hosted a business forum in Yangon. The discussion centred on the question of how SME investment in Myanmar could be supported in a sustainable way and increased. A regional conference on vocational education and training is set to take place in Myanmar early next year in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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