Liberalisation of telecom sector contributed to Myanmar’s economic growth


A man uses the internet with a mobile phone in front of Telenor's cheap sim card advertising in Yangon. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

An expert symposium held on 12 January in Myanmar's capital, attributed the liberalisation of the Telecommunications industry in Myanmar for the many positive contributions to the growth of country's economy.

With more than USD 2.8 billion investment in just two years from countries including Japan, Norway and Qatar, the telecommunications sector is one of the leading sectors for foreign direct investment into Myanmar. Over the next 15 years an estimated 250,000 job opportunities are believed to be created in the country as a result and contribute to more than 5% of the country's GDP.

Myanmar Mobile Symposium, held in Nay Pyi Taw, is the first initiative of its kind in the country. Chaired by GSMA, it is jointly hosted by Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar. The symposium attracted close to 200 representatives from the telecom industry in Myanmar and across the globe.

The symposium also recommended to the Government of Myanmar to ensure that pro-investment policies are adopted and regulations are simplified to ensure the continued growth of the industry and benefit to the people of Myanmar. Maintaining momentum in the telecommunications and ICT sectors is critical to realising these benefits, and should remain a priority to policymakers.

"The growth of Myanmar's economy is testimony to the positive impact of mobile technology when it is widely implemented and supported by the government," said Alasdair Grant, Head of Asia, GSMA. "It's even more important for regulators, operators and service providers to work together now at this critical juncture, in order to maintain this incredible momentum."

"MPT is committed to the transformation of the telecoms landscape through investment and changes in practice. In order to support these goals, it is necessary to have regulations that help to enhance the growing market and to faster conditions for growth which will ultimately benefit all citizen across Myanmar, "said Toshitake Amamiya, CEO of MPT-KSGM Joint Operation.

"Access to the power of the internet over state of the art networks enables both the economic and social development of the Myanmar people and the unleashing of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Myanmar. We are also committed however, to supporting and funding crucial infrastructure whether in health care, education, digital development or other priority areas as we do all we can to 'Connect Myanmar to its better future, "said Rene Meza, CEO of Ooredoo Myanmar.

"Connected societies are empowered societies. In a rapidly changing digital landscape, it is imperative that governments, businesses, and organisations work together to develop frameworks that stimulate growth and create shared value. We welcome and look forward to continued constructive dialogues with all stakeholders on how we can continue realizing the value and the opportunity of Myanmar's digital future, "said Lars Erik Tellmann, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.

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