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PM heralds job opportunities in Burma

Dec 3, 2008 (DVB), Burmese prime minister general Thein Sein's claims that there are millions of job opportunities in Burma's agricultural sector have met with scepticism from Burmese nationals inside and outside the country.

The prime minister said the impact of the global financial crisis on Burma was "insignificant" and said the country's wealth of natural resources would ensure there were no shortages of food, clothing or shelter.

Thein Sein addressed a meeting of ministers, government officials and business leaders on Monday on the subject of developing the agricultural sector and boosting exports, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported yesterday.

The prime minister said greater expertise and education were needed to establish Burma as an industrialised nation based on the agricultural sector.

Addressing the current economic and financial crisis, Thein Sein said the effects on Burma would be limited because of the country's lack of contact with western financial institutions and few foreign loans.

The prime minister said there were millions of job opportunities in the agricultural sector alone and said Burmese people working overseas would be welcomed back to the country.

Thein Sein said workers were also in high demand in the rubber, teak, fishing, salt and timber industries and said Burmese nationals who return to the country after losing their jobs abroad should contact the ministries of foreign affairs, labour and agriculture for help.

"Unlike other countries, Myanmar is blessed with basis needs and thus it is required to place emphasis on boosting production, savings in production costs and minimizing loss and wastage," Thein Sein was quoted as saying.

But a Burmese IT technician working in Singapore said there were not opportunities in his home country for those with his skills.

"If something goes wrong here and we lose our jobs, there is no chance we can save ourselves by getting new jobs in our country as the prime minister said, because IT-related business is not yet common in Burma," the technician said.

"The government and the businesses they are running are not able to give jobs to all the IT technicians who are currently working abroad," he said.

"There is no way they are going to provide all of us with the jobs. We left our country because there were no jobs for us there."

A resident of Rangoon said many people had come to the city from elsewhere in Burma recently to look for work.

"It’s so difficult to find jobs in Rangoon now and there are a lot of unemployed people who are desperate to do anything to earn money," he said.

"Lately, a lot of people from other places in the country have come to Rangoon to join the job hunt."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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