Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU, Deputy Secretary General and elected Directors Excellencies
Honourable Ministers, Vice ministers
Ladies & Gentlemen, good afternoon.
It is a pleasure and honour for me to be able to participate at this Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union 2014 and make this policy statement. First of all, on behalf of the Government and the peoples of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, I offer our most sincere appreciation to the Government of the Peoples Republic of Korea for the most hospitable hosting of this conference at this beautiful city of Busan.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, just over two years ago, Myanmar’s tele density was just around 5% with connectivity and affordability being major barriers.!
Recognising ICT as an engine for growth and recognising the political, social and economic benefits ICT development can bring, we initiated the sector reform initiatives with the main objectives of reducing the telecoms and ICT sector development gap with the neighbouring countries and bringing the benefits of ICT to every citizen of Myanmar.
We have achieved some milestones.
In November 2013, The new Telecommunications Law which replaces the 1885 Myanmar Telegraph Act and 1934 Myanmar Wireless Telegraphy Act was enacted. This new law enables market competition in the telecoms sector which was limited only to states-owed enterprises.
Two new operators, Ooredoo Myanmar and Telenor Myanmar have already launched their commercial services. Therefore, I am proud to announce that “the days of monopoly is effectively over in Myanmar telecoms sector” Our citizens now have the ability of choice - over the operators and services
based on the quality of service and affordability. The state owned operator MPT is also undergoing reforms to enter the competition. Its reforms process will ultimately lead to corporatization of the incumbent operator. The Telecoms Law also mandates the establishment of the Independent Regulator by 2015.
As we carry out our reforms of the sector, we are aware of and take guidance of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG), and World Summits on Information Society (WSIS) objectives as well as plans of actions.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, as Myanmar opens its telecoms and ICT sectors, and as we are creating an investment friendly environment, we continue to face new challanges. With new technologies, with new business models, with convergence of technologies and services, we anticipate the challenges will not stop for the newly liberalised market like Myanmar. However, we are also confident that together working with ITU, its member states and other development partners, we will be able to overcome the challenges.
I am pleased to inform that ITU has been always with us, under the leadership of Dr. Hamadoun Toure and current elected officials. I believe we can count on ITU under the new leadership, for its continued support. Therefore, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, I would like to express our most sincere appreciation to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for its continue support for the ICT development for Myanmar. We cherish your companionship and your guidance. I give you my word that Myanmar is decided to work more closely and actively with ITU and its member states through global and regional fora.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, before I conclude, I wish you Mr. Chairman, the Secretary General of the ITU and the Secretariat, the esteemed national delegations from the ITU Member States, and indeed the Government and the people of Korea, all the best and wish a most successful outcome to our Conference.
I thank you all for your kind attention.