Minister Schultz on water mission to Burma

Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure & the Environment) will make a working visit to Burma from 27 to 31 May. At the request of that country, she will be speaking with various cabinet members about how the Netherlands can contribute to flood defences and improving water management in Burma. In addition, the Netherlands would like to give a political sign of support for the recent democratic reforms in the country.

Large delta

“Significant political and economic reforms are underway in Burma. Life after a military regime is, at the beginning, trial and error. In such a phase it is particularly important that the country has support, ” according to Minister Schultz. Burma is the last large delta to open up for the foreign market. “There are unique opportunities here for the Dutch water and construction sectors. Investments in this country will be of benefit to the prosperity of the local population.”

Business mission

Minister Schultz is the first Dutch minister to make a bilateral visit to Burma since the military regime. She is leading a business mission which includes Arcadis, RoyalHaskoningDHV, Deltares, Van Oord, Shell, Philips and the TU Delft. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis caused 140,000 deaths in Burma. The Netherlands has the in-house knowledge and know-how needed to provide the country with better protection against water. We can also assist with the water supply for agriculture, the fresh-water supply, transport by water, hydroelectric and ecology. Minister Schultz: “Now that there is more openness and EU sanctions have been lifted, there is a lot to do in every area of integrated water management. This creates opportunities for the Dutch business community.”

Programme

Minister Schultz will be visiting the city of Naypyidaw, the current home of the government, on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 May. She will be in Yangoon on Thursday 30 May. In Naypyidaw, she will speak at the seminar “Towards Safe and Sustainable Water Management in Myanmar”. She will also have working meetings with the ministers of Agriculture & Irrigation, Transport, and Energy, and with Minister Soe Thein of the Presidential Office. On Thursday, Minister Schultz will make a field trip along the Yangoon waterfront and she will attend a reception at which the Dutch and Burmese business communities will meet one another.