Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

GE pledges $7-m project in Myanmar

Posted in Business, Finance, Investment, Myanmar, Yangon by Sherpa Hossainy on July 10, 2013

Published in Myanmar Business Today (Vol 1, Issue 19) on June 13, 2013

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US-based technology giant GE last week announced a $7-million programme in Myanmar that will support training and capacity-building efforts throughout the country.

The new commitment, announced on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, will focus on strengthening the health care system, improving the energy architecture and promoting the development of Myanmar’s human capacity.

John Rice, GE Vice Chairman and President and CEO of Global Growth Operations, said, “While Myanmar has made enormous strides to integrate into the global community and promote economic development, there are key areas where GE and others can partner to build capacity and support Myanmar’s future growth.”

The initiatives will include healthcare programming, power and water programming and corporate programming.

Under the healthcare programme, GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GE, announced it will expand its “Developing Health Globally” (DHG) programme to include Myanmar. This represents an initial $3 million commitment and as the programme evolves, the investment could get doubled, GE said.

The initial work will focus on decreasing the rate of maternal and new-born infection at government operated, district-level hospitals and clinics, as well as strengthening other aspects of maternal care. The GE Foundation will partner with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University for this project.

Also, under a rural healthcare pilot project, in partnership with the MoH, GE will supply training, technology and equipment to help reduce maternal and infant mortality rates. The programme is scheduled to launch in August. The biomedical engineer training programme will see GE providing training for 40 MoH participants on the usage of medical devices and on the delivery of healthcare.

GE’s power and water programming includes plans for developing a master electricity plan for Myanmar, which will evaluate how to best address its needs with the resources available. The plan will identify what types of power solutions will be most effective and where facilities should be located to maximise efficiency and system stability, GE said.

The GE corporate programming will launch a leadership training programme for public and private sector leaders in Myanmar. Under this programme, 50 individuals will be selected for an intensive two-week programme in the US focusing on the development of leadership skills in business, government and civil society. An additional 50 local leaders will be given the opportunity to participate in a GE-sponsored ASEAN regional leadership training programme at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

The GE Foundation will also support the provision of legal services by international lawyers (the Senior International Lawyers Programme) to the Myanmar Resource Development Institute (MRDI) and other legal institutions in Myanmar. It will also sponsor the participation of Myanmar government officials in international training on public procurement best practices, and establish the Myanmar chapter of Transparency International.

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