Myanmar to spend US$34m to host Asean Summit

By Asia News Network | Source: Eleven Media Group
The President’s Office has allocated a budget of 33.4 billion kyats (US$34 million) to host the Asean Summit, a senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

Aung Htoo, deputy director-general of Asean Affairs department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said he was not sure whether the allocated budget will be enough to cover the expenses as Myanmar will be hosting more than 100 meetings next year.

“We have received 33.4 billion kyats as a budget for the Asean Summit. This amount may not be enough but it can also be a surplus,” said Aung Htoo.

An economist, who requested not to be named, said the allocated budget does little in term of benefiting the local economy.

“You can’t say it’s not beneficial. Tourists from the Asean region have been visiting Myanmar. Also, there are benefits that allow Myanmar to reach the Asean market,” said Aung Htoo in response to the criticisms.

While Myanmar was ruled by the military regime, it did not have much connections with the outside world. But the international community is now interested in Myanmar after it was allowed to take the role of Asean Chairmanship so the duty of the Asean Chairmanship is the duty of the Myanmar people, according to Moe Thuzar, researcher from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organisation which is currently comprised of 10-member countries. It is preparing to implement Asean Economic Community in 2015.