Myanmar Fellowship Day 2

In the morning of Day 2 of the ASEAN CSR Fellowship in Myanmar, Fellows had a conversation with Myanmar ‘Returnees” to learn how the new wave of returning Myanmar businessmen are becoming Myanmar’s pioneers of responsible business.

 first sess

Mr Martin Pun, CSR Head of YOMA Strategic Holdings Group (photo middle), his son, Mr. Calvin Pun, a social entrepreneur (photo: left), and Mr Zaw Htoo Aung, Market Development and Government Affairs & Policy Leader, GE Myanmar (photo: right) shared their personal insights on the following questions: Why did you decide to return to Myanmar after spending years abroad? Are you seeing a wave of other overseas-born/bred Myanmar returning after the country opened its borders? What are their typical business interests? Do these businessmen place an emphasis on responsible business practices?

Daw Pansy

The second session featured Daw Pansy Htun Thein, National Advisor to the Gender Equality Network (GEN), who shared with the Fellows on the status and challenges of gender equality. While the country has indeed taken many steps to address the issue, more had to be done to ensure enforcement. She shared that women are still under-represented in the workforce and that the majority were unskilled and given unequal pay for equal work.


In the afternoon, the Fellows visited the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB) to learn about the key business and human rights issues in Myanmar, with a deep dive in the energy and extractive industries. Highlighted issues included land rights (land acquisition for agribusiness, extractive industries), and labour rights (long working hours, low wages, health and safety issues).

U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, Chairman of SMART Group of Companies, also spoke about the oil and gas industries in Myanmar and its risks to corruption and irresponsible business practices. 


For the final session of the day, the Fellows visited Turquoise Mountain’s workshop, a social enterprise working hard to be Myanmar’s first retailor of responsible-gold, while hiring Myanmar craftsmen to ensure the continuity of Myanmar’s traditional jewellery-making industry.