Mawlamyine, April (6)

Overseas workers and labor activists have stated that they do not believe the military council’s announcement that it will assist migrant workers returning to Myanmar from abroad in establishing their own businesses in the country.

On April 2, the military council embassy in Bangkok issued a notice informing migrant workers who will return home.

The statement said that Myanmar migrant workers who will return home after working in various foreign countries for a specified period of time are those who have business experience, business partners, and savings.

As the military council has formed committees, agencies, and groups to promote Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and supported those who want to set up businesses, those who have savings  are encouraged to join such MSME agencies in relevant states and regions, said the statement.

Those who are interested will have the opportunity to get financial support, business registration, and consulting services from the MSME agencies in the respective states and regions and become entrepreneurs from migrant workers, said the propaganda statement.

A labor activist criticized the military council for encouraging migrant workers to join their MSME businesses, but currently even workers sent to Thailand under the MOU system are being fired, and pushing workers to set up businesses without guaranteeing their savings is just negative propaganda.

Since the majority of the migrant workers who work abroad are not white-collar workers, their earnings are not as high as they think, and if they invest the money they have saved for years in businesses that are not guaranteed by the military council, it may turn out to be a waste of money, according to the labor activists.

A migrant worker said, “We would like to say that we have no confidence in the military council’s announcement on small and large enterprises. So we will not invest in their MSMEs either. I have no plans to go back there”.

The military council, which boasts of assisting the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), is currently unable to even provide electricity on a regular basis, and most businesses are expected to cease operations.

Following the military coup in Myanmar, foreign investments left the country, and due to a lack of local jobs, hundreds of migrant workers travel to neighboring countries every day to earn a living.

As there has been a scarcity of local jobs in the two years since the military coup, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have gone to work in foreign countries, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Korea, according to labor organizations.

News-Than Lwin Times

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