04 MAY 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times- Economists said the government's COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) should focus more on essential sectors such as agriculture and livestock, which affects longer term food security.
The CERP was announced on April 27 to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
"Myanmar is an agricultural country so we should support these sectors to be prepared for a recovery in foreign demand," said garment business owner U Tun Tun.
As the agriculture and livestock breeding businesses are ready to operate and also have a secure workforce, these sectors should be prioritised when allocating funds under the CERP, others suggested.
"Currently, the most viable sector in Myanmar is agriculture and livestock sector. The sector is important because it is essential for the masses. Although this sector is just 30 percent of the country's GDP, it employs 70pc of the population. So, if we prioritise this sector, we can continue to support the country's economy," said U Nay Lin Zin, secretary of the Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone.
The government said it will receive foreign assistance in implementing the CERP, according to U Set Aung, Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Industry.
On his Facebook account, U Set Aung wrote that Myanmar has received confirmation from its international development partners to support the CERP.
He said the government drafted the CERP based on the fiscal headroom available to it and additional development assistance from its foreign partners.
So far, the World Bank has already accelerated the approval of US$50 million worth of financing to Myanmar's CERP.