Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin travelled to Myanmar on April 28-30, 2013 to speak at the 9th Sugar World Asia Conference held at the Park Royal Hotel in Yangon. Her topic was “Ethanol Developments in the Philippines.”
The conference, organized by the Centre for Management Technology (CMT) highlighted the developments of the sugar industry in Myanmar. It is interesting to note that even if they are producing smaller as compared to the Philippines, Myanmar exports 100,000 metric tons to Europe because of its preferential quota and low per capita income of sugar at six kilos per annum. However, it is projected that as the economy of the country betters, consumption will increase. This means that to maintain its export market, more sugar must be produced and this gets a big push from the Myanmar government at present.
Thailand and Indonesia also made meaningful presentations on their sugar situation and developments which provided the RP delegation some helpful insights in crafting future policies for both its sugar and ethanol industries. With the demand increasing in Asia and the global production capacity not able to cope in the long term, the market will seemingly recover sooner than expected, which is a good scenario for the Philippines as long as it produces sugar at competitive production costs.
Interestingly, after the Philippines made its presentations (one on sugar by Administrator Martin and another on ethanol by Mr. Jose Rojo Alisla, Executive Assistant V), a Myanmar official expressed interest in learning more on how the country manages its sugar and ethanol programs.
Since most of Myanmar’s industries are controlled by the government (sugar included), it can still enter a future partnership with the Philippines by way of technical, managerial and consultancy work that the latter can offer.