11 June 2013, Dhaka. BRAC’s founder and chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed visited Myanmar to attend the World Economic Forum held from 5th- 7th June, 2013. The forum’s sessions were structured to identify the lessons of leadership and innovation which are emerging from East Asia, as the world looks to the region for resilient growth and new models of regional integration.
On 5th June, Sir Fazle initiated the session Aligning Actors for Inclusive Growth and Development.The session promoted common goals and activities already underway, and identified opportunities for coordination and collaboration to create further positive developments in the country. This session was held in the presence ofspecial guests, Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD), and Shwe Mann, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Myanmar. Also in attendance were heads of global organisations working actively in Myanmar, as well as representatives from local businesses, civil societies, government and other stakeholders. Aung San Suu Kyi thanked him for sharing the Bangladesh experience and stressed the need for skills development and education for the people of Myanmar.
On 7th June, Sir Fazle, sharing the panel with Tony Blair, the Middle East Quartet Representative, addressed the interactive session titled Chasing the Next Big Idea, which focused on the dimensions of investing in smart infrastructure for the future, moving beyond low-cost manufacturing and further up the value chain. Sir Fazle stressed the need of focusing on scaling good ideas rather than generate more new ideas. Tony Blair also stressed the need to focus more on enabling innovation and execution of the ideas.
In an op-ed for the Myanmar Times, Sir Fazle wrote, “The country has the opportunity to forge its own balance of partnerships and by opening up to NGOs and industries it can experience more innovations which can happen to scale”.
During the numerous sessions at the World Economic Forum, Sir Fazle offered suggestions which can be achieved by three sectors collaborating together: the government, by setting the right policies so inclusiveness is maintained; the private sector, which can create jobs and opportunities; and the social sector, which can provide the services which are not provided by the other sectors.