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An expert in Myanmar on Tuesday stressed the need for the country to exert its best efforts in order to catch up with three other less-developed member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) in Economic Community building, out of three pillars of the ASEAN Community.
U Nyunt Maung Shein, chairman of the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Despite being a bigger country compared to other less-developed ASEAN member nations including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and having an abundance of human resources, Myanmar lags behind them and has to exert greater efforts to overtake them, he said.
He admitted that Myanmar's small and medium industries remain at a non-advanced stage in terms of technological knowhow due to financial difficulties related to sourcing loans from banks, which requires insurance such as land to qualify for a mortgage.
He pointed out that Myanmar's per capita annual income stands at just 1,200 U.S. dollars, the lowest figure compared to the three other less-developed ASEAN member countries.
With regard to the political-security community, he said ASEAN is not like the European Union (EU), which has identical foreign policies practiced among all member countries.