Board View
SUBJECT [July 11] European Council President Donald Tusk visits Azerbaijan and Armenia; Indian businesses in Myanmar to seek investment opportunities; Thai Prime Minister names new Cabinet; Kuwait’s Parliament Speaker receives Commerce Minister
DATE 2019-07-11


PHOTO: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA/EFE. European Council President Donald Tusk


On July 9, 2019, European Council President Donald Tusk met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.


Tusk said the European Union believes the only way to resolve the decades-old dispute between Baku and Yerevan on Nagorno-Karabakh is through “a political settlement in accordance with international principles.”


“The EU supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity,” Tusk said. “Referring to stability in the region, we also discussed the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There is no military solution.”


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared that his talks with Tusk have resulted in a “new level” of partnership. “I am confident that we will continue developing our partnership positively in the coming years,” Aliyev said. “It is in the interests of Azerbaijan.”


Donald Tusk also visited Armenia on July 10, 2019. He met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and they discussed a wide range of issues on relations between Armenia and the EU. During his visit in Armenia, Donald Tusk also emphasized a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying “the conflict does not have a military solution and needs a political settlement in accordance with international law and principles.”


Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reaffirmed the policies aimed at ensuring the rule of law and strengthening democracy, as well as Armenia’s fight against corruption. The Prime Minister also thanked the EU for its balanced position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and unconditional support for the efforts of the Co-Chairs, and expressed confidence in EU’s determination to resolve this issue.


Nagorno-Karabakh, a region populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Since 1994, the region has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces. Internationally mediated negotiations involving the OSCE’s Minsk Group helped forged a ceasefire in the region.


On July 9, 2019, OSCE PA delegates adopted a final declaration in Luxembourg acknowledging the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship aimed at achieving a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and welcoming the recent constructive dialogue between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan aimed at establishing an environment conducive to peace and undertaking measures in the humanitarian field.


The declaration encouraged “the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to intensify their dialogue in the context of the mediation led by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship and to take specific and tangible measures to reach a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, including in particular refraining from the use or threat of force, and respect for territorial integrity and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”







PHOTO: Khine Kyaw. Shri Chandra Mohan Patowary, minister for commerce and industry in Myanmar


A 20-member business delegation from the northeastern Indian state of Assam recently visited Yangon for two days to explore investment opportunities and cooperation with major organisations and businesses in Myanmar. 


Chandra Mohan Patowary, Assam’s minister of commerce and industry and head of the mission, said the visit aims to brief decision-makers in Myanmar on the growth potential of Assam and the larger northeastern region of India as well as their proximity to Myanmar.


“Connectivity is our main target. Once connectivity is strengthened, business will automatically take off,” he said.


“In this regard, we are looking at improving air travel connectivity as well as transportation and roads to connect the [India’s] Northeast with Myanmar, as we see good opportunities for both sides.”


Patowary said the Assam government would facilitate cooperation between Indian and Myanmar businesses.


“Many big names are here and there are many more to follow,” he said, referring to two Indian companies -- Oil and Gas Corporation Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd -- that are already engaged in oil and gas exploration and production in Myanmar.


The India-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce is also organising a business mission to India next month, including top officials from Indian and Myanmar corporations. It will also meet with the governments of Rakhine and Mandalay states to explore further opportunities for cooperation in Northeast India.


Patowary said that oil and gas, health, education, tourism and manufacturing are among the most promising sectors for bilateral ventures.


“By aggressively addressing challenges in these sectors, Myanmar’s economy will grow fast. We must work together to make it happen,” he said.


“We are exploring opportunities in many Southeast Asian countries, and Myanmar is really important to us. We also want Myanmar businesses to explore opportunities in the Indian market, particularly in the Northeast. Under our Act East Policy, we have opened our trade routes so we can connect through railways, waterways and airways.”


At the event, India’s Ambassador to Myanmar Saurabh Kumar stressed the importance of connectivity in all dimensions: physical, transport and air with Southeast Asia and South Asia.


“We need more people-to-people and cultural contacts, so we build relationship between Southeast Asian countries and India. This trip reflects the initiatives that we are taking to implement the Act East policy,” he said.


India is currently the 11th largest investor in Myanmar and the country’s fifth largest trading partner.






PHOTO: AP. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha


Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday officially named his new Cabinet, a mix of members of the military government he headed after leading a 2014 coup and key politicians who helped him assemble a majority in the House of Representatives after March elections.


Prayuth will be both prime minister and defense minister in the 36-member Cabinet according to the announcement in the Royal Gazette.


Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanawisit will be both deputy prime minister and commerce minister, while Bhumjai Thai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul will be deputy prime minister and health minister. Anutin campaigned for legalization of the production of marijuana to aid farmers.


The three other deputy prime ministers, General Prawit Wongsuwon, Somkid Jatusripitak and Wissanu Krea-ngam, held the same job in Prayuth’s military government. Another former senior officer, Anupong Paojinda, retains the post of interior minister.


On June 6th, the combined chambers of Parliament elected Prayuth prime minister by a vote of 500 to 244 for his opponent, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit of Future Forward Party.


The announcement of the new Cabinet came a day after Prayuth revoked 66 of more than 500 special executive orders he had issued and vowed to stop issuing more as he prepared to lead an elected civilian government.


Prayuth said Tuesday he would no longer use his special legislative power, known as Article 44, which will cease together with the junta once the new Cabinet is inaugurated.






PHOTO: Kuwait News Agency. Kuwait’s Capital Market Authority with Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim, National Assembly Speaker


National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim received Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Services Affairs Khaled Al-Rodhan on Wednesday, July 10th.

Al-Rodhan was accompanied by members of the Capital Market Authority's (CMA) board of commissioners, Boursa Kuwait and Kuwait Clearing Company.

During the meeting, Al-Rodhan and his accompanying delegation presented to Speaker Al-Ghanim thorough details on years of efforts that resulted in promoting Boursa Kuwait to the level of an emerging market by the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).

Al-Ghanim, on his part, hailed the effort of the state bodies to achieve the upgrade which will develop Kuwait's economy, adding that it would was a step forward towards turning the country into an economic and financial center.

The meeting was also attended by MPs and senior officials in CMA, Boursa Kuwait and Kuwait Clearing Company.


By MSEAP Cyber Secretariat (