The 1st JAIF Caravan, jointly organised by Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) Management Team (JMT) of ASEAN Secretariat, was held on 27 - 28 August 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
This two-day workshop served as a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise, particularly on developing project proposals and effectively implementing JAIF-supported projects. Officiating the workshop, Deputy Foreign Minister, Republic of the Union of Myanmar U Tin Oo Lwin expressed appreciation for Japan's strong support for ASEAN efforts in narrowing development gaps through capacity-building under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).
His speech was followed by that of the Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN Mr. Koichi Aiboshi who articulated that more active formulation of JAIF projects by Myanmar proponents would contribute to narrowing the development gap within the region and thus to the ASEAN community-building process.
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community Dr. Lim Hong Hin highlighted the opportunities arising from the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community and how Myanmar has benefited from the technical assistance and capacity building rendered by external parties including JAIF. He emphasised that the ASEAN Secretariat would continue to work with JMT on how to further support CLMV countries as ASEAN broadens and deepens its regional integration process through the post 2015 agenda.
The workshop was attended by 55 participants, including 39 government officials from 23 Ministries of Myanmar, and focused on seven success cases of JAIF-supported projects presented by the representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Information, Ministry of Culture; Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry; and Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.
Participants were equipped with better understanding of the complete cycle—including the development of project proposals, implementation, completion and monitoring procedures, for JAIF-supported projects. A representative from Lao PDR, host-elect of the 2nd JAIF Caravan and assuming the ASEAN Chair in 2016, especially appreciated the opportunity to learn how JAIF support has contributed to Myanmar's successful assumption of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014.
In the closing remarks, Permanent Secretary of Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs U Aung Lynn praised the lively interactions among participants throughout the two-day workshop and encouraged them to utilise all valuable insights, concrete comments and suggestions for developing project proposals towards effective implementation and completion of future JAIF-supported projects.