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Lord Puttnam visited Burma to identify business opportunities for British companies and take part in high-level discussions on public policy and culture.
UK Trade Envoy and independent film producer Lord Puttnam visited Burma this week to identify business opportunities for British companies and take part in high-level discussions on public policy and culture.
Lord Puttnam said:
I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to Burma. It is a country with many well preserved traditions and fascinating cultures, while simultaneously undergoing exciting economic and political changes. As new opportunities emerge, I am thrilled to be part of connecting UK business with local counterparts across a range of sectors.
In a career spanning 30 years, Lord Puttnam produced critically acclaimed films such as Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D’Or at Cannes. From 1994 to 2004, Lord Puttnam served as Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006. He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries.
As part of the two-day visit to Rangoon and Nay Pyi Taw, Lord Puttnam met with Burma’s Minister of Culture, U Aye Myint Kyu, to discuss ways the United Kingdom can support the preservation and development of culture in Burma. He also met with the Minister of Electric Power, U Khin Maung Soe, to identify business opportunities for British companies and reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to responsible investment.
Lord Puttnam also met with members of Rangoon’s British business community, including the board and members of the recently established British Chamber of Commerce.
HE Andrew Patrick, British Ambassador to Burma, said:
It was great to have such a distinguished British figure in Burma, our first senior trade visitor since the establishment of the British Chamber of Commerce. He was able to meet a wide range of British and Burmese businesses, and the visit will help us boost trade ties, and uncover opportunities for investment.
On 9 October, Lord Puttnam spoke at a panel titled, “Putting culture at the heart of public policy,” which was hosted by the British Council and UK Trade and Investment at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
During his address, Lord Puttnam described culture as a powerful force in uniting nations and peoples. Other panellists included U Kyaw Oo, Rector of the National University of Arts & Culture, Grace Swe Zin Htaik of Myanmar Motion Picture Organisation and Nay Lin Soe from Myanmar Independent Living Initiative. The discussion elaborated on a number of ideas contained in a recently published report by the British Council called “Culture Matters” – such as recognising the social and aesthetic value of culture and the potential benefits it can bring to Burma’s developing economy.
Lord Puttnam also paid a visit to Yangon Film School on 10 October and observed a sound design class, with students taking part in an informal question and answer session.
During a visit to the Myanmar Motion Picture Organisation on 9 October, Lord Puttnam was met by the celebrated Burmese actress Grace Swe Zin Htaik, who serves as the organisation’s international relations committee, and toured the Myanmar Motion Picture Museum.
Notes to editors:
Lord Puttnam is the UK Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma.
Lord Puttnam was awarded a CBE in 1982, a knighthood in 1995 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997. He has been the recipient of more than 40 honorary degrees from Universities in the UK and overseas.
For further information about Lord Puttnam, please visit davidputtnam.com
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe‟s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.gov.uk/ukti or visit the online newsroom for media enquiries
The British Council is the UK‟s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities and operates in more than 100 countries. It is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter, with a publicly-funded grant-in-aid providing a quarter of the British Council‟s turnover, with the remainder earned from English teaching and UK exams and services. For more information, visit www.britishcouncil.org or http://blog.britishcouncil.org
The full text and an executive summary of British Council’s report, Culture Matters, may be found here: http://www.britishcouncil.org/organisation/publications/culture-matters