Who is she?
Dr. Thet Thet Khine is a National League for Democracy (NLD) parliamentarian-in-waiting from Dagon township in Yangon. She is one of the most successful businesswomen in Myanmar and owns a number of gold, jewelry, and gem production companies. She also serves as joint secretary general of the influential Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and vice president of the Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs Association. She was trained as a medical doctor at the Institute of Medicine in Yangon, has received two MBAs from Yangon University and Nanyang Business School, and is currently a PhD candidate for Public Management and Leadership at Walden University.
Why is she in the news?
Thet Thet Khine recently won a seat representing Dagon in the Lower House of parliament against military heavyweight Nanda Kyaw Swar, current deputy speaker of the House from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party. She will be one of only 67 female lawmakers in the 664-person legislature, and one of the few businesspeople in the NLD.
What can we expect from her?
Her extensive background in the private sector and her position at the UMFCCI will allow her to contribute significantly to NLD policies from a business perspective. She has expressed interest in working on the economic policies of the new NLD government, targeting financial liberalization, improvement in the regulatory environment, trade facilitation, and financing exports and imports as ways to encourage growth. Her goals line up with the NLD’s economic plan released in August that aims to liberalize the financial system, boost agricultural productivity and keep the budget deficit under 5 percent of gross domestic product.
The private sector in Myanmar largely views the NLD’s November 8 landslide victory with favor. Their hope is for an NLD government that will bring in more foreign investment from western firms eager to expand into Myanmar. Thet Thet Khine’s business background will make her an essential policymaker in the newly-minted NLD government