soybean field

USSEC Holds its First Soyfoods Seminar in Myanmar

USSEC held its very first soyfood event, the Soy Seminar – Health and Market Trends, in Yangon, Myanmar on May 23.  This symposium was jointly organized with the Department of Medical Research (DMR) and was officially opened by Myanmar’s Ministry of Health Director General, Dr. Kyaw Zin Thant.  A total of 65 participants attended this inaugural half-day event on soy and human health, including many senior level officials as well as researchers from various units of the DMR and other government departments from the industry and technology divisions.  Several participants from the local food industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also attended.  The seminar provided the current knowledge base on soy to the target audience by sharing scientific updates presented by Dr. Mark Messina, Soy Nutrition Institute USA, and Dr. Koh Woon Puay, Duke-National University Singapore, as well as global and regional soy supply and market information delivered by USSEC’s Technical Director – Human Nutrition Yeong Boon Yee, Kit Man Lai of Tetra Pak, and Pauline Chan, The Nutrition Place, Singapore.  The presentations were well-received with many questions raised by the audience.
Myanmar currently produces about 250,000 metric tons (MT) of soybeans of which 70 percent are used for the production of traditional soyfoods.  The market is still underdeveloped and untapped with little commercial scale production and innovation, offering huge growth potential.  In the word of Dr. Thant, this very first seminar was an excellent ‘eye-opener’ and they look forward to learning more scientific, technical and market information on soy and soyfoods.  Through collaboration with a key local institution in organizing this joint event, USSEC was able to initiate an important network and build a base for future market access for U.S. soy to this fast growing economy of 70 million population within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).