The MDRI was formally proposed to President U Thein Sein by Dr. Maung Myint (presidential advisor on economic affairs) in his paper entitled "Reducing Poverty in Myanmar: the Way Forward" at a workshop held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar from 20 to 21 May 2011.
In his introductory paragraph 6, Dr. Maung Myint writes:
"Finally, there is the question of what mechanisms should be set up to take care of the four tasks outlined above. At present, a small Unit composed of a team of economists attached to the President's office, in close consultation with the relevant authorities of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, will undertake these tasks. However, for a more comprehensive and effective response to the poverty issue, as well as to undertake economic reforms to get Myanmar back onto the mainstream of regional development, it is proposed that an independent, non-political, and legal institute of excellence - we can call it the Myanmar Development Resource Institute (MDRI) - be established. Like in other countries in the Asia and the Pacific region, MDRI will have a Board of Directors and a Management and Executive Team headed by the Executive Director. We envisage MDRI to undertake policy research and to help plan and implement programmes and projects that will spearhead the economic and social reform process in Myanmar aimed at broad-based economic development, fueled primarily by the private sector, with the state playing a facilitating and support role, that makes efficient and sustainable use of the country's resources to substantially improve the standard of living nad quality of life of all the people in the country."
On page 22 of his paper Dr. Maung Myint also welcomed the participation of "talented and experienced Myanmar compatriots living abroad".
This was what he wrote:
" The authorities at MDRI may call upon anyone, both within the country and outside, which they feel has the expertise and is appropriate to assist their work. Those within the country may be prominent professionals, business people, academics, administrators, members of political parties, nationalities as well as common people that have views to express for the success of MDRI in acheiving its objectives."
"As for those from outside, MDRI looks to active involvement and assistance of many talented and experienced Myanmar compatriots living abroad. There are dedicated young people of Myanmar in foreign lands who have acquired skills and knowledge in numerous fields whose contributions will be specially welcomed. Further, reliance will be placed on Myanmar compatriots abroad to bring to the attention of the international community, and particularly to the major players on the world stage - the nature, aims, functions and work of the MDRI - to enhance international understanding and support for this initiative for Myanmar. This is because the tasks and duties envisaged for MDRI will be greatly facilitated by having access to the vast store of knowledge, expertise and resources available in neighbouring countries, in the rest of the world, and in the United Nations and other international organizations."
Now that President U Thein Sein himself has welcomed all exiles to come back home and work for national development, the path is clear for the country to go forward in the important areas of social and economic reform.