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Myanmar: Hands-on Approach, Business Talk & Networking Event

Wednesday, 04 November 2015 12:15
On 21 October 2015, Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce co-hosted 'Myanmar: Hands-on Approach, Business Talk & Networking Event' together with BeLuThai Chamber of Commerce and Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce at The Landmark Bangkok. The talks highlights of important recent developments in Myanmar, practical advices for businesses that will be operating in Myanmar, and MICE business in Myanmar.
The seminar began with Dr. William D. Greenlee Jr., a partner/managing director of DFDL Myanmar, giving us an overview of important recent developments in Myanmar, which covers the invesment framework, FIL foreign ownership restrictions and notifications, central bank directive, and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) rules of 2015. The key takeaway from his speech is that although there are some problems which may hinder foreigners from fully operating in Myanmar, particularly regarding foreign ownership as well as unorganised labour laws, there are few changes that we can expect to bring some positive outlook towards the future of doing business in the country, as he cited the opening of the Yangon Stock Exchange which is due to open at the beginning of December this year as an example. 
Next up, Mr. Luc de Waegh, founder and managing partner of West Indochina shared his 20 years of on the ground experience on how to succeed in Myanmar. His talk covers recent history of Myanmar, promising sectors, practical tips for investors and some macro challenges. Squeezed between the two super powers, India and China, Myanmar gradually organised its transition from military dictatorship to democracy with the plan to develop democracy and economy at the same time. FDI in Myanmar accounts for 15% of its GDP with about 80% going to oil and gas. If one is looking to expand their business into Myanmar, one might want to take into consideration the following promising sectors: consumer goods, telecommunications, banking/insurance, infrastructure, and tourism, a topic which the next speaker will eleborate on. Lastly, our speaker shared some practical tips from his experience doing business in Myanmar. First on the list of valuable tips was fact finding which include land titles, labour laws, surrounding global players, and most importantly local partners. Second was current risk assessment which include regulations, currency, and protection. He concluded that macro challenges by way of the upcoming election will be the tie breaker for the second wave of FDI starting mid 2016. 
Last to conclude the seminar was Mr. Bruno Leunen, director of Destination Unlimited, Destination Rally, Inspiration Myanmar and Inspirations of the World. As Mr. Luc mentioned in his talk that the tourism sector was one of the most promising sectors in Myanmar, Mr. Bruno discussed about the challenges and highlights the direction of tourism industry in Myanmar in his talk 'MICE business in Myanmar and the Vintage Car Rallies'. 
It is no secret that Myanmar is a tough country to understand and that its travel industry is no different due to lack of facilities and trained hospitality staff, but everything is changing in a positive direction as tourism is important for the country and its future. 

The seminar ended with a round of applause and all guests moved to the next room for an evening of pleasant networking. 


Photo credit: Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Read 2023 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 November 2015 12:27

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