The Myanmar-EU Economic Forum in Nay Pyi Taw on June 5 2019 was the third edition of EuroCham Myanmar’s annual signature event on advocacy. The forum hosted by EuroCham Myanmar provided a platform for more than 500 business leaders and policy makers from the Union of Myanmar and Europe to interact and debate key business and trade issues. Among the government representatives, the forum welcomed six unions ministers, The deputy speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw, Union Minister of Transport and Commerce, Union Minister of Commerce, Union Minister of Planning and Finance, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Union Auditor General, Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, Deputy Minister of Information, Deputy minister of Electricity and Energy, Members of Joint bill committee and senior officials.
H.E. U Myint Swe, Vice-President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar gave his keynote address, followed by H.E. Kristian Schmidt, European Union Ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Philipp Dupuis, Minister Counsellor, Head of the economic and Trade section, Delegation of the European Union and Dr Myo Thet, Vice President of the Union of Myanmar Federation Chamber of Commerce (UMFCCI).
EuroCham Chairman David Levrat officially opened the forum by delivering the opening speech, followed by a gong ring with Dr Myo Thet, Vice President of UMFCCI. The panel sessions included leading private sector representatives, high-level government officials and key experts from international organisations and academics. The Forum provided an overview of the “Economic Development of Myanmar and current business initiatives” and additionally on “Trade Affairs and European Investment”. The Myanmar-EU Economic Forum also provided the EuroCham Advocacy Groups with the chance to publicly acknowledge the tremendous improvements in business regulations by the government, while pointing out remaining challenges and offering the support of European companies in tackling them.
Key issues in the following sectors have been discussed: Energy, Construction, Healthcare, Logistics, Digital Innovation, Anti-Illicit Trade, Legal and Tax, Agrobusiness, Garment, Automotive and Wine & Spirits. Additionally, two presentations in the framework of the newly launched EuroCham Myanmar Initiative were given. Mr Nicolas Delange, Vice Chair of EuroCham Myanmar, addressed the Air pollution theme, to echo the World Environment day topic. The 2nd presentation was focusing on Respectful and Inclusive workplaces presented by Ms Vicky Bowman, Director of Myanmar Center for Responsible Business. Through this event, European companies acknowledged they would like to see a continued government effort in working constructively on an investment friendly business climate to attract foreign investment, create jobs in Myanmar and assure sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
His Excellency U Myint Swe spoke of a vision of peace and national reconciliation and the sustainable development of Myanmar, noting the desire to work with partners who share this vision through mutually beneficial investment. Particular mention was given to the garment sector which has undergone considerable growth as a result of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) introduced by the EU.
“Our constituencies demand that companies operating in the EU know about human rights and labour conditions all along the chain of supply and that they are transparent enough, and the ultimate demand that EU policies promote corporate social responsibility across the production chain.” said Philipp Dupuis, Minister Counsellor, Head of the Economic and Trade section, Delegation of the European Union in his speech.