EuroCham Myanmar, together with MRCCI, organised an event on Business climate in Upper Myanmar at the MRCCI conference room in Mandalay on 21st May 2019. The event was a focus on the challenges and opportunities in the upper Myanmar region. The keynote speeches and panels featured government officials, leading private sector representatives, and key experts from international organizations and local associations. The combination of an extensive variety of European private sector professionals like Agro-business, B2B trade and pharmaceutical sectors, and several European and local chambers representatives facilitated multi-perspective views involving local and international participants
The purpose of the event was to picture the current business climate in upper Myanmar, focusing especially on Mandalay. While the European businesses alongside European chambers of commerce could give some insights on doing business in Mandalay, the regional government and MRCCI gave an update on the current and future plans for the regions.
During the discussions, there was a clear consensus on acknowledging Mandalay already being an effective platform to do business; Many participants recognised that a lot of progress has been achieved over the last few years, and that the regional government was showing willingness to collaborate and go further. All keynote speeches highlighted the region was making strong efforts to provide a stable, peaceful and business-friendly environment. During the 2nd panel, panelists highlighted the fact that they are facing bottlenecks on a daily basis, on practical elements like licensing and non-transparent legal frameworks. All panelists agree that land issue is still a major challenge not only in Mandalay but in the whole country. Panelists also discussed over the importance of the role of government in controlling illicit trade, developing consumer protection regulations and enforcing them. As a conclusion, the significance of the coordination between the government and the private sector to pursue Mandalay achievements has been highly outlined.
The panelists were all very positive on what they could have experienced so far in upper Myanmar, mentioning a good organisation, clear procedures, good supplies of utilities where electricity is more reliable than in Yangon and good support from the regional government. They also mentioned the Mandalay area has accomplished a huge transition especially in digitalisation, telecommunications and new technologies. “In the business confidence survey which is sent each year by EuroCham to all its members, Mandalay ranks as the number one priority for European companies to extend their current footprint” mentioned Frederik Meerhoff, Vice-Chair, EuroCham Myanmar.