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European Chamber of Commerce launched in Myanmar

The European Union (EU) officially launched the European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar – Eu- roChamber Myanmar on 12th December of 2014. The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) HE Roland Kobia hosted the launch event together with senior repre- sentatives from both institutional and pri- vate sector. Attendees included President’s Economic Advisor Prof. Aung Tun Thet, the

Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Myan- mar U Set Aung and Dr. Maung Maung Lay, the Vice President of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and professionals from many European and Myanmar companies.

The French Myanmar Chamber of Com- merce and Industry (FMCCI) took a lead to the set up the EuroChamber along with the European umbrella organization of Chambers of Commerce and Chambers from Bel- gium, France, Hungary and Italy – as well as cooperation of the major European business representatives and Myanmar’s UMFCCI. It is being started off with 2.7 million Euros of EU’s support. According to a source, the or- ganizational structure of the EuroChamber will be finalized in a few weeks.

Ambassador Kobia pointed out the im- portance of a good business relationship between EU and Myanmar and the aim of founding the EuroChamber is to “reinforce links between Myanmar businesses and their European counterparts”.

The president Julien Esch of FMCCI de- scribed the launch of EuroChamber in Myanmar as a much reasonable opportu- nity as both parties will benefit from com- plementarities of creating more jobs and increasing exports.

A debate on the theme of a “Doing Business in Myanmar from an EU Perspective” was a part of the event and a number of executives from Schneider Electric, Luther Myanmar and other European business organizations participated in the discussion.

Since the removal of sanctions in April 2013, trade and investment between EU and Myanmar has been relatively increased. According to EU’s data, during the first sev- en month (Jan – July) of 2014 fiscal year, bilateral trade in goods with Myanmar reached €520 million which is equivalent to 91% of the total trade in 2013.

Myanmar’s exports to EU in the first sev- en months of 2014 reached an impressive amount of €215 million while the figure of EU exporting to the country increased by 45% in 2013 reaching €346 million. EU’s major exports to Myanmar include powered aircrafts, pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery and equipment.