The SAM Business Summit 2018 was held at the Lotte hotel in Yangon yesterday, with the aim of boosting Myanmar-Singapore business. The event was organized by the Singapore Association of Myanmar.
The summit was attended by U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government and the Chairman of the Myanmar Investment Commission, Ms. Vanessa Chan, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and entrepreneurs from both countries.
“Myanmar is charting a new course to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. We have adopted the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, which can be seen as the roadmap for our transition. A number of reform measures – regulatory, institutional, and procedural – have been taken, and this has sparked more interest and foreign investment into the country,” said U Thaung Tun.
“With a fast-growing consumer market and industry sectors which require development, Myanmar is attracting large MNCs in a number of sectors including oil and gas, finance, construction, transport, logistics, telecommunications, and tourism. Myanmar’s economic potential is well-recognized, but we need to take proactive steps to secure investments,” he said.
“Not long ago, the Myanmar State Counsellor said there are many investment opportunities in Myanmar. The government is also making efforts to ensure ease of doing business. There is also a significant change in the economic sector. So, Singaporean businesses have to make responsible investments,” said Ms Vanessa Chan.
“There have been very positive regulatory elements very recently. For instance, the lifting of restrictions on foreign banks and other reforms in the area of financial and economic regulation are very hopeful and can lead to strong and positive results in future,” she said.
Lectures on “overview of real estate development in Myanmar”, “legal developments in Myanmar”, and “doing business in Myanmar” were held at the meeting. Panel discussions were also conducted on the economic outlook for Myanmar in 2019 and digitalisation in Myanmar.
Ms Suegene Ang from the Wong Partnership, who participated in the lectures, said once Myanmar carries out significant legal reforms, foreign investors, including those from Singapore, will benefit. “Myanmar has several political challenges, and so, investors are concerned about their investments. However, investments are flowing in steadily, and we hope investor confidence will recover soon,” she said.
The All-Myanmar Singapore Federation plans to hold the SAM Business Summit annually. Singapore ranks second among 49 foreign countries investing in Myanmar, with investments in power plants, hotels, and the food and beverages, and education sectors.
—May Thet Hnin
(Translated by Hay Mar)