VP U Myint Swe addresses 3rd Myanmar-EU Economic Forum

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Vice President U Myint Swe addresses the 3rd edition of the Myanmar-EU Economic Forum in Nay Pyi Taw. 
Photo: MNA

The Third Myanmar-EU Economic Forum was held at Kempinski Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
In his speech, the Vice President said holding this economic forum for the third time was a firm indication of Myanmar and EU’s strengthened cooperation. He thanked the EuroCham and UMFCCI for organizing the forum and said it would provide the best opportunities for EU investors to enter the country.
The Vice President said Myanmar was located in a strategic geographic location between China and India and had the potential to be a bridge between Southeast Asia and South Asia.
He said foreign investments had mainly flowed into oil and natural gas, electric power, media and communications, industrial production and real estate. He said these sectors had potential for market expansion but also highlighted there were many other sectors that could benefit both investors and the local people of a region.
The Vice President said the Union Government had set a 12 point economic policy in 2016 to aid multisector development and the establishment of an economic framework that would support national reconciliation. He said the Union Governmnent has formulated the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) that will lead to a sustainable future towards 2030 and lay the foundation for a democratic federal republic.
The Vice President said Myanmar had enacted The Competition Law in 2015, The New Myanmar Investment Law in 2016, and The New Myanmar Company Act in 2017. He said this had allowed companies to register online and enabled more transparency, lessening of restrictions and guarantees for investors. He added that this also allowed foreign investors to own up to 35 per cent of shares in a domestic company, and put in 100 per cent of investments into a foreign owned wholesale and retail company.
The Vice President said the Ministry of Planning and Finance allowed five foreign companies to open up business in the insurance sector on 5 April 2019. He said this would increase insurance and protection to foreign investors coming into Myanmar.
He said these noticeable changes aim to boost Myanmar’s economic development in 2019 to 2020. He said the country’s GDP was 6.2 per cent in 2018 and is projected to rise to 6.6 per cent in 2019 and 6.8 per cent in 2020, according to Asian Development Bank.
Furthermore, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Myanmar reached US$80,150.472 million as of April 2019, said the Vice President. He said investments from 49 countries were flowing into 12 sectors in Myanmar, with the majority being made in oil and natural gas (27.97%), power generation (26.42%) and industrial production (13.56%).
The Vice President said trade between Myanmar and EU amounted to US%1.27 billion in 2016-2017 FY and increased by over US$800 million to US$2.07 billion in 2017-2018 FY, and was estimated to rise even more for 2018-2019 FY. He said there were 158 European countries approved for investment in Myanmar, as of April 2019, and their total investment amount had reached US$6.87 billion, accounting for 8.6 per cent of all FDI into the country.
The Vice President said the Myanmar-EU Trade Helpdesk was established in May 2016 to promote bilateral trade and investment between Myanmar and the EU. He concluded by wishing for the increased and continued cooperation between both sides.
Next, the EU Ambassador delivered a speech and attendees took a documentary photo together.
In the second part of the forum, Mr. Philipp Dupuis, EU’s Minister Counsellor to Myanmar, and UMFCCI Vice President Dr. Myo Thet delivered separate remarks.
Afterwards, attendees discussed the challenges, difficulties, benefits, progress and other matters related to Myanmar and EU’s cooperation and investments in the country.
The opening ceremony was attended by the follow persons:
Deputy Speaker U Aye Thar Aung, Union Ministers U Thant Sin Maung, Dr. Than Myint, U Soe Win, U Han Zaw and U Ohn Maung, Union Auditor-General U Maw Than, Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman U Aung Kyi, Deputy Ministers U Aung Hla Tun and Dr. Tun Naing, parliamentary representatives from the Pyithu and Amyotha Hluttaws, EU Ambassador Mr. Kristian Schmidt, foreign diplomats, departmental heads, UMFCCI Vice President, representatives from the European Chambers of Commerce (EuroCham), economists, businesspeople and other invited guests.—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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