Siemens, MMH join hands for port operations

Siemens, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation, plans to expand its business in Myanmar by providing Myanmar’s ports with technology and solutions in cooperation with a local counterpart, Myanmar Mahar Htun Co (MMH), according to Christian Beckers, head of business development at Siemens Myanmar and Cambodia.

Beckers said in an exclusive interview that the German firm saw huge potential in Myanmar, driven by rising interest of foreign investors and traders thanks to the nation’s changed political climate and improving business environment.

“We have been present in Myanmar for over two decades, but we have become more active since last year. We are now expanding in Myanmar. But we cannot do it alone. We need the help of local partners,” he said.

Beckers is optimistic about the nation’s business growth, which will lead to busier activities at existing ports as well as establishing new ones in the near future. He is confident that Myanmar’s strategic location, which is connected to key regional markets like China and India and bordering other Asian countries, including Bangladesh and Thailand, is a key to attracting international traders.

“Growing demand for quality goods plus increase in trade and investments will create new opportunities for expansion of Myanmar’s port and logistics sector. Hence, it is important for the terminals to be equipped with the ability to handle the surging amount of imports and exports expected in the coming years,” he said.

“I expect a lot more ports coming up. Every single port is not that busy at the moment, but this will change over time. And there is sufficient land area in Myanmar, when compared to Thailand or Singapore,” he added.

He said the firm aimed to enhance port optimisation to reliably handle increased traffic and trade volumes in alignment with the focus of Myanmar Port Authority to increase the capabilities of the nation’s port facilities. He believes innovative technologies can enhance productivity, energy efficiency, and flexibility while at the same time fulfil the highest international safety standards and increased competitiveness in the market.

Through the collaboration, MMH will equip ports with cranes that feature Siemens’ technology, which would enable them to upgrade their services, enhance safety features and improve productivity.

The statistics show that Myanmar is now able to handle around 20 small tankers with around a total of 220,000 deadweight tones (DWT). This number is set to further rise with the expansion of its ports. In particular, its Yangon port is expected to handle ships with maximum of 50,000DWT, even more than some ports in other Southeast Asian markets.

According to Beckers, the firm, which has been operating in Myanmar since 1993, will expand its presence in Myanmar by providing advanced technology and solutions for local businesses across all industrial sectors including manufacturing, power and port and logistics. It now has a team of 10 staff in Yangon office and will expand its workforce as business grows.

During the interview, he stressed the importance of knowledge transfer and technical training. The firm now has a lot of local counterparts and plans to intensively train many staff of their partner companies. It held demo truck road shows at some universities in Yangon to showcase its innovation and automation technology. It plans more such events in Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and other major cities.

“In order to become competitive and maintain the edge over others in the industry, companies have to look at their current infrastructure and assess ways to improve business operations. The key is to identify new and innovative technologies that are suitable for their growth,” he said.

Yamon Win, executive director of Myanmar Mahar Htun Co, said the cooperation would make Myanmar’s ports more efficient as they expand. It can also make the nation more competitive on a regional level and more attractive to investors and operators, she said.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

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