Aust’s investment poised to rise after Chambers’ merger

Australian investors’ interest in Myanmar is forecast to rise, thanks to the recent merger of the country’s two chambers of commerce in Yangon.

Jodi Weedon, CEO of the new AustCham Myanmar, said the new organisation would be formed following a memorandum of understanding signed on August 14.

She said the merger would enable one unified chamber of commerce in the country to better support Australian businesses seeking representation in Myanmar.

“There is an ever-growing amount of interest from Australian investors in the Myanmar market and with a recently improved regulatory regime and growing confidence in the financial services sector many more Australian companies are looking at moving in to the market,” she said.

“One unified chamber will be able to better support those companies’ inquiries and business opportunities.

“The merger of the two chambers will ensure a broader membership base and greater resources in Myanmar . This in turn will support the growing Australia-Myanmar business relationship by providing services to its members in four key areas: knowledge sharing; advocacy; networking; plus capacity building and responsible investment initiatives. We consider these to be the critical roles of a Chamber in a market such as Myanmar.”

Weedon said the two chambers’ existing would continue as part of the agenda of the new body. Existing members would have access to a greater network, a prominent board of directors from the Myanmar market and more capacity to undertake even more initiatives going forward.

“The unified chamber will look to undertake further Australia- Myanmar trade delegations,” she added, “as well as delegations intended to showcase Australia’s best practice with an aim at knowledge sharing and further capacity building of Myanmar government, private sector and individuals. We are committed to servicing our members and the broader business community even better than before.”

The MoU nominated Chris Hughes, Yangon-based partner at legal firm Berwin Leighton Paisner and Myanmar law reform expert, to be the chairman-elect of the new organisation.

Hughes said the new chamber would be better placed to ensure Australian businesses are in a stronger position to support the improvement of investment climate in Myanmar.

“Australian businesses are perfectly placed to encourage responsible foreign direct investment into Myanmar, a market which continues to show so much potential and plenty of opportunities,” he said.

He said the new chamber would continue a number of the initiatives and programs carried out by the previous organisations including networking events, trade and business delegations, conferences and the Australia-Myanmar Responsible Investment Working Group.

A transition committee comprised of members from the two former organisations will work on bringing the two groups’ management and members together ahead of an annual meeting planned for late 2017.

Source: Eleven