Yangon welcomes first Hong Kong business chamber

Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein welcomed the establishment of the Myanmar-Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MHKCCI) and urged more Hong Kong manufacturers to set up shop in the commercial capital.

The MHKCCI was launched on September 3 to promote responsible investment in Myanmar and attract market entrants into the country. The event attracted more than 300 guests, including investment and foreign economic relations ministry permanent secretary U Aung Naing Oo, Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe and Yangon region Kayin ethnic affairs minister Daw Naw Pann Thinzar Myo.

“Last November, I personally received a group of investors from Hong Kong and I am pleased to learn that a few of them are already considering to expand their manufacturing in Yangon, near the New Yangon City,” the chief minister said during the launch.

“Luen Thai Garment from Hong Kong is already employing some 8000 workers in Yangon, and new members of the Hong Kong manufacturing sector are most welcome,” he added.

The new chamber was eager to highlight its all-female secretariat headed by executive director Clara Tang, which reflects its emphasis on gender equality and female empowerment.

“This approach represents our commitment to diversity and is in line with the common practice of Hong Kong businesses’ in empowering women and local expertise,” said MHKCCI vice chair Adrian Short, who heads the Myanmar operations of Jardine Cycle and Carriage.

“The global economy is witnessing a period of great uncertainty and downside risks. It is precisely why the launch of our chamber is particularly meaningful in these trying times,” said MHKCCI chair Edgar Kwan, an executive from Marga Group.

For SY Lee, director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Myanmar’s land and labour resources present opportunities for Hong Kong investors.

MHKCCI director Thompson Chau from this paper stressed the importance of journalism for the private sector.

“As a board director, I am keen to raise awareness of responsible investment, the role of business in Myanmar’s transition and how companies – from Hong Kong and beyond – can support journalism.

“Myanmar needs professional and independent media outlets to develop a healthy investment environment. Transparency and communication are crucial for Hong Kong-Myanmar business relations to grow and prosper,” Mr Chau said.

The Chamber was launched at a time of great turmoil in Hong Kong. Riot police has used tear gas and water cannon in their clash against the protesters of the anti-extradition bill which started in March. More than 2000 have been injured in August.

The Hong Kong people made five key demands, including the withdrawal of the bill.

Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong government, announced one day after the launch of MHKCCI that the bill would be formally withdrawn.The extradition bill, which would allow local authorities to detain and extradite fugitives wanted in territories which Hong Kong does not have extradition agreements with, including Taiwan and China. The protest has been ongoing for more than five months.

Source: Myanmar Times

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