France keen to invest more in Myanmar, says official

After a pause of eight years, France is going to expand existing investments and make new ones in Myanmar, a senior official of the Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) has revealed.

“They have trust in Myanmar. As French organizations have learned there are many prospects here, they are coming to invest in the country in sectors such as energy, railways, ports, and others. Existing investments will be expanded and new ones will also be made,” said U Maung Maung Lay, vice-chair of the UMFCCI.

U Maung Maung Lay was speaking on the sidelines of a France-Myanmar business matching event led by Mr. Francois Corbin, chair of the France-based French-Myanmar Business Council and committee member of the ASEAN arm of MEDEF, the largest employer federation in France.

French Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. Christian Lechervy was also present at the event held at the UMFCCI office on Monday.

The French business delegation included 20 representatives from companies involved in industries such as energy, water, and waste management, rail transportation, infrastructure, finance, manufacturing, beverages, shipping and logistics, and trading.

Among the French companies represented at the event were Alstom, CMA CGM, Michelin, Razel-Bec, Thales, and Bpifrance Financement.

Lechervy said at the event that French businesses are eager to find partners in Myanmar for economic development that will benefit both countries.

Myanmar is at a stage in its development that offers huge opportunities for investments that will enhance trade and economic development, said UMFCCI President U Zaw Min Win.

U Zaw Min Win said that, since France is an advanced country with a mature industrial sector and a leader in science and technology, he would like to see more French businesses contributing to Myanmar’s development.

Eight years ago, France and Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding to carry out economic cooperation between both countries. This is the second time a French delegation has visited the country since the signing of that agreement.

While Myanmar is facing global pressure due to the crisis in Rakhine State, business representatives and ambassadors from France, Belgium, the UK, and the US have met with the UMFCCI, said U Maung Maung Lay.

“Even as Myanmar is dealing with some internal issues, economic relations with other countries continues to develop,” he said.

Lechervy said the French businesses represented in the delegation are particularly interested in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, France ranks ninth out of Myanmar’s top-50 trade partners, and trade volume between the two countries reached US$551 million (K795 billion) last year. France invested some $469 million in Myanmar between 1988 and 2011.

Source: Myanmar Times

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