Apr 23, 2012

Myanmar traders harvest business deals in Taiwan

A business delegation from Myanmar has placed orders valued at US$3.5 million during a trade fair organized by the semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in Taipei, council officials said Saturday.

Apart from those on-the-spot orders, the visiting group was assessed to have palced follow-up orders worth about US$45 million in the one-day trade fair that took place a day earlier, the officials noted.

According to TAITRA, the Myanmar-Taiwan trade fair attracted the participation of 72 Taiwanese businesses that engaged in individual talks with 25 Myanmarese business representatives and leaders of overseas Chinese groups.

The talks addressed proposed procurement deals involvingconstruction materials, agricultural machinery, chemical rawmaterials, auto parts and components, jewelry and foodstuffs,said Aik Htun, president of Myanmar's International BusinessPromotion Center and head of the business delegation.

Discussions were also held with Taiwanese businesses on issues concerning investment and cooperation projects, he added.

Asked about the emerging market, representatives of Taiwan's San-Shen Agricultural Machinery Co. who attended the trade fair said they found Myanmar's purchase power to be weak and that cheap Chinese products dominate the market due to the price advantage.

Selling products to Myanmar cannot be successful without marketing strategies backed by technique and management know-how, they said.

The Myanmar business group, made up of members of Myanmar's International Business Promotion Center, overseas Chinese businessmenoperating in Yangon and representatives of Myanmarese enterprises including the Htoo Group, is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei-based Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research, a government-funded research center.

Myanmar has a population of 57.5 million, TAITRA said, notingthat the Southeast Asian country has abundant natural resources such as natural gas, crude oil, wood and minerals, and has loosened its foreign exchange controls over the past years in efforts to attract foreign funds.

To help Taiwanese businesses gain knowledge of the regional market, the council has gathered 40 local companies to form a business exploration delegation for a planned visit to Myanmar and Cambodia June 10-16, TAITRA said.