Mar 20, 2013

Former Myanmar nationals reap benefits of economic reforms

Former Myanmar nationals turned Singaporeans are now making use of their knowledge and language skills to set up businesses in their country of origin.

Aside from reaping the benefits for themselves, Singaporean companies may stand to gain from this as well.

Having lived in Singapore for some 15 years, Maung Maung Myint became a Singaporean in 2008.

The 41-year-old has now returned to Myanmar to set up his own company.

Aside from being able to communicate fluently, Maung feels he has other advantages.

"Although the foreign companies are coming, they still need the local people like us to partnership because our local businessmen and our local people know about our culture and our market very well so they still need our experience and the service for their business here. Whatever experience we have gained from overseas, we learned the system in Singapore, we can apply here, working as employee or working for our own business," said Maung.

Aung Hussein Vora is another Myanmar national who gave up his citizenship to become a Singaporean five years ago.

He is convinced that his network of long-time friends and former classmates in the country would result in more business deals for himself and Singaporean firms as well.

"For example, if they (Singaporeans) want to come to Myanmar, they do not know the local knowledge. They need the local knowledge and I have the local knowledge. At the same time, for the Myanmar company, they need some foreign partner. They don't (know) each other and the culture but I know both so I can coordinate them. I like to share all my connection and my experience from Myanmar to Singaporean people who come to Myanmar to do business. This time, the people of Myanmar really need the overseas experience and knowledge so I share to them. That is the benefit to everyone."

In just the last two years, Hussein over here has already introduced about four Singapore companies to possibly set up joint ventures with local firms in Myanmar. And in the business environment, such informal introductions are extremely important because it helps to bring two strangers together.

With such a middleman, he can help to ensure trust as well as commitment between the two parties in order to accelerate future business collaborations.



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