Dec 15, 2014

EU launches Euro Chamber Myanmar

The European Union officially launched the European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar or Euro Chamber on December 12.

The Euro Chamber will be set up by a consortium led by the French Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with Eurochambres, the European umbrella organization of chambers of commerce. The venture is supported by other key EU business representatives in Myanmar and the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry or UMFCCI.

The EU is supporting the startup with a grant of 2.7 million euro.

Speaking at the launch ceremony at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon, Mr Roland Kobia, Ambassador of the European Union said businesses need a stable and peaceful environment to prosper. And in turn, if they prosper, they can make a huge contribution to social and economic development.

He said they can reinforce links between Myanmar businesses and their European counterparts and grant new opportunities for both sides.

Bilateral trade between Myanmar and Europe has increased 44 percent for the first seven months of 2014 compared with the same period the previous year, a real improvement, he said.

Negotiations for an EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement were launched in March 2014. The agreement is intended to improve the protection afforded to investors of both parties and to contribute to attracting investment in Myanmar and the EU by ensuring that they will be treated fairly and on an equal footing with other investors.

U Set Aung, vice-governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, speaking at the event, said Myanmar’s economic situation is not yet perfect.

“This is normal. We also have challenges, both internal and external. Internal challenges include human resource capacity, financial capacity, and infrastructure. But these problems are everywhere, in almost all countries in the region,” he said.

“What are we doing is to solve the problems and to create a favourable stable macroeconomic climate with the hope to attract many European businesses,” U Set Aung said.

Professor Aung Tun Thet, a President’s Economic Advisor, said the rate of foreign direct investment flowing into the country from Europe is good, and they are meeting planned targets.

He admitted that there are problems with weak institutions and process delays, as well as concerns over finance, technology, management and leadership skills, and good corporate governance.

He said the motto was “do well, also do good” for the business community in Myanmar.

Mr Julien Esch, president of the French Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “We love Myanmar because Myanmar is Myanmar and not because it is situated between India and China.”

Source: Mizzima