Vice President U Myint Swe delivered the opening address at the 2nd Myanmar-EU Economic Forum held at the Hotel Kempinski in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Also present at the forum were Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, Deputy Ministers U Kyaw Myo and U Aung Htoo, Deputy Governor U Soe Thein of Central Bank of Myanmar, Hluttaw representatives, departmental officials, EU Ambassador Mr. Kristian Schmidt and EU representatives, representatives from the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham), economists, and invited guests.
The Vice President began his speech by expressing gratitude towards EuroCham on behalf of the Union Government for organising the Myanmar-EU Economic Forum. He said he believed the forum will promote trade relations between Myanmar and the EU’s economies.
The Vice President said Myanmar’s economic and development policies include people-centred inclusive policies and goals such as national reconciliation and peace, developing basic infrastructure, supplying electric power, creating jobs, conserving natural resources, capacity building, and creating opportunities for youth.
He said they are working towards promoting basic infrastructure, investment, agriculture, the private sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and sustainable development goals. Myanmar’s economic policies include an economic framework focused on conserving the country’s natural resources and distributing them fairly among the states and regions. The government has also presented a 12-point economic policy which is supported by the investment policy.
According to Asian Development Outlook 2018, Myanmar’s GDP rose from 5.9 per cent in FY 2015-2016 to 6.8 per cent in FY 2016-2017. Experts say the reasons for the growth are increased investments, a rising economic sector, a stronger agricultural sector, increased exports, and better consumer spending. Foreign tourist visits have also increased by 18 per cent in 2017, with roughly 3.4 million visits. Increase in foreign direct investments has likewise raised purchasing power, which contributes to developing the economy. Myanmar’s GDP is projected to increase 7 per cent in the coming years.
The Vice President said the New Myanmar Investment Law and the Myanmar Company Act were passed to create a more attractive economic environment for investors. He said the new investment law creates a more transparent environment with reduced restrictions and increased safety and guarantees for investors. Likewise, the new Company Act will make company registration easier with electronic registration. The new Company Act will take effect on 1 August 2018. The Vice President said he believes they have created a path filled with practical economic development. and the economic framework will strengthen all businesses within the country. He invited all potential investors from the European Union and elsewhere to invest in prioritised sectors in Myanmar.
Investments from EU countries in Myanmar reached US$6.6 billion as of April 2018 and make up 8.68 per cent of all foreign direct investments in Myanmar. There are 300 registered EU companies in Myanmar.
The Vice President concluded his speech by encouraging EU countries to increase businesses and investments in Myanmar and said he hopes the forum promotes bilateral trade relations between the EU and Myanmar.
The Vice President’s speech was followed by an address by Mr. Kristian Schmidt.
This was followed by the Vice President taking a documentary photo with the Mandalay Region Chief Minister, Mr. Schmidt, EU-ASEAN Business Council Chairman Mr. Donald Kanak, UMFCCI Chairman U Zaw Min Win, and EuroCham Myanmar Chairman Mr. David Levrat.
Afterwards, Mr. Kanak, U Zaw Min Win, and Mr. Levrat delivered speeches followed by the official opening of the Myanmar-EU Economic Forum.
The forum will discuss 12 topics concerning trade, investment and economic relations between Myanmar and the EU.
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