Policy Proposals Asia and Oceania Mission Dispatched to Myanmar Naypyidaw and Yangon Visited
Keidanren dispatched a mission to Naypyidaw and Yangon from March 11 to 13, 2018. The mission was headed by the two Chairs of the Japan-Myanmar Economic Committee, Ken Kobayashi and Teruo Asada, and comprised 60 members in total.
In Naypyidaw a discussion was arranged with H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor. Mr. Kobayashi pointed out that Myanmar is attractive as a consumer market offering great potential and as a supply chain hub within the ASEAN region, and consequently more Japanese companies were starting businesses in Myanmar, increasing the membership of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar to over 370 companies. In addition to commending the Myanmar government's efforts to improve the business environment, including the introduction of the new investment law and the new company law, he emphasized the need to make further progress in providing a free, transparent environment for investment.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi responded that Japan and Myanmar were liaising and cooperating in a wide range of areas and if they acted in unison, they could succeed in any field. She went on to express her high hopes for continued cooperation with Japan, particularly with regard to job creation and human resource development. She set out the Myanmar government's intention to continue its development of the business environment, including provision of infrastructure, to facilitate that cooperation.
The delegation also held a discussion with H.E. Mr. Win Myint, then Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives); H.E. Mr. Thant Sin Maung, Union Minister for Transport and Communications; H.E. Mr. Win Khaing, Union Minister for Electricity and Energy; and H.E. Mr. Sett Aung, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance. They expressed gratitude for Japanese companies' cooperation in the development of infrastructure for electric power, railroads, ports, airports, industrial parks, and other facilities and indicated their high hopes with regard to further investment. The Japanese delegation responded by conveying specific wishes with regard to the investment environment and sharing opinions.
In Yangon the mission inspected the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, which serves as a symbol of Japan-Myanmar cooperation, and listened to an explanation that included the area's attractions as a business location.
In addition, the mission held the Myanmar-Japan Joint Economic Conference with The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) for the first time since November 2014. UMFCCI was represented by Mr. Thein Han, Vice President, and a total of 80 delegates. The two sides described their recent initiatives to develop the business environment and infrastructure, as well as human resources, followed by a frank exchange of opinions regarding strategies for promoting cooperation, and announcement of a joint statement.
Keidanren will build on the achievements of this visit to Myanmar to further strengthen bilateral exchange.