National Chamber concludes successful business visit to Myanmar


A nineteen member high profile business delegation organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka visited Myanmar on 8th September 2012 and returned to the country on 15th September 2012 after a six day successful visit.

The delegation was headed by Asoka Hettigoda, President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. Both Sri Lankan Embassy in Myanmar and Myanmar Embassy in Sri Lanka extended their co-operation in making the visit a success by arranging meetings with the business community and key government ministers in Myanmar.

H R Piyasiri, Sri Lankan Ambassador in Myanmar participated at almost all the meetings the delegates had in Myanmar. Delegates had meetings with the leaders of the Union of Myanmar Federation Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Union of Myanmar (UMFCCI), Minister of Commerce, Minister of Mines and the Managing Director of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd, a Government backed organization that promotes business and investment in the country. In addition, delegates also had meetings with their counterparts where they discussed extensively about the opportunities available for Sri Lankans for business and investment in Myanmar.

It was highlighted that business community in Myanmar is keen in engaging in business with their Sri Lankan counterparts in the areas of Gem & Jewellery, oil and gas, agriculture/plantation/palm oil, fisheries, food processing, natural resources, construction, tourism and H.R Development. During the meeting with Sri Lankan Ambassador, development of bilateral trade was extensively dicussed and practical scenarios related to day- to -day business activities in Myanmar were explained by the Ambassador.

At the meeting with the officials of UMFCCI- the President, Deputy President, Secretary General and other members of UMFCCI, it was noted that there are many business opportunities that could be beneficial to both countries and UMFCCI agreed to send a trade delegation to Sri Lanka to explore opportunities further. Identified sectors are; Gem and Jewelry, Construction, Transport and shipping, Apparel, tourism manufacturing, oil and gas agriculture, plantation, fisheries,food processing and human resources development etc., UMFCCI emphasized the fact that they have 65 sector specific associations functioning under them, and each of these associations can support Sri Lankan businessmen, based on their reqirements.

It was said that under the new FDI law to be introduced in Myanmar, foreign investors can lease lands from the government for a longer period. Further, National Chamber and UMFCCI discussed and agreed to sign a MOU which would take place in the near future. The delegation had meetings with the Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd which had been set up about 20 years ago has 55 establishments functioning under it. Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd is keen in promoting business between Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

The Economic Holdings Ltd has a strong presence in sectors such as tobacco processing & brewery, gem & Jewellery, transportation, apparel sector shipping & Port operations, banking, trading, fisheries, livestock etc. Deputy Director General of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and Investment & Company Administration, Tin Ko Win welcomed the delegation and explained the Government investment procedures in detail. The investor law, joint venture partnership mechanism, company registration, licensing and approval procedures were discussed in detail.

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