Myanmar Business and Development Week - Unleashing Myanmar’s Potential

UN ESCAP Photo/Chavalit Boonthanoom

Recognizing the enormous potential of the private sector as a catalytic force for Myanmar’s further socio-economic development, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the ESCAP Business Advisory Council (EBAC) and the United Nations Trade and Productive Capacity Cluster are organizing the Myanmar Business and Development Week with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Yangon from 23 to 27 September 2013.

Myanmar has huge potential. It is rich in natural resources with a young workforce and is geographically close to Asia’s most dynamic trading economies. But Myanmar, like other Least Developed Countries (LDCs), has generally not been as successful in effectively integrating into the regional and global economy as other countries in the region despite membership of the WTO and ASEAN (and other ASEAN+ agreements). At present it has weak trade and investment linkages with ASEAN and other neighbouring countries, such as China and India.

This is in part due to its past isolation; as Myanmar undergoes reforms it is offering opportunities for trade- and investment-led inclusive growth. Considerable successes have already been accomplished, but several substantial landmarks relevant for trade and investment policy are also approaching. In particular, much needs to be done to prepare Myanmar for the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

Increasing integration can bring numerous benefits starting with better employment opportunities and greater household purchasing power. Broader linkages with trading partners can also play a role in facilitating economic diversification, thereby enhancing resilience to shocks. Simply, trade and investment policy is a crucial element in strategies for inclusive growth for a majority of, if not all, LDCs. Recognising a pressing need to assist LDCs with better integration into global and regional trade and value chains, ESCAP has developed a specially designed programme of capacity building to support LDCs.

As part of this process and with financial support from the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Business and Development Week aims to further strengthen the capacity of Myanmar’s private sector and equip the Government of Myanmar with the tools and knowledge to create a supportive business environment.

Over the course of five days, participants will have the opportunity to attend more than 20 specialised lectures and technical sessions. Following the themes “Creating Value at Home and Abroad” and “Enhancing Competitiveness”, the sessions will cover topics including “FDI Policies and Strategies for Inclusive and Sustainable Development”, “Global Value Chains and Enterprise Clusters”, “Designing Supply Chains for Success”, “Women Entrepreneurship in Agro-business”, “Development of a National Export Strategy” and “Social Media for Business.”

What: Myanmar Business and Development Week
When: 23 to 27 September 2013
Who: Mr. Marc Proksch , Chief, Business and Development Section, Trade and Investment Division, ESCAP

Mr. Chote Sophonpanich, EBAC Vice Chairman and Executive Chairman of Green Spot (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and Chairman of Krungdhep Sophon Public Company Ltd.

Mr. U Win Aung, President of UMFCCI

Mr. Ashok Nigam, UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

H.E. Mr. Mikio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to The Union of Myanmar

Where: Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), No.29, Min Ye Kyawswa Road, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Francyne Harrigan, Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1864 / M: (66) 81 835 8677