The Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce

Background

Myanmar’s government is currently progressing an extensive and formidable reform program which is intended to cover economic, agricultural, health and education sectors. Government spokespeople consistently state that political will is strong and there is no turning back.

While barriers to increased investment in and trade with Myanmar remain, including the prevalence of outdated policies and regulations as well as dysfunctional institutions, the potential for mutual gain from partnerships between Australia and Myanmar is substantial. Importantly, such partnerships have great potential to assist in the building of Myanmar’s domestic capacity.

The success of the “Asialink Conversations, Myanmar” in January 2012, the “Asialink Business Mission” in May 2012 and the hosting in Sydney and Melbourne of a Parliamentary delegation from Myanmar led by the Speaker of the Lower House The Hon Thura U Shwe Mann in September 2012, demonstrates Asialink’s ability to foster extensive networks and expertise in Myanmar, as well as its capacity to facilitate key opportunities for Australia Myanmar engagement.

Recognising the dynamic potential of this changing Myanmar landscape, Asialink, in conjunction with committed business and industry experts, has identified the need for the “Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce” (Taskforce).
  Above: Report on The Asialink Conversations in Yangon, Myanmar

Above: Sean Turnell speaks at the launch of the Myanmar Business Taskforce

Overview

The Taskforce will work to establish closer economic co-operation with Myanmar and seek to assist with the development of policy and legislative frameworks. The Taskforce will help position Australia to participate in the opportunities that emerge as Myanmar develops. In addition, the Taskforce’s activities will aim to have an extensive and positive impact on the development of local capacity within Myanmar.

Key features of the Taskforce

  • Identify opportunities for Members across all sectors
  • Provide Members with access to relevant networks in Myanmar, in particular in business, government and politics
  • Support Members with the provision of practical, relevant and up to date information to assist in the consideration of commercial and other opportunities as they arise in Myanmar across all sectors
  • Explore the possibility and potential for professional exchange programs
  • Provide a Secretariat consisting of an expert team provided by Asialink and including senior business academics and Myanmar experts Assoc. Prof. Sean Turnell and Jared Bissinger
  • Promote public understanding of Myanmar through facilitating regular media coverage in Australia including acknowledging and promoting work undertaken by the Taskforce and its Members
  • Educate broader Australian business and government communities about the significance of the changing Myanmar political and business landscape and Australia’s potential future engagement including acknowledging and promoting work undertaken by the Taskforce and its Members in this new environment


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Membership

The Taskforce is offering interested parties (Members) an opportunity to participate in the Taskforce at one of two levels: Foundation Member or Tier-One Member (outlined below).

Members will be institutions, organisations and/or companies who are currently doing business in and/or engaging with Myanmar; or institutions, organisations and companies with a genuine interest in doing business in and/or engaging with Myanmar.

Target Members will be those with capacity, expertise or capabilities in industries including (but not limited to): telecoms, technology/IT, resources, resource services, energy, banking, finance and insurance, superannuation, construction, education, healthcare, logistics and transportation, utilities – electricity and water resources, policy advice and legislation, market research organisations, agriculture and primary industries, environmental industries, other services (engineering, architecture, business services), niche manufacturing and accounting, auditing and consulting.

Members will be expected to commit to regular visits to Myanmar throughout the three-year period, and will be invited and expected to actively participate in the annual Australia Myanmar Roundtable and any other programs arranged, organised and/or facilitated for the benefit of the Taskforce (and its Members).

Foundation Membership

Foundation Members will be required to commit $20,000.00 plus GST per year, for a three year period (combined value of $60,000.00 plus GST, with an option to withdraw dependant on annual performance) with the three-year mandate to be extended by agreement from Members at the conclusion of that mandate.

Members will be required to make payment of the first instalment of$20,000.00 plus GST by 1 December 2012, with in-principal agreement being confirmed no later than 20 November 2012.

Foundation Membership Benefits

  • Contact with senior business, government and community figures from Myanmar, (in particular key political advisors, members of Parliament and leading business figures) when on visits to Australia, with first/preferential access granted to Foundation Members
  • Monthly briefings and updates (via teleconference) on critical issues including updates on key legislative amendments and policy changes and assistance in the interpretation of same
  • Bi-annual Myanmar review reports
  • “Just in time” advice service (via email)
  • Access to opportunities in Myanmar across all sectors under the Government’s reform program, with priority for opportunities granted to Foundation Members
  • Participation in an annual Australia Myanmar Roundtable, bringing together relevant experts from academia, government and business
  • Option to participate in two business missions a year
  • In-country support (where possible)
  • Opportunities to host key events, forums and delegations, with preferential opportunity to undertake same granted to Foundation Members
  • Preferential branding on Taskforce events and Taskforce collateral
  • Access to an exclusive web portal/forum where members can collaborate, publish findings, list and identify opportunities, and share networks for mutual benefit

Tier-One Membership

Tier-One Members will be required to commit $10,000.00 plus GST per year, for a three year period (combined value of $30,000.00 plus GST), with an option to withdraw dependant on annual performance) with the three-year mandate to be extended by agreement from Members at the conclusion of that mandate.

Members will be required to make payment of the first instalment of $10,000.00 plus GST by 1 December 2012, with in-principal agreement being confirmed no later than 20 November 2012.

Tier-One Membership Benefits

  • Contact with senior business, government and community figures from Myanmar, (in particular key political advisors, members of Parliament and leading business figures) when on visits to Australia (first access granted to Foundation Members)
  • Monthly briefings and updates (via teleconference) on critical issues including updates on key legislative amendments and policy changes and assistance in the interpretation of same
  • Bi-annual Myanmar review reports
  • Access to opportunities in Myanmar across all sectors under the Government’s reform program (priority for opportunities granted to Foundation Members)
  • Participation in an annual Australia Myanmar Roundtable, bringing together relevant experts from academia, government and business
  • Opportunities to host events, forums and delegations (opportunity to undertake same provided to foundation members first)
  • Restricted branding on Taskforce events and on Taskforce collateral
  • Restricted branding on Taskforce website
  • Access to an exclusive web portal/forum where members can collaborate, publish findings, list and identify opportunities, and share networks for mutual benefit

Taskforce membership (including Foundation and Tier-One) is not exclusive. The Taskforce will accept membership from multiple entities from the same industry, sector and professional service area (within and across both categories of membership).

Membership (including Foundation and Tier-One membership) of the Taskforce does not constitute membership of “Asialink”.
The Taskforce will not be equipped to proceed in the absence of reaching the minimum funding threshold. Implementation of the Taskforce is thereby conditional upon the Taskforce raising sufficient financing by 1 December 2012. Interested potential Members will receive notification as to whether the Taskforce will proceed by 10 December 2012.

Proposed Program

A detailed program will be issued upon minimum threshold funding being reached and the Taskforce becoming operational.

Secretariat

The proposed Taskforce Secretariat will be comprised of the following:

External experts

• Senior Myanmar economy expert – Assoc. Prof. Sean Turnell
• Assistant Myanmar business expert – Jared Bissinger

An Invitation

We are pleased to invite you to join the Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce for a period of three years as either a:

  • Foundation Member - $20,000.00 per annum plus GST ($60,000.00 plus GST over three years)
  • Tier-One Member - $10,000.00 per annum plus GST ($30,000.00 plus GST over three years)


To become a Member, please download the form and return it to Clio Zheng via fax 03 9347 1768 or email c.zheng@asialink.unimelb.edu.au