Asialink business taskforce visits Myanmar

Sid Myer talks to Myanmar President U Thein Sein

By Asialink Diplomacy

Members of the Asialink Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce travelled to Myanmar for meetings over four days with key decision-makers and influencers including the President, His Excellency U Thein Sein.

The Taskforce comprises predominantly Australian companies and organisations covering Australia’s legal, IT, financial, higher education and resources sectors, including Bagan Capital, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, e-Centric Innovations, The University of Melbourne, Macquarie Group, Ashurst, CPA Australia and Woodside. It was established to help scope and develop opportunities for Australian business in Myanmar, and to help support the Australia-Myanmar bilateral relationship.

The Taskforce has appreciated the ongoing support of the Australian Government, including Austrade, DFAT Aid, and Australia’s Embassy in Myanmar, most notably Australia’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Bronte Moules.

The November visit was the third and most intensive by Asialink to Myanmar since early 2012. 

Taskforce delegates spent time in Yangon and the capital Nay Pyi Taw, where they met with senior ministers and officials including President U Thein Sein, the speaker of the Upper House, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the President’s Economic Adviser, the Vice Governor, the Director of the Central Bank of Myanmar, and the Director-General of the Ministry for National Planning and Economic Development.

Members also met with local and foreign private-sector investors and consultants, and spent time with the economic committee of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD Party. 

Discussion focused on the pressing challenges facing the government and the private sector as Myanmar continues to undergo significant reforms. Ministerial representatives described the government’s priority areas for change and development, and how Asialink and the Taskforce could potentially contribute to and support work in these areas.

It was made clear throughout the visit that Australia is in a unique and strong position to work in and with Myanmar. Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014 provides an opportunity for Australian business and government to continue to demonstrate commitment to Myanmar.

The Asialink Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce will now consider ways it can potentially support the Myanmar Government in addressing its priority areas. 

Image source: Asialink

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Renuka Rajadurai

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