Joining hands with Spain for development in Myanmar

01 July 2017
Joining hands with Spain for development in Myanmar

Since Myanmar has reopened for foreign investment, many countries see huge business opportunities in this resource rich country.
Now Spain has joined the hands with Myanmar and held the Myanmar-Spain Multilateral partnership meeting event at Melia Hotel on June 26-29.
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy, Mayor of Yangon, Ministry of Finance, Yangon City Development Council, Spanish Embassy, local business groups and Spanish business groups attended the event to have discussions and business networking between Myanmar and Spanish companies.
Mr. Alberto Cerezo, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Spanish Embassy in Yangon says he wishes to increase the bilateral relations with Myanmar in order to help Myanmar development and for Spanish companies to enjoy the opportunities in the county. He believes that there will be more Spanish companies joining with Myanmar companies after this event.
“We are here to help and build a new Myanmar. We are operating with Myanmar in so many different ways and we have programmes to fight poverty here in Myanmar. The best way to fight poverty is by creating job opportunities,” said Mr. Cerezo.
Mr. Francisco Javier Garzón, CEO, ICEX, Spain Trade and Investment explained why Myanmar should choose Spain as a multilateral partner.
“Spanish companies can be excellent partners and they are eager to join forces with the Myanmar government. We believe we’ll be crucial for the country’s further development and Spanish companies are particularly proficient,” said Mr. Garzón. Many Spanish companies are planning to invest in the infrastructure sector which is also one of the priority sectors that needs to be improved in Myanmar.
The participants mainly discussed multilateral funding, transport infrastructure, and energy and renewable plans during the panel sessions. Business to business sessions were provided in order to allow the Myanmar and Spanish companies to understand each other and to find the right partners for further investment plans.
Dr. Marlar Myo Myint, Directorate of Investment, Ministry of Finance (DICA) presented the new investment laws and said the government is welcoming business partners who are focusing on promoting sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, education, health care, technology and tourism.
“There will be tax exemption for the investors in promoting these sectors. The company can register very easily these days. They can come directly to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) with the required documents, then they can get a temporary card in three days,” said Dr. Marlar Myo Myint.
Representatives from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank shared their multilateral funding plans. They are mostly focusing on the infrastructure sector and sovereign lending.
Mr. Hideaki Iwasaki of the Asian Development Bank Regional Office presented his thoughts on the ADB infrastructure sector operations in Myanmar, noting there are two main projects in 2017 which are the Highway Modernization project and the Third GMS Corridor Town Development Project.
Although many countries want to join with Myanmar to do business involved with advanced projects, there are not enough professionals available for these projects.
“Human capacity is the major challenge for investors. It is difficult to get the workers with professional skills in Myanmar. The gap between what the investors expect to get and what locals can give is quite big. There are a lot of job opportunities coming into the country but people don’t have the skills and capacity to achieve them. We need capacity development not to miss out the opportunities,” said Pyi Sone Nyein, Managing Director, Myanmar Development Professional. He added that not only are the individuals weak in capacity, but also the organization structures.
Participants of both Spanish and Myanmar companies said they are looking forward to working together in the development of Myanmar.