08:30 to 10:00
25 Oct 2017
Myanmar is one of the remaining frontier markets and its development has been gathering pace since its economic liberalization began a few years ago. With sustained changes to create a more business-friendly environment and a population well-disposed, many foreign companies have been expanding their business and brand names throughout the country in the last 3 years.
The economy was already projected to grow at a rate of 7 to 8% annually and broad market sentiment is hoping that this can further improve now that the National League for Democracy (NLD) is governing the country.
The current administration has taken concrete steps to attract investors who are considering doing business in Myanmar. The Myanmar Investment Law of 2016 (MIL 2016) has recently replaced the Foreign Investment Law of 2012 (FIL 2012), with the new law set to make investing in Myanmar easier. State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi has also personally spearheaded the re-launch of the National League of Democracy (NLD) Economic Policy to ensure inclusive economic growth.
The demographic profile of the country is a strong enabler for this economic expansion – more than half of Myanmar’s 51 million population is under the age of 27; and within this group, a significant proportion is in the 5-14 age range, signalling a potential ‘demographic dividend’ for the nation.
Against this backdrop, Myanmar specialists from OCBC Bank and Rajah & Tann will share their insights into doing business in Myanmar, including an update on the country’s economic outlook and investment climate, the banking environment today, as well as common legal and tax issues that businesses entering Myanmar should watch out for.
About the speakers:
- Julian Chua, Deputy Director, OCBC
Julian has fulfilled a number of banking roles with OCBC Bank during his 12 years with the organization, culminating in his current position as Deputy Director in the Regional Business Unit under Global Business Banking.
Julian has worked with all types and sizes of businesses and helped meet financing needs ranging from small start-ups to overseas expansions. His current role also covers regional base customers within South East Asia who have diverse businesses which covers various industry sectors. He is no stranger to Myanmar as he has covered that market for the last 7 years and knows many Myanmar Business leaders and International players base in Yangon.
- Chester Toh, Head, Integrated Regulatory Practice, Director, Rajah & Tann, Myanmar
Chester Toh co-heads the Myanmar Practice of Rajah & Tann and oversees the Firm’s Yangon office. He regularly advises multinationals and Asian corporates on investing in Myanmar and has been involved in numerous projects in the country. Clients routinely turn to Chester for regulatory risk assessment when investing in frontier economies.
Having practised in London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore, Chester has a wealth of experience in M&As and foreign investment approvals. He has advised on a number of applications to the Myanmar Investment Commission, including some of the most high-profile investments into Myanmar following the lifting of certain US sanctions in 2012.
At the same time, Chester heads up the Firm’s Integrated Regulatory Practice. He has an active practice advising governments on the drafting of regulations and running procurement exercises for large scale infrastructure projects.
A recognised expert in FDI into Myanmar, Chester is regularly cited in publications and the media on Myanmar. He has spoken at numerous conferences on a range of topics relating to the country and is rated in leading legal journals such as Chambers Asia Pacific and IFLR.