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SAM Business Summit 2018

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Singapore Association of Myanmar (SAM) held the inaugural SAM Business Summit, an event which brought together business leaders and the wider business community in Myanmar to discuss economic, legal and specific industry sector topics.

Held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Crystal Ballroom of LOTTE Hotel, the event was attended by more than 300 people who listened to speeches, presentations and panel sessions which analysed Myanmar’s economic outlook in 2019.

According to Asian Development Bank, Myanmar’s economic growth forecast is expected to increase from 6.6% in 2018 to 7.2% in 2019 . The SAM Business Summit is aimed at supporting the business community to be kept up-to-date with the latest regulations, developments in various business sectors as well as business trends, such as the digital economy.

SAM, together with the support of Singapore Embassy in Myanmar, aims to make the SAM Business Summit an annual event. Kicking off today’s summit was H.E. Ms Vanessa Chan, Singapore Ambassador to Myanmar, who shared her optimism for business growth in Myanmar.

She said, “The timing of this event is very fortuitous. Just a few days ago in Singapore, State Counsellor of Myanmar Daw Aung San Suu Kyi called for greater investment from ASEAN into Myanmar. Investment and engagement, not isolation, is the path to sustain inclusive economic development to better the lives of all Myanmar citizens. While most of our Singaporean community is here in Myanmar to do business, we should also remember that businesses have responsibilities to the communities in which it operates. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has also called for responsible investment into Myanmar and SAM has a long and proud history of regular, sustained community outreach and engagement, mediated by significant funds raised at our annual charity event.”

H.E. U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government and Chairman, Myanmar Investment Commission, who also graced the summit, said, “Myanmar is charting a new course to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. We have adopted a Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan which can be seen as the roadmap for our transition. A number of reform measures – regulatory, institutional and procedural have been taken and this has sparked more interest and foreign investment in the country.”

“With a fast-growing consumer market and industry sectors which require development, Myanmar is attracting large MNCs in a number of sectors including oil & gas, finance, construction, transport, logistics, telecommunications and tourism. Myanmar’s economic potential is well-recognised but we will need to take a proactive approach to secure investment”, he added.

During the summit, presentations were shared by:
• Mr Lee Leong Seng, General Manager of Surbana Jurong Myanmar, who spoke about real estate developments
• Ms Suegene Ang, Resident Partner of WongPartnership LLP in Myanmar, who shared about legal developments
• Mr Piyush Prasad, Associate Counsel, Singapore International Arbitration Centre, who spoke about strategies and tips for effective resolution of cross-border disputes

There were also two panel sessions which facilitated discussion by senior business leaders around:
• ‘The Economic Outlook of Myanmar in 2019”
• “Digitalization in Myanmar”

On the sidelines of the summit, attendees were able to network, learn and share from each other and discuss collaboration opportunities.

This year, the SAM Business Summit is organised in conjunction with the 24th SAM Fundraiser and Charity Golf & Dinner which will be held on 16 November 2018. From its inception in 1991, SAM has raised funds to help various Myanmar charities and this year, it aims to raise USD 200,000 to build a school and shelter for underprivileged children in Myanmar.

On behalf of the Organising Committee, we will like to thank all sponsors, speakers, panelists, guests and participants for attending today’s event. We hope to see everyone again next year!

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