The long tradition of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) gave U Aung Win, its former President, a special motivation to achieve a quantitative and qualitative leap in the services offered to its members. As Honorary President of UMFCCI, he reflects on the increase of the number of memberships from 11.000 to over 30.000 companies in the past five years during his mandate.
European Times: What are the milestones achieved by the UMFCCI under your presidency?
U Aung Win: I have been linked with the UMFCCI for over two decades, being its president for more than five years. If we are to compare the situation prior to 2011 with today,the serious progress is easily observable. The lifting of sanctions of the US is great news and the expected inflow of Foreign Direct Investments will mean a new chapter in our economic development and in the progress of the country in general. Our members will have a chance to enjoy the benefits of the US market. Certainly, we need to understand the consumer behaviour, standards, and high-quality requests of the consumers of this demanding market, starting from the primary producers and up the value chain.
European Times: Which reforms would have to be implemented in order to reach an even higher degree of “ease in doing business” in Myanmar?
U Aung Win: We need the Investment Law and its bylaws to be brought as soon as possible. Additionally, we need to implement a plan for infrastructure development and public-private partnerships. I am pleased that in our work we have received tremendous support from the international community.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are our highest priority and I am proud to say that we managed to achieve a major breakthrough in the legal sphere, getting an SME development law in place and a special Committee for them in the Government. Our special attention to human resources and vocational training was manifested by starting a joint venture with the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, opening an MBA program with 400 participants so far, and founding our own HR Institute.
European Times: What is your message to potential investors?
U Aung Win: You are welcomed to come and invest, do trade with us, and share the benefits. By doing so, apart from profit, you will enjoy a friendly business climate, improving the lives of our people, something which they expect and deserve.