Breakfast Talk with H.E. Kristian Schmidt, Ambassador of the European Union to Myanmar on European Economic Diplomacy
On Tuesday 18 September 2018, EuroCham Myanmar organised a breakfast talk on business climate in Myanmar insights and EU response on UN report and ICJ trial and anticipated implications for EU businesses with H.E Kristian Schmidt, EU Ambassador to Myanmar in the presence of more than 35 country representatives of European companies in Myanmar.
The event was a continuation of an initiative to establish a regular consultation platform between EU Delegation and EuroCham advocacy members.
The EuroCham Breakfast Talk started with an introduction by H.E Kristian Schmidt in which he discussed increasing international scrutiny of Myanmar, the critical report of the UN fact finding mission and the ICC’s probe into Myanmar. He discussed the situation in the Rakhine and stressed the EU’s call for accountability.
Ambassador Schmidt explained the measures the EU had already taken to address the Rakhine situation, including an arms embargo and investing €221 million into Myanmar’s education. He also stated that if the situation in the Rakhine does not improve then the EU will consider revoking Myanmar’s GSP privileges but will continue to engage in dialogue with the Myanmar government to advocate human rights.
The co-chairs and representatives of the EuroCham advocacy groups presented the EU Ambassador with an update on the current state of affairs in their respective sectors. EuroCham Myanmar has the following advocacy groups:
Anti-Illicit Trade Advocacy Group chaired by Ms Nandar Thaung and Ms Khine Wai Thwe
Construction Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Vadim Nunez Pawlowsky and Mr Methi Pieper
Digital Innovation Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Erwin Sikma, Mr Kieran J Rabbitt and Mr Christo Thekkel
Energy Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Zaw Zaw Maung and Mr David O’Neill
Health Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Frederik Meerhoff and Mr Ruben Lee
Legal Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Nishant Choudhary and Mr Alexander Bohusch
Logistics Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Thorstein Svendsen and Mrs Flora Pintusoontorn
Garment Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Tobias Fischer and Mr Jeroen Herms
Automotive Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Chan Mya and Mr Temmy Wiradjaja
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Advocacy Group chaired by Mr Nicolas Delange and Mr Min Thu
Agro-Business Advocacy Group chaired by Ms Esther Wintraecken and Mr Johan van den Ban.
Wine and Spirits Advocacy group chaired by Paul Kelleher.
The European companies expressed their appreciation for the EU Ambassador’s presentation and support. Moreover, they look forward to continuing and intensifying their cooperation with the EU Delegation through EuroCham Myanmar to jointly improve the business climate for European companies in the country.
For more information regarding the many activities of the EU Delegation, please be referred to the website: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/myanmar-burma_en
1. Introduction by EuroCham Director Filip Lauwerysen
2. Business climate in Myanmar insights, EU response on UN report and International Court of Justice trial and the anticipated implications for European investors
3. Tour de table: update from the private sector (business climate, new business legislation, views on government’s economic agenda etc.)
4. Concluding remarks
Quotes from H.E. Kristian Schmidt, EU Ambassador to Myanmar:
“I don’t believe democracy or good governance is helped by sanctions or EU companies not being in Myanmar.”
“The presence of European companies in Myanmar is good for everyone.”
“Your footprint is not just investments and trade figures but also the ethics you convey.”