Baker & McKenzie Hosts Myanmar's Mining Minister to Discuss Myanmar's Mining Future

23 May, 2013

Baker & McKenzie and the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce are honored to host the Minister of Mines of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, His Excellency Dr. Myint Aung, and a senior Myanmar delegation who are in Australia to attend the Mining for Development and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative conferences in Sydney this week. They will also travel to Queensland for a mining study tour arranged by AusAID.

The delegation will meet with senior business leaders and Australian Government officials to discuss Australian mining industry best practices in resources governance as Myanmar reforms its mining sector.

Baker & McKenzie Australia Managing Partner, Chris Freeland, said, “Myanmar is considered by many Australians as the new frontier. The enormous potential of Myanmar’s minerals and resources are just two of many areas increasingly attracting foreign companies to its shores.

“There is enormous opportunity for Australia to offer industry skills and best practices, particularly in the energy & resources sectors, as well as assist with Myanmar policy development and strengthening the country’s rule of law.”

Freeland added that the Firm has been watching Myanmar closely for quite some time. 

“We have set up a Myanmar law center, currently based in Bangkok, with senior Myanmar-qualified lawyers. We certainly see Myanmar as an important stepping stone for our Firm and many of our clients’ businesses as we continue to build upon our network and strength in Asia Pacific.”

Interest in Southeast Asian markets, including Myanmar, by Australian corporations has intensified over the last year. Significant growth is expected in a range of sectors such as energy & resources, infrastructure, telecommunications and financial services. 

In recognition of Myanmar’s increasing relevance on the global map, the country will chair the ASEAN economic ministers next year – a show of leadership which has been described as critical to the success of the ASEAN economic community. 

“This significant role is to be applauded. The integration process is certainly an enormous undertaking but the opportunities it presents are game changing. When formed, ASEAN will create the 9th largest economy in the world and enormous growth and prosperity for the 10 Southeast Asia nations involved.

“As a business operating across seven of the 10 ASEAN member states, we look forward to seeing the plans for the integration progress,” said Freeland.

Baker & McKenzie senior associate and Management Committee member of the Australia Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, Melinda Tun, said,  “Myanmar’s transition to the global economy coincides with the ascendency of the ASEAN economies and brings with it many exciting opportunities for closer ties and greater engagement between the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia.

“The Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce was established this year following the liberalization of trade and investment regimes in Myanmar. The Chamber will focus on supporting Australian companies exploring opportunities in Myanmar and assisting industry skills and knowledge transfer between Australia and Myanmar.”

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