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AustCham Myanmar: CEO Announcement
Dear AustCham Myanmar members and partners,

I’m very sad to announce that the time has come for our CEO, Jodi Weedon, to move on from Myanmar. After three years in the role Jodi will be leaving to return to Australia with her family, finishing with us at the end of August.  

Since Jodi joined the former Australia Myanmar Chamber of Commerce in August 2016, our Chamber has changed so much - we have combined with the Australia Chamber of Commerce Myanmar Association to form a unified and re-focused Austcham Myanmar, we have grown our membership base and our presence in the Myanmar market, and built a professional secretariat team. We have also institutionalized our Women in Business and Leadership event as primary event of its kind in the business calendar – something that is progressive, empowering, practical and very well attended.  Significant credit for these achievements must go to Jodi.

Relationships are at the core of what we do.  With Jodi’s dedication, AustCham Myanmar has developed great relationships with the Myanmar government, other Chambers and stakeholder organizations as well as the domestic private sector and bodies such as UMFCCI. These underpin our many other initiatives such as the Responsible Investment Working Group and our organization of outbound and inbound trade and investment delegations. These relationships and initiatives will continue, and will hopefully grow stronger - with an increased focus on partnerships with Chambers and stakeholders in ASEAN and other Asian markets relevant to Myanmar.   

With our well-established platform AustCham Myanmar will continue to advocate for and build a better business climate - not only Australian companies, but for all foreign and domestic investors in Myanmar. We will continue to promote responsible investment across all sectors of the market, and we will continue to serve our members and run as one of Myanmar's most active and relevant business chambers through the recruitment of another CEO and expansion of our secretariat team.  Jodi will remain involved in Chamber activities and will of course help us to recruit, onboard and mentor our new CEO.

So please join me in thanking Jodi for her terrific contribution and wishing her and her family well.  And please also consider recommending to us any outstanding candidates you know who might wish to consider taking on the very interesting and fulfilling role as our CEO.    
 
 
Chris Hughes
Chairman, AustCham Myanmar
 
Event Invitation | Yangon | Tour of Yangon Secretariat Heritage Building and Member Networking
Please join us for a unique opportunity to tour the inside of one of Yangon's most historic buildings. A guided tour will be given by one of The Secretariat's knowledgeable tour guides followed by networking drinks in one of the newly restored spaces within the building.
 
A unique opportunity for AustCham Myanmar members only. Don't miss out!
 
Date: Thursday 13 June,2019
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm (Walking Tour)
          5:00pm-6:00pm (Networking)
Cost: MMK 10000, including refreshment (Member only)
RSVP: connect@austchammyanmar.com
 
Event Invitation | Yangon | Creating Respectful Workplaces in Myanmar
This year, IFC together with DaNa Facility launched a report Respectful Workplaces: Exploring the Costs of Bullying and Sexual Harassment to Businesses in Myanmar.The report found that businesses in Myanmar are losing at least 14% labor productivity as a result of bullying and sexual harassment at work.

Some of the findings were surprising. Whilst sexual harassment affects all workplaces, bullying is more common and affects men more than women. Businesses are not adequately prepared to respond to these workplace issues and there are a lack of formal reporting mechanisms in place. In some cases employees who do not have a confidential way to raise grievances are taking to social media to discuss incidents and this is not good for the employee or good for business.

Join us for an informal roundtable conversation with Ellen Maynes and Hnin Nwe Nwe Aung from IFC who led this research. Ellen and Hnin will discuss the key findings of the report, share their insights on what the research means for Myanmar businesses and some practical recommendations for Managers to prevent and address bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Date: Wednesday 12th June 2019
Time: 4:00pm- 5:00pm
Venue: AustCham Myanmar office: Level 11, Vantage Tower, Pyay Road
Cost: Free
***Invitee Only***

For more information, please contact us at connect@austchammyanmar.com
 
Expression of Interest | AustCham Myanmar Responsible Investment Working Group
You are invited to submit an expression of interest to join the next iteration of the Responsible Investment Working Group. 

The Responsible Investment Working Group is an AustCham Myanmar-led initiative co-chaired by Jodi Weedon, CEO of the Chamber, and Vicky Bowman from the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB). It brings together leaders from Australian and Myanmar businesses, NGOs and the Australian Government. The Group’s purpose is to discuss what responsible business means in Myanmar and how companies can work with stakeholders, including the Myanmar government, to promote it. The objectives are fourfold:

a) To source best practice case studies;
b) To develop practical and innovative business solutions;
c) To develop relationships between the corporate and NGO sector;
d) To provide guidance on responsible investment to the Myanmar Government and wider business community.

During the first half of 2016, the Working Group held a series of meetings that focused on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights. In addition, the Working Group also explored ‘Creating Shared Value’, a management strategy developed by Harvard professors which ultimately aims to create commercially viable solutions to social problems. In relation to the latter, the Working Group successfully launched its Position Paper ‘Incentivising Shared Value’ at the Myanmar Business Roundtable, which formed part of the Asian Forum for Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR) and was attended by over 130 people. A summary of the Working Group’s key learnings and recommendations can be found in the final report. We continue to work on updating this report.

The next iteration of the Working Group commenced in 2017 and covered the following topics: Environment (Environmental Impact Assessments) and Labour (Safety). During this Phase 2 the WorkingGroup drew upon and further expanded its relationships built and achievements made in 2016. The Groupprepared and submitted detail comments and drafting recommendations to the relevant arms of Myanmar Parliament on the draft Occupational Safety and Health Law. The Group also worked together to workshop recommendations on Environmental Impact Assessments and is currently working with relevant departments within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation to assist and streamline the EIA process. This work is continuing.  

 In 2018 Phase 3 was launched! 

 During Phase 3 the group considered the following topics:
  • Continued the discussion on Creating Shared Value, developing further examples from WorkingGroup Members and sharing learnings beyond the Working Group.  
  • Implications of the situation in Rakhine State for responsible investment in Myanmar, including for companies committee to diversity; and
  • Developing Myanmar’s human capital, internally and beyond the company.
We are now ready to launch Phase 4. At this stage we propose to consider cross sectoral issues such as taxation payment reforms, continuation of recommendations on Environmental Impact Assessments and streamlining the EIA processes, as well as continuing work on updating the Position Paper on "Incentivising Shared Value" to include recent examples of Creating Shared Value programs in the Myanmar Context.

If you respond to this call for expressions of interest please also provide me with feedback as to which topics (or others) you would prefer to cover during this Phase 4. 

The Terms of Reference can be found here. We are encouraging members of AustCham Myanmar to join and so, if you are not yet a member but would like to be, please contact the Chamber.

If your organisation would like to be a part of the Responsible Investment Working Group for 2019, please submit your expression of interest to Jodi Weedon by email by COB 29 May 2019. We will then advise when the first meeting of the group will be. Please note that meetings will be held at our offices on Level 11, Vantage Tower, Pyay Road.

Sponsorship opportunities will be discussed prior to the commencement of the first Working Groupmeeting but please let Jodi know if you have any interest in this prior to that time.
 
Event Invitation | Bangkok | 2019 Australian Business in ASEAN Survey Official Launch
The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustCham Thailand), together with AustCham ASEAN, the Australian Mission to ASEAN and the Australian Embassy Bangkok, is delighted to announce the official launch of the 2019 Australian Business in ASEAN Survey on Tuesday 28 May, 12.00-14.00, at the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Hotel. 

Our special guest, the Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. Ms. Jane Duke, will join our panel to discuss the findings of the ASEAN Business Survey, with Mr. Greg Thomas, CEO Asia of Linfox International Group, AustCham Thailand President, Mr. Wayne Williams, and AustCham ASEAN President, Mr. Brenton Mauriello. 

When: Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 12:00 - 14:00
Where: Floor 5th, Ballroom 2, Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit || map (Nana BTS)
How much does it cost
  • 1,200 baht for AustCham Members (inc. all Australian Chambers & Business Councils in ASEAN)]
  • 1,800 baht for non-members
            *** inc. 3-course lunch; please advise if you have dietary requirements ***

Click here to RSVP.
 
Event Invitation | Yangon | UMFCCI Centennial International Expo
Weekly News

Myanmar's fuel market: from fanfare to standstill (Frontier Myanmar -27 May)
Myanmar's fuel market: from fanfare to standstill- IN JULY 2017, Frontier reported on the longstanding frustration among drivers in Myanmar at the poor quality of fuel sold at local stations. Just a few months earlier, the Myanmar Investment Commission had abolished a requirement that foreign investors in the sector partner with the Ministry of Energy and Electricity. The larger local players were already aligning with foreign partners. “The long fuel lines at the few private stations with a good reputation could soon be a thing of the past,” we wrote.

Toyota to build its first assembly plant in Myanmar (Nikkei Asian Review-27 May)
YANGON/NAGOYA, Japan -- Toyota Motor is building its first assembly plant in Myanmar, several sources including from the automaker told the Nikkei Asian Review on Sunday, making inroads into the Southeast Asian nation's small but fast-growing new-vehicle market.

Economic development not enough to solve Rakhine crisis– UNHCR chief (The Myanmar Time- 27 May)
Filippo Grandi, chief of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said economic development alone would not solve the problems in Rakhine State, but the World Bank’s plan for a US$100-million project would be a big boost for the area.
 
Click here for more. 
Sunday's Latin Affair, 11:30 am - 4:00 pm, June 2, 2019
 
It’s time to seize a new a cultural experience by attending Sunday's Latin Affair at Rose Garden Hotel Yangon, the event will be held on 2nd of June 2019 from 11:30 am until 4:00 pm.  You will have the opportunity to taste new unique food and dance experience.

Experience an explosion of Latin Flavors with mouthwatering Jamaican Escovitch fish – a Caribbean dish of a whole fish which is fried until crispy topped with a spicy sauce and pickled vegetables, unlimited Brazilian Churrascaria – a variety of meats, pork, sausage and chicken grilled on a “churrasqueira” or a barbecue grill, to the signature Seafood Ceviche, marinated with freshly-squeezed lime juice, seasoned with chili peppers, onions, salt, and cilantro, our fajita in Tex-mex dish of corn tortilla wrapping a good dose of meat, fresh peppers, guacamole and cream, the greens in our salad bar with your favorite choices of dressings and an overloaded chocolate buffet.

Along with the extravagant buffet, you can participate in Latin social dancing by coached by Nora, the workshop will focus on a sequence of foot work and style. This workshop will help you understand salsa music and will breakdown the body movements of the dance so that you can bring out your own unique individual style to the dance floor.

Come dance to Salsa Music and quench your thirst with our free-flow of different flavors of Bacardi Mojitos and soft drinks. Beat the heat of Yangon’s summer, hop in the swimming pool surrounded by the lush greenery of the gardens.

The event is priced at US$26.00 per person.

Children ages 4 to 11 years old dining with their parents will be 50% off the adult price.
Rose Garden Sunday’s Latin Affair is great for friends and family gatherings or to celebrate a special occasion.
 
With thanks to our premium corporate members - 
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Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce · Suite 402, Level 4 · 37 Bligh Street · Sydney, NSW 2000 · Australia