Look beyond Yangon, businesses urged

PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2014
Look beyond Yangon, businesses urged
JAIRA KOH
THE chief ministers of Myanmar’s various regions yesterday urged Singapore businesses to look more at tapping emerging opportunities outside Yangon. They said at a dialogue arranged by IE Singapore that an international airport was coming up in the Bago region and that Mandalay provides opportunities for traders as it has become a major channel for the growing trade between Myanmar, China and India.

Chief ministers U Myint Swe, U Ye Myint and U Nyan Win of Yangon, Mandalay and Bago, respectively, were participants in the IE Singapore Global Conversations dialogue and are here on a study visit. They said that in the case of the upcoming Hanthawaddy International Airport in Bago, it would provide a market for related services such as maintenance, repair and operations engineering. Mandalay, as a channel for trade between Myanmar, China and India, would be of interest to export-oriented Singapore firms.
IE Singapore chief executive officer Teo Eng Cheong added: “Much of the business interest has naturally been focused on Yangon, but Myanmar is also a vast country with significant growth potential in many other regions.” He also said that many local firms had secured contracts in the infrastructure, urban development and hospitality sectors. Singapore construction company Tiong Seng and precast company Poh Cheong have plans to set up precast concrete plants there.
Yangon is Myanmar’s largest city, and its commercial and industrial centre. Singapore is Myanmar’s third largest trade partner, with $3 billion in trade between the two nations in 2013 – 70 per cent more than in 2012, according to IE Singapore.
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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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