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UK and Burma launch Financial Services Taskforce

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UK and Burma launch Financial Services Taskforce

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The UK and Burma have today announced the creation of a Financial Services Taskforce

The UK and Burma have today announced the creation of a Financial Services Taskforce which will support the development of Burmaís financial services sector.

The announcement comes as President Thein Sein attended a breakfast meeting this morning with senior representatives from the British financial and professional services sector. The breakfast was hosted by Business Secretary Vince Cable and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green. Representatives from British companies heard the Presidentís priorities for economic reform in his country and briefed the President on their experiences of doing business in Burma.

The new taskforce will bring together experts from both sides including relevant authorities and financial and professional services firms.

The purpose of the Taskforce will be to supplement the work already being undertaken by President Thein Seinís government and international development agencies on financial and regulatory reforms by:

  • helping the local industry to develop appropriate new financial products and services focused on the provision of credit.
  • advising on suitable regulatory structures to support the sector.
  • and developing effective education, training and qualifications to build capacity in the sector.

The taskforce will be jointly chaired on the UK side by Standard Chartered Bank and the UK Government and will meet regularly in both countries. The first formal high-level meeting of the taskforce will be held during the Lord Mayor of Londonís visit to Burma in October this year.

Lord Green, UK Minister for Trade & Investment, said:

The formation of this taskforce is an important step. It will be focused on delivering practical support and assistance to President Thein Seinís Government on the development of a fully functioning financial services sector.

Financial services has the potential to be a transformative sector in this reform process, unlocking capital and investment. It is a sector in which the UK is a world leader and I am confident that British business can play an important role in supporting President Thein Sein and his Government in achieving the economic reform they are striving for.

Mike Rees, Standard Chartered Group Executive Director and CEO Wholesale Banking, said:

Standard Chartered has operated in the ASEAN region for over 150 years and we reopened our representative office in Yangon in February of this year. We have played a key role in supporting the development of emerging economies and have gained unique insights on how such markets can better manage sustainable economic transformation. The government in Naypyitaw has made great strides in its reintegration efforts with the international community and it has done so in a very short period of time.

The goal of seamless reintegration is being driven by the governmentís desire to transform the country socially and economically. Following discussions with the government and local business leaders it has become clear there is a pressing need to boost knowledge and expertise in the area of financial services and as such, we view this taskforce as an exciting component in this strategy.

Simon Makinson, Head of Allen & Overyís Burma Group said:

We have been supporting the Burmese Government for well over a year with training programmes on privatisation and PPP. The UKTI Financial Services Taskforce offers a great opportunity to expand this work into other areas, with the backing of the UK Government and private sector, in a more coordinated manner to really benefit the people of Burma and the development of the country.

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