German Myanmar Business Chamber (GMBC), which involves over 50 Myanmar and German business firms, has recently been established in Yangon, as the official membership organisation of companies active in bilateral business relations of the two countries.
The chamber said it will work as a platform of exchange between German and Myanmar companies that are seeking business opportunities in Southeast Asia’s fastest growing market. It also seeks to establish a dialogue with the Myanmar government on economic frameworks.
“In order to succeed, German and Myanmar companies need to be committed to sharing market insights, knowledge and networks with each other. The GMBC aims to foster this dynamic interaction and collaboration,” said Jens Knoke, founding president of the GMBC.
GMBC said it will promote German business activities with Myanmar companies and government agencies, and opportunities in Myanmar with the German business community. It will work closely with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce to support German corporate activities while facilitating knowledge transfer towards developing the Myanmar private sector.
Apart from the growing base of German companies in Myanmar, GMBC has on its roster of members Myanmar companies that have partnerships or are exploring opportunities with German businesses here or abroad.
“Germany has a strong basis in manufacturing – a sector which needs to develop more strongly in Myanmar. While working on a strong market position in Myanmar, German member companies are committed to share know-how on efficient technologies and management. Together, we hope to build responsible and sustainable business practices that will create multiple economic opportunities and long-term progress for the country,” Knoke added.
Germany was one of the first countries to renew and strengthen ties with Myanmar since the latter opened its doors to the international business community in 2011. Bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing steadily over the past few years.
According to official German trade statistics, German exports to Myanmar reached €130 million in 2014. Imports have been growing dynamically to almost €100 million in 2014, 79 percent more compared to the year before.
Germany’s main imports from Myanmar are garments, while its principal exports to Myanmar are machinery, data-processing equipment, electrical and optical goods, chemical products, motor vehicles and vehicle parts and pharmaceutical products.
German companies targeting Myanmar’s consumer and industrial market include companies such as Bayer, BASF, Bosch, Henkel, Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.