Based on the increasing interest among Norwegian businesses coming to Myanmar, the initiative was made to set up the Myanmar-Norway Business Council. Until the legal framework for foreign chambers of commerce in Myanmar has been clarified, the Council is set up as a sub-chapter of the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, with the support of the Norwegian Ambassador in Myanmar at the time, H.E. Ms. Ann Ollestad. The Council was also endorsed by Jotun, Equinor (former Statoil) and Telenor, three of the leading Norwegian companies in Myanmar. The Council was formally convened in 2015.
The Council seeks to reach its goals through the following activities and functions:
The aim of the Council is to facilitate growth in trade and investments between Norway and Myanmar, through a forum for businesses to exchange ideas and experiences, and to provide networking opportunities. The Council believes that Norwegian companies has an unique opportunity to contribute positively to the development and modernisation of Myanmar, while at the same time creating sustainable and profitable business opportunities for Norwegian companies. Norwegian companies entering Myanmar will face high expectations from both the local business community and the local government.
Norwegian companies are expected to bring state of the art technology and business methodology, while being role models in responsible businesses. To some these expectations can be seen as challenges, but to most of us these represents opportunities and gives Norwegian companies a strong competitive advantage in the market. Norwegian companies will be able to showcase the principles of decent work, corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability. On behalf of the Myanmar-Norway Business Council, we welcome Norwegian companies to visit Myanmar, and to learn more on the opportunities Myanmar can offer.
Ola Nicolai Borge is the President of the Council. Mr. Borge is a Norwegian lawyer with more than 15 years of experience from Norway, New York and various countries in Southeast Asia. He has worked on Myanmar projects over the last five years, and has been residing in Myanmar for the last three years. During his time in Southeast Asia he has acted as legal and tax advisor for a number of multinationals on investments into Myanmar, including larger investments in the oil & gas sector, the power sector and the consumer goods sector.