Delegates represented businesses from the high-tech manufacturing, electricity and energy, insurance, healthcare and food production sectors.
“There have been companies that have delayed their investments in areas like manufacturing because of the absence of a functioning IP law in the country,” said U Thaung Tin, vice chair of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Currently, an IP law has been drafted and submitted to Parliament. “Myanmar and its partners in the EU and Switzerland have discussed investment protection issues for a long time. We are at the stage of coming to several agreements although nothing has been signed yet,” he said.
“The Swiss government provides a good guiding framework for investment protection in Myanmar as it progresses towards its own IP legislation,” said Ms Livia Leu, Ambassador and Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements of the Swiss Confederation.
She added that foreign companies should be kept updated about Myanmar’s progress towards formulating an IP law. “The more foreign companies know about IP and investment protection in the country, the more secure they will feel when investing in Myanmar,” she said.
“We have not seen the draft IP law yet. We know about the Myanmar Investment law and the new Myanmar Companies Law. While there are still limitations for foreign companies and investors in how much they can invest in a local company and potential restrictions on imports, both laws are steps in the right direction,” Ms Leu added.
Myanmar mainly imports building materials, raw materials and consumer goods from Switzerland. Meanwhile, Myanmar exports agriculture, marine products, minerals, forestry and industrial products to Switzerland.