More than 250 delegates from 16 countries at 2nd annual Myanmar Banking and Business Development Conference 2014

From left: U Win Aung, Chairman, UMFCCI, Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chairman, Sphere Conferences, H.E U Set Aung, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar 

SINGAPORE - Sphere Conferences, the conference arm of Singapore Press Holdings, in collaboration with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), today launched the 2nd annual Myanmar Banking and Business Development Conference. It will be held from July 15 to 17, at the Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon.

The region's leading banking professionals from across 16 countries were present to learn about the latest developments in the banking industry in Myanmar, following recent news and updates on foreign banks entering this last banking frontier in Asia. More than 250 delegates from the ministries, banks, financial institutions, regulatory authorities, system integrators, professional consultants and technology service providers convened to discuss the future of the banking sector in Myanmar over the 3-day conference.

H.E. U Set Aung, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar was the Guest of Honour and delivered the ministerial address at the opening of the conference.

Myanmar's Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce also delivered the keynote presentations on the domestic banking ecosystem, capital markets, as well as the commercial and business climate overview. This was followed by another keynote discussion on the foreign banks' entry into Myanmar, where panellists included representatives from the Central Bank of Myanmar, First Private Bank - a local Myanmar bank - and Krung Thai Bank of Thailand. Other discussions were centred on the hot topic of foreign banking licenses, new strategies, new banking products and implementation of the new technologies.

Organisations present at the event include Ayeyarwady Bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, CB Bank, Cathay United Bank, Estel Technologies, Hatton National Bank, Kanbawza Bank, Mizuho Bank, Myanmar Golden Rock, Myanmar Oriental Bank, Nations Trust Bank, Pacific Tech, Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of Mauritius, Telenor, United Amara Bank, Western Union and Zebra Technologies.

The second day of the conference will focus on technology, which is expected to significantly impact the Myanmar banking sector. More than 15 speakers from Glory Global Solutions, OKI Electric Industry, Southtech Limited, Thales e-Security and Wincor Nixdorf will be sharing their expert insights on employing technology as an enabler. Topics will cover the CORE banking and treasury systems, branch banking and cash handling technologies, as well as banking channels and the necessary security know-hows to increase the reach of the banks.

H.E. U Set Aung, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar, said: "We have been making steady progress in the last three years and with the Central Bank gaining independence last year, we have officially reached a significant milestone in our reform journey. In order to continually develop our banking sector, I will like to call upon the leading authorities, most influential voices and the brightest minds of the region to gather to discuss the opportunities and challenges we are facing today."

Mr. Chua Wee Phong, Chairman, Sphere Conferences, said: "Since 2013, we are pleased to have organised several trade conferences and exhibitions where investors got to network and discover business opportunities presented in Myanmar. A further increase in business transactions and investments is expected in the very near future, following the Central Bank of Myanmar's granting of five to ten banking licenses to the foreign banks this coming September. This 2nd annual banking conference is a timely conference and we are pleased to bring together influential businessmen from the banking industry to discuss and define the future of the banking industry in Myanmar."