The Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce works with its members to form working groups. The aims of the Industry Working Groups include providing an opportunity to:
- Members to share information, views and experience on an industry specific basis
- Platform for communication with government representatives on barriers and issues that Australian firms are facing in Myanmar
- Channel for dialogue with key officials around issues of mutual interest
- Allow opportunities for the transfer of Australian technology, practices and skills
- Awareness - raising the profile of Australian operatives and organisations in the Myanmar market
- Investment - covering issues such as capital availability and project structures on an industry specific basis
Responsible Investment Working Group: Position Paper – September 2016
Responsible Investment Working Group
In August 2015 when floods struck Myanmar, the United Nations (UN) reported that 9 million people had been affected. In the wake of this natural disaster, the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) hosted an event in Yangon with member companies and leading Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to discuss how businesses in Myanmar could support flood relief and disaster preparedness. The discussion ranged beyond the immediate need for humanitarian support to a debate about the role of business in sustainable economic development. From this dialogue emerged the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce Responsible Investment Working Group.
The Working Group, which is co-chaired by Vicky Bowman from the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), brings together leaders from Australian and Myanmar businesses, NGOs and the Australian Government. The Group’s purpose is to discuss what responsible business means in Myanmar and how companies can work with stakeholders, including the Myanmar government, to promote it. The objectives are fourfold:
a) To source best practice case studies;
b) To develop practical and innovative business solutions;
c) To develop relationships between the corporate and NGO sector;
d) To provide guidance on responsible investment to the Myanmar Government and wider business community.
During the first half of 2016, the Working Group held a series of six meetings that focused on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights. In addition, the Working Group also explored ‘Creating Shared Value’, a management strategy developed by Harvard professors which ultimately aims to create commercially viable solutions to social problems.
1. Anti-Corruption: Code of Conduct + Supply Chain Management (23 Feb 2016)
2. Creating Shared Value and CSR Policy/Legislation (18 March 2016)
3. Creating Shared Value in Myanmar (28 April 2016)
4. Business and Human Rights - Due Diligence and Operational-level Grievance Mechanisms (4 July 2016)
5. Disability Rights and Children’s Rights (2 August 2016)
6. Disability Rights + Approval of Final Report (23 September 2016)
Position Paper - ‘Incentivisting Shared Value’
On 19th September, the Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce successfully launched the Responsible Investment Working Group’s Position Paper ‘Incentivising Shared Value’. The Launch formed part of AFCSR’s Myanmar Business Roundtable, attended by over 130 people, and held at the Kempinski Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw.
The Position Paper served as a powerful platform to discuss what Creating Shared Value means in Myanmar and how important players can work to incentivise it and invest responsibly.
The Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce hopes that the launch of the Position Paper is the beginning of a conversation not only with government but with other Chambers’ of Commerce and industry leaders, with civil society, and other stakeholders who are currently or have potential to contribute to Myanmar’s development through responsible investment.
Further information about the Launch, including an outline of the speakers, can be found here.
The final report can be viewed here - Final Report - Final
- Responsible Investment – Earning a Social License to Operate (April 2016, featured in Crossroads, Issue 9)
- The Untapped Resource: Women in Business and Leadership (June 2016, featured in Crossroads, Issue 10 and Renaissance Myanmar Blog)
- Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce provides principles for investors (24 September 2016, featured in Mizzima and Australia’s Shared Value Project)
If you would like to receive a copy of the presenters’ powerpoint presentations, have any follow-up questions, or would like to learn more about the Working Group, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org