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UNESCO’s Centre for Excellence in Business Skills Development organizes timely seminar on Yangon Stock Exchange


On 27 August 2016, five months after the new Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) started trading, UNESCO’s Centre for Excellence in Business Skills Development (CEBSD), working in close collaboration with the YSX and Yangon University of Economics (YUE), brought together a panel of experts for an oversubscribed seminar on the “Stock Exchange Establishment in Myanmar: Lessons Thus Far and the Way Forward”, attended by over 291 students, faculty, members of parliament, representatives from the government, media and stakeholders from the banking and financial sector. The seminar witnessed opening remarks delivered by representatives from YUE and UNESCO, keynote addresses by distinguished speakers, and a panel discussion with eminent industry experts.

YUE Rector delivering the opening remarks

Head of UNESCO Myanmar delivering the opening remarks

The seminar was opened by Dr. Khin Naing Oo, Rector of Yangon University of Economics who warmly welcomed the audience to the University and noted the importance of the Yangon Stock Exchange for the development of Myanmar’s economy. Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, Head of Office, UNESCO Myanmar noted the importance of the seminar explaining that it is part of a series of opportunities brought to Myanmar youth by the Centre of Excellence for Business Skills Development, an innovative public private partnership between UNESCO, Yangon University of Economics and PepsiCo.

Distinguished speaker from academia, Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet, Advisor of Union of Myanmar Federation of Commerce and Industries, and U Yin Zaw Myo, Managing Director of the Yangon Stock Exchange delivered the keynote addresses. In his keynote address “Capital Markets: Engine for Economic Development”, Dr. Aung Tun Thet highlighted the importance of capital markets in Myanmar’s economic growth and explicated challenges specific to Myanmar, such as limited access to finance, high cost of capital and political risk, as well as possible solutions, including, good corporate governance, effective regulatory mechanisms, technology support and well-informed citizens.  

Keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet

Keynote speech by U Yin Zaw Myo, MD of YSX

In the second keynote address, Managing Director of the Yangon Stock Exchange, U Yin Zaw Myo spoke about, “Recent Contexts of YSX, Challenges, Opportunities, Successes”.  U Yin Zaw Myo outlined the history of the establishment of the Yangon Stock Exchange, and noted that the 1997 Asian Financial crisis delayed the development of a Myanmar exchange and how accelerating reform since 2011, leading to the 2013 Security and Exchange Law and upgrade to internationally acceptable accounting standards for stock exchange market in December 2015, paved the way for the March 2016 launch. U Yin Zaw Myo said the YSX now has 3 listed stocks with 10,000 investors and the Myanmar government is drafting a new company act with support of the Asian Development Bank in order to encourage international participants.  

Following the keynotes, Dr. Aung Tun Thet moderated a lively and though-provoking panel discussion to deliberate on “What are the needs for productive engagement of Yangon Stock Exchange with Myanmar economy?” with the following panel of distinguished experts:

  •  U Tun Tun, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of First Myanmar Investment (FMI);

 •  U Soe Thein, Deputy Managing Director of Asia Green Development Bank;

 •  U Aye Win, Admin and HR Director of Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH);

 •  U Thet Tun Oo, Executive Senior Manager of Yangon Stock Exchange.

U Tun Tun and U Aye Win shared their experiences of listing preparation process of First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH) to become listed companies of Yangon Stock Exchange. U Soe Thein, as a former government official, discussed the lessons learnt and way forward regarding readiness and capacities of stock exchange market infrastructure, investor education, qualification of public companies and competencies of security companies from a regulator’s perspective. U Thet Tun Oo shared his experiences related to the Yangon Stock Exchange, and mentioned the lack of awareness and misunderstanding between individual investors and government policies while reflecting on the experiences of neighbouring ASEAN countries.

Following the panel discussion, there was a Q & A session, with the panel taking many interesting questions from the audience. In conclusion, Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet stated that, “Investment in stock exchange market plays an important role for capital market development and for economic development of Myanmar. Also, the development of institutions involved and capacity of individuals participating in these institutions is vital to improve the stock exchange market in Myanmar.”

For further information on the CEBSD please contact Seint Sandar Hlaing, and Tin Nilar Aye,