05 July 2016
Investors and industry players recently convened in Tokyo for a seminar exploring significant developments in the Myanmar energy market. Hosted by Latham & Watkins in conjunction with the Myanmar consulting firm VDB Loi and the Japan Institute for Overseas Investment, the event featured discussions on policies, trends and key challenges impacting foreign investment. The distinguished panel shared market insights based on their firsthand experience.
“Myanmar is a resource-rich country on the brink of historic transformation, having recently introduced a sweeping economic reform program,” said Singapore partner Stephen McWilliams, a member of the firm’s Project Development & Finance Practice. “The new policy regime particularly focuses on attracting direct foreign investment in the energy sector — a development that many of our clients are following with great interest.”
Kazuyki Arasawa, Deputy General Director of the Japan Institute for Overseas Investment, opened the event, which attracted nearly 200 attendees. The seminar was then divided into segments focusing on the oil and gas industry and the power industry. Opening the formal presentation, Hong Kong partner David Blumental, global Co-chair of the firm’s Oil & Gas Industry Group, offered a sector overview and market update, drawing on his global insights. Edwin Vanderbruggen, partner at VDB Loi in Myanmar, continued the presentation, demonstrating his in-depth understanding of the intricacies of the Myanmar market and offering the audience insider knowledge. Joseph Bevash, Office Managing Partner in Tokyo, concluded the oil and gas presentation with an overview of the key considerations for investing in Myanmar’s energy industry.The seminar than delved into the topic of power as McWilliams offered expert knowledge on the Myanmar power sector and its current market. Singapore counsel John MacKay then drilled down on the issues of government restructuring and procurement processes. The seminar concluded with an all-panel discussion about Myanmar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and a robust Q&A session.
MacKay, who co-authored a commentary on the future of foreign-backed power projects in Myanmar alongside McWilliams and Vanderbruggen, commented: “Myanmar’s burgeoning energy sector is a unique investment opportunity, but early market entrants must be very cautious. The seminar helped bridge an important knowledge gap by shedding light on sector-specific issues shaping one of Asia’s most exciting developing markets.”