Devex Executive Forum
Yangon, Myanmar
May 14, 2015

Connect with fellow development executives

Register for the Devex Executive Forum in Yangon, Myanmar

Network with Myanmar officials and donor representatives

Devex Executive Forum

May 14, 2015 | Yangon, Myanmar

What is the future of global development in Myanmar, and how will the ongoing socio-political reforms impact organizations operating in the region?

Join leaders from international organizations, corporations and government agencies to discuss funding trends, donor priorities and implications of the upcoming elections on doing development effectively in Myanmar.

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About the Devex Executive Forum

In 2011, Myanmar opened its borders for international trade and development, marking the relaxation of five decades of authoritarian policies that have isolated the country from international investment. This historic socio-political reform signals positive change for the people of Myanmar, as well as big opportunities for the more than 200 billion dollar global development industry.

Already dozens of donors, foundations and private-sector organizations are in the race to invest in this booming region where estimates of more than $1 billion in foreign aid per year will be spent. The Devex Executive Forum will delve into future funding flows, donor agency priorities, and specific upcoming opportunities for organizations working in the region.

This intimate forum will offer exclusive networking opportunities with high-level regional stakeholders in Myanmar. Through donor agency-led briefings, attendees will learn practical information on how to do business in Myanmar, such as considerations for registering your organization locally and workforce development best practices, as well as insights into private-sector partnership.

Devex Executive Forum

Thursday, May 14, 2015

8:30 AM- 6:00 PM

Yangon, Myanmar

(Exact location to be provided registration)

Devex Myanmar Executive Forum Agenda

May 14, 2015

7:30- 8:30 AM

Workshop: What you need to know to establish a successful business in Myanmar

Pre-event workshop with Erin Murphy, founder and principal of Inle Advisory Group. Erin will advise on the investment landscape in Myanmar, legal and regulatory challenges, remaining U.S. sanctions, items to consider when planning market entry strategies, and how to effectively build a network. Bring your questions. A light breakfast will be served.

8:30 AM

Registration Opens

9:00 - 10:00 AM

Opening Plenary: Development leaders discuss the future of international aid to Myanmar

This high-level panel will set the stage for the rest of the day’s discussions by addressing Myanmar’s major development challenges and opportunities, and the current and future role of the international development community. Panelists are Nicole Barnes, Vice President of Business Strategy and Communications, RTI International; Chris Milligan, USAID Mission Director; Gavin McGillivray, Head of Myanmar Office for DFID; Toily Kurbanov, Country Representative for UNDP.

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Expert Insights: Operating a responsible business in Myanmar

Devex Director for Global Advisory and Analysis Pete Troilo talks with former U.K. Ambassador to Myanmar Vicky Bowman of the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, and Thuta Aung, Managing Director for HamsaHub Consulting, about how local and multinational companies in Myanmar can drive operational, social and environmental performance that complies with international standards.

10:45 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM

Moderated Discussion: Operating as an international agency in a new Myanmar

This session will delve into the dynamics of operating as an international organization in this unique environment. Panelists will discuss their priority areas of work, qualities they are seeking in an implementing partner, and how they are engaging with local civil society and government stakeholders. Panelists are Andrew Kirkwood, Director for the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), UNOPS; Gavin McGillivray, Head of Myanmar Office for DFID; Nicholas Cumpston, Counsellor, Development Assistance in Myanmar, DFAT. Kim Ninh, country representative for The Asia Foundation, will moderate.

12:15 - 1:15 PM


1:30 - 2:30 PM

Moderated Discussion: The prospects and pitfalls of program implementation in Myanmar

Aid is not a new concept to Myanmar - a number of international NGOs and development implementers have been working there for decades - but what does this new era of reform mean for implementers? Practitioners from the public and private sectors will share their lessons, best practices and discuss new opportunities ahead. Panelists are Don Ellison, Senior Vice President of International Health and Development Division, ICF International; Su Mon, Head of the rural energy business unit at Proximity Designs; Barry Whittle, Country Director for PSI, and Robert Barclay, country representative for International Alert.

2:30 – 3:30 PM

Moderated Discussion: How can private sector social investments transform Myanmar?

Executives from multinational companies will discuss their strategies for investing and operating to promote economic growth and sustainability in Myanmar. Discussions will also focus on priority sectors, public-private partnership opportunities, and local civil society engagement. Panelists are: Andrew Lee, country representative, GE; Paul Wilson, Managing Director, Myanmar Capital Advisors (Microsoft); Scott Neal, country representative for Chevron; and William Costley, Vice President of Operations in Southeast Asia, Hilton Worldwide. Richard Harrison, Country Director for Pact, will moderate this session.

3:30 PM

Coffee Break

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Moderated Discussion: Recruiting and Training Local Talent

Experts from local and international organizations will discuss their processes for recruiting and training local talent. Discussions will focus on best practices for building local capacity, what should employers be aware of when recruiting local talent, implementing responsible workforce policies and creating a productive and harmonious work environment with ex-pats and local staff? Panelists are U Ngwe Thein, Director, Capacity Building Initiative; Melanie Lange, HR Manager, Save the Children; Aaron Leonard of Pact; Coca Cola (spokesperson TBC). Andrew Lewis, Vice President of the Asia Division at Chemonics, will moderate this session.

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Moderated Discussion: How will foreign aid support Myanmar’s ongoing reforms

We continue our discussion with international donor agency representatives. Panelists will focus on how current initiatives are supporting Myanmar’s reforms and socio-economic growth. Looking post-elections, what will be the high-priority sectors, as well as the future program opportunities? Panelists are Chris Milligan, USAID; George Dura, Head of Cooperation, European Union; and Keiichiro Nakazawa, Chief Representative in Myanmar, JICA. David Spiro, Jakarta Regional Office Director of RTI International, will moderate.

6:00 - 6:30 PM

Expert Insights: Impact of Myanmar’s transition on the Asia region

Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar gets Asian Development Bank's Vice President for Operations Stephen Groff's forecast for Myanmar’s growth, the impact of the presidential elections in November, and reforms over the medium term.

6:30 PM

Networking Reception

We will end the day with a reception to continue conversations from the day. Mid to senior- level professionals working locally in Myanmar will be invited to attend to enhance the networking and partnership opportunities. Forum attendees will have an open evening for dinner.