By Daniel Hunter
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce is continuing to build links with business leaders in Burma to enhance international trade with the Far East.
In March, the Chamber joined a unique international partnership to provide enterprise support for businesses in Burma, specifically within the garment and textile industry.
Since then officials from the Chamber continue to visit Burma to provide expert assistance, guidance and training to boost business growth in the country, with the latest visits taking place during November and December.
The training has included supporting graduates with business improvement initiatives, as well as assistance with e-commerce and client relationship management (CRM) software.
Richard Wright, executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “There is a massive business opportunity for businesses in the Sheffield City Region with Burma. We want to establish contacts early and build relationships with the country which will have a long-term positive impact for businesses in our region to build upon.
“We must be competitive and make sure we are one step ahead of countries like Germany, China and America in building these links to ensure our businesses prosper from the new opportunities available.
“The expertise and training we are providing includes supporting the early stages of business structures needed for companies to grow. These include areas which are common place in the modern business world, such as e-commerce, but which are an unknown concept in Burma.
“Introducing digital software programmes into their business operations will have a huge impact, creating a more efficient service and better interaction with companies in Sheffield.”
Switch Asia is a £2 million EU funded project, led by German Government economic development agency SEQUA. It is believed to be one of the first global economic partnerships with Burma since the country’s recent democratic elections.
Sheffield Chamber is the only UK partner and has teamed up with a number of organisations in Germany to deliver capacity building services over the next three years.
The project will see the development of a greater number of SMEs within Burma and the Chamber will work with partners to help the country establish the capacity and structures to develop new businesses. It hopes the scheme will assist Burmese businesses to become international exporters and importers, as well as develop partnerships with companies in Sheffield.
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