Press Conference by Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister for Financial Services

(Friday, October 3, 2014, 8:30 am to 8:38 am)

Questions and answers:


Regarding banking licenses in Myanmar, on October 1 the decision was taken to grant licenses to the three Japanese megabanks. A total of nine foreign banks received licenses, the highest number of which, three, were Japanese. Materials distributed at yesterday’s Ministerial Meeting on Strategy relating  Infrastructure Export and Economic Cooperation implied that the government had provided high-level backing. Minister, please tell us your views on the granting of licenses to the three Japanese banks and, specifically, what led to those three banks getting the licenses.


Specifically, the reason the three banks got the licenses was that top people from the Japanese government and private sector spent around two years working together to lobby the Myanmar authorities. Well, you could use various expressions to describe what we did, but it’s clear that our efforts paid off. Also, never before in Myanmar’s history have movements been occurred on such a scale, for so many projects, and in such a short time. But even with all these movements being occurred, are there people capable of handling them? Questions still remain about whether enough people have been trained. Japanese banks, the Ministry of Finance, and the Financial Services Agency are willing to send people to help, and if the securities markets are opened up, people in that field can teach them everything they know. We made people available, and people from Myanmar could come to Japan or we could send people there. That was one factor. Another was that companies setting up operations overseas tend to shun countries where their main banks are not present. Companies’ main banks are generally part of three banking groups, so we went there and explained that if you want this company, this company, and this company to come, you will need to grant licenses to these companies’ main banks. In other words, we told them that they would need to license these three banks if they wanted to attract corporate investment. The finance minister said it, the prime minister said it, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it. Everyone said the same thing, and that must have had a big impact.

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