Panasonic Asia Pacific announces official opening of Myanmar branch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

PANASONIC ASIA PACIFIC ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL OPENING OF ITS MYANMAR BRANCH IN YANGON

·  New branch office aims to propel Panasonic to capture greater market share in the country

·  Panasonic confirms its participation as the first official sponsors of the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar

3rd June 2013, Yangon, Myanmar – Panasonic Asia Pacific today announced the official opening of its Myanmar branch in Yangon. The office is managed by Mr. Hisakazu Maeda, Chief Representative of Panasonic Asia Pacific Myanmar Branch, who will be supported by a team of four local employees from the customer relations office. The branch will focus on further developing the consumer business and to approach the business-to-business segment in light of the huge economic growth potential in Myanmar.

“As a fast growing country with a large youth population, Myanmar is an important market for Panasonic. We believe that the country will continue to grow and prosper socially and economically in the coming years. Hence, we hope to further strengthen our business here and contribute to the country’s progress by establishing a Panasonic Asia Pacific branch office in the key commercial city of Yangon,” said Mr. Yorihisa Shiokawa, Managing Director, Panasonic Asia Pacific.

Panasonic has been offering all its product categories in Myanmar since 1979 via distributors. The company’s home appliance products, such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, rice cookers and hair dryers are best sellers in its class. Consumers in Myanmar have high regard for Panasonic products due to its excellent functionality, sleek design, user-friendliness and high quality.

The move to establish a branch in Yangon is also to capture opportunities that will be expected in the next three years which will see the Myanmar market change drastically. The country will be playing host to key regional events like the 27th Southeast Asian Games this year and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2014.

Panasonic has confirmed its participation as the first official sponsors of the 27th SEA Games and will provide product categories such as home appliances and audio visual that will be needed for Games operations. Panasonic will also support the manufacture and provision of the official uniforms for the Myanmar team at the SEA Games.

Dr. Maung Maung Thein, Deputy Minister of Finance and Revenue, Myanmar, commented, “2013 marks an exciting time for Myanmar as we open up our doors to the global platform. It is the first time in 44 years that our country will once again host the SEA Games. We are really looking forward to partner with Japanese corporations like Panasonic as they embody reliability and trust. This collaboration also serves as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties with Japan.”

In addition, as a member ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), Myanmar will be enacting zero tariff rates on virtually all imports by 2015. This will not only boost the economic growth further, but also increase ASEAN region’s competitive advantage as a production base as it aims for the world market.

To understand the dynamic market better, Panasonic Asia Pacific Myanmar Branch will be conducting extensive market research on product demand, price expectations and consumer needs in partnership with local dealers and distributors. Based on findings from the study, Panasonic plans to develop local-fit products and further enhance its after sales service.  

One such local-fit product to be introduced to the Myanmar market later this year is the new model of Solar LED Lantern with a charger function for mobile phones and other small devices. This will be a key product to improve the quality of lives of many people in Myanmar who are still living without electricity.

In addition to the popular Panasonic home appliances products, Panasonic will also be focusing on growing market share in audio visual products where the market can expect to see the newly unveiled 2013 SMART VIERA TV range and, beauty and grooming products targeted at young female consumers.

 “I am honoured to be leading Panasonic’s growth in Myanmar and have a very positive outlook for the economy here. We will continue to introduce and promote new high quality consumer products that will improve the lives of the people here in Myanmar while exploring opportunities in the business to business segment”, said Mr. Hisakazu Maeda, Chief Representative, Panasonic Asia Pacific Myanmar Branch.

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APPENDIX

About Panasonic sponsorship of the 27th Southeast Asian Games

Panasonic is an official sponsor of the 27th Southeast Asian Games to be held in Myanmar from 11– 22 December 2013. The 12-day competitive event featuring 35 sports will see an attendance of about  6,000 athletes from the region.

Panasonic will be an exclusive sponsor in the category of household appliances. Also in the audio visual category, it will sponsor equipment such TVs, players and audio system that will bring the Games to life.

In addition, as one of the Official Uniform Sponsors, the company will provide support for the manufacture and provision of the official uniforms for the Myanmar team which are designed by Koshino Junko (one of Japan’s most acclaimed fashion designers), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan.

About Panasonic Solar LED Lantern

The solar LED lantern is a light that doubles as a charger for people living without electricity. With a built-in rechargeable battery to store solar energy during the day, the lantern provides light at night and can also be used as a power source to charge small mobile devices like mobile phones. The company plans to bring the lantern to the market in autumn this year after conducting marketing research in off-grid areas in Asia and Africa.

Besides selling at retail stores, Panasonic will make the product available to wider public through the utilisation of support programs offered by goverments and international organisations and tie-ups with NPOs, NGOs and other social groups in efforts to contribute to the development of society. Starting with the solar lantern, its first product for new emerging markets, Panasonic will continue to accelerate the development of new emerging markets and strengthen marketing activities and product development to help improve lives of people in regions without electricity.

In 2012, Panasonic launched a “100 Thousand Solar Lantern Project” as part of its social action programs, aiming to donate a total of 100,000 solar electric lights to people in regions of the world without electricity by 2018, the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding, through local social institutions including NPOs and NGOs. Myanmar was part of the programme in February 2013, where 3,000 Panasonic Compact Solar Lights were donated to Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and other humanitarian organisations in the country.

For more information, please visit http://panasonic.net/csr/special/technology/

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net/.

About Panasonic Asia Pacific

Panasonic Asia Pacific has expanded its operations across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region from January 2012. The company focuses on delivering comprehensive eco solutions as part of the group’s global direction, with its operations spanning across 100 countries with a total of 108 companies.

The region has 57 manufacturing sites, which hold as a key hub for Panasonic’s global production activities supporting the consumer, solutions and components and devices business. Based in Singapore, Panasonic Asia Pacific headquarters promotes environmental conservation initiatives and encourages the adoption of environment-friendly products through public eco-awareness campaigns designed for each country in the region. Panasonic Asia Pacific also has specific goals to encourage green innovation and reduce its regional carbon dioxide emissions footprint in support of Panasonic’s global eco initiatives.

Issued by Panasonic Asia Pacific Myanmar Branch. For media queries, please contact:

Hisakazu Maeda

Chief Representative
Panasonic Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Myanmar Branch)

Tel: +95 1 507 166 430
HP: +95 (0) 9553 3233

hisakazu.maeda@mm.panasonic.com  
For more information on Panasonic’s eco-initiatives, visit www.panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas

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