Potential for Investment in a Range of Sectors. As it modernizes and liberalizes its economy, Myanmar offers opportunities for investors, both foreign and domestic, in virtually all sectors. The services sector, in particular, is ripe for investment and offers “low hanging fruit” that could provide a quick boost to the economy. Telecommunications, including mobile telephony, is in urgent need of investment. Similarly, the travel and tourism sector possesses huge potential given the country’s natural and cultural features and sites, coupled with the pent-up interest of travelers after decades of Myanmar’s relative isolation. A tourism boom can generate investment in transport, hotels, restaurants, arts and culture, and travel. Agriculture offers considerable potential in basic production and agro-processing, including for export. Complementary areas of marketing, storage, transport, logistics, and the provision of inputs such as machinery and fertilizers are also ripe for investment.
In manufacturing, the abundance of low cost labor presents an opportunity to expand into labor-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing, including the garment sector. Asian and Western firms may find Myanmar a new cost-effective platform for light assembly as a means for diversifying their production locations and supplying an expanding domestic market. Investment is also urgently needed in almost all types of infrastructure,
from roads and water supply to energy and telecommunications. The increasing trend in Asia is to structure investments through public– private partnerships, which can help to engage foreign private investors by reducing their perceived risks.
Easing of economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar by Western countries will lead to higher levels of trade and investment. Over the past several years, firms from nonsanctioning countries invested significantly in key sectors, with total FDI inflows reaching just under $3.8 billion since FY2005/06 Three-quarters of that investment ($2.9 billion) has gone into the oil and gas sector. Investment has also floed into the mining ($450 million) and power ($ 390 million) sectors. Manufacturing and tourism has not yet attracted significant inflows but hold enormous potential, notably as (1) the Government is actively promoting foreign investment, and (2) trade sanctions are being eased, so that investors might now be tempted to take advantage of low-cost labor to produce and export from Myanmar to a broader range of destinations.
Did You Know?
Myanmar is very rich in natural resources like petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas and hydropower.