Businesses should invest in Myanmar right now instead of waiting for a couple of years when they may miss lucrative opportunities, said Tran Bac Ha, Chairman of Association of Vietnamese Business Investors in Myanmar on July 15 in Hanoi.
Workers produce footwear items for export to Myanmar at Biti’s Company
Speaking at a seminar on investment opportunities in Myanmar, Ha believes that businesses will prosper right now in the newly opened market in Myanmar.
Ha advised Vietnamese enterprises to conduct long-term and sustainable investments in Myanmar, from which they will see more chances to broaden invests in Bangladesh and southern India later.
The quick economic reforms process in Myanmar has lured the attention of several groups and corporations around the world, Ha said.
Vietnamese enterprises have more advantage, thanks to good relations which the two countries have built over the years. Two-way trade has grown to 60 percent of market value since 2009 and Vietnam and Myanmar have coordinated to open trade fairs in the economic hub Yangon annually.
The Association of Vietnamese Business Investors in Myanmar (AVIM) has organized trips for nearly 1,800 enterprises to Myanmar over the last three years. At present, 23 companies have opened subsidiaries and representative offices in Myanmar.
Myanmar has also licensed five Vietnamese projects worth US$600 million. Among these are hotels, offices, and high-class apartment complexes of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group with investment capital of $440 million.
Besides, Vietnamese companies are also planning to further invest in 18 other projects.
Great investment opportunities
According to Tran Bac Ha, Myanmar now has 15.8 million hectares of unexploited agricultural land and several policies to attract investors.
For instance, Myanmar has amended their Credit Institution Law this year which will permit establishment of join-venture banks. The capital contribution rate will be decided by the two sides autonomously.
The Law will also permit openness of foreign invested banks in the next two years, Ha said. Myanmar also has potential seafood resources and can coordinate with Vietnam for the same.
Vu Van Chung, Deputy Head of the Foreign Investment Agency, said that Vietnam targets increase in investment capital in Myanmar to $1 billion by 2015 and $2-2.5 billion by 2020.
He said that Myanmar’s Government is encouraging investments in many fields including seafood farming and processing, household goods, garments, and oil and gas exploitation.
Cho Cho Wynn, representative from the Myanmar Investment Commission, said that Burmese Government will build a strong foundation for market economy and create an advantageous investment environment.
Although Vietnam is not the first country to invest in Myanmar, Vietnamese businesses have made significant contributions to the development of her country, Cho Cho Wynn said.
Myanmar is very rich in natural and human resources and has a lot of similarities with Vietnam in rice production, seafood, oil and gas and other fields. As a result, the two countries should work together to further develop the economy, she added.