In the first quarter of 2013 Myanmar has received a total of US$810 million in foreign investment from 11 countries, according to Dr Khin San Yi, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development.
Investors from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, China and India made a range of investments in Myanmar between April 1 and July 31, 2013.
The majority of investments were made in the manufacturing and tourism sectors. About $570 million was invested in 13 new manufacturing businesses, said Dr Khin San Yi at a parliamentary session on August 5.
Meanwhile, $221 million went to the hotels and tourism industry that saw one new business during the period. Other foreign investments include those in agriculture, farming and service sectors.
The statistical figure of total foreign investments in Myanmar until end of June 2013 was $43 billion. However, the actual figure is only $33 billion, Dr Khin San Yi explained.
She attributed the $10 billion difference to the two facts - some companies have withdrawn after their business approval expired, and some do not make full investments according to their claim at the time of application for investment approval.
According to official statistics, over 88 percent of total foreign investment goes to Myanmar’s oil, gas and mining sectors.
Members of parliament called on the investment commission to focus on raising investments in agriculture and farming. They pointed out the country’s agricultural economy is directly related to peoples livelihoods.
They also called for concrete rules and regulations on the cigarette and alcohol companies, as the investment commission has recently approved many new entrants to the market while there is lack of strong mechanism to regulate such products.