As it emerges from a half-century of economic isolation, Myanmar is undergoing an extraordinary surge of foreign investment and international trade. Of all foreign direct investment (FDI) accumulated in the country as of the end of 2013, half had entered in the previous three years, while recorded trade volumes more than doubled from 2009 to 2013. This surge is taking place even as foreign investment continues to be highly restricted, and despite considerable uncertainty surrounding national elections…
Trade & Investment
From The Report: Myanmar 2015
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Myanmar has seen an extraordinary surge in trade and investment in the few years since emerging from isolation. Out of the $9.5bn in FDI permissions granted from April 2012 to October 2014, $2.9bn went to projects in manufacturing; $2.2bn to those in real estate, hotels and tourism; and $2.5bn to transport and communications. Foreign investment in many sectors, however, still remains banned and the list of restricted sectors is set out in regulations that can be revised by the government without parliamentary approval. In this light, the government under President U Thein Sein has been gradually liberalising Myanmar’s trade regime. Largely due to a reform passed in April 2013 that eliminated export and import licensing requirements, the country’s ranking for international trade jumped from 135th to 103rd in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2015” survey.
This chapter contains interviews with Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong; U Win Myint, Minister of Commerce; and Serge Pun, Chairman, Serge Pun & Associates Myanmar.