Invest Myanmar Summit 2019:
Opportunity to Discover the Business Potential of Myanmar
Invest Myanmar Summit 2019 was held at Myanmar International Convention Centre 2 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from 28th-29th January 2019. This two-day event was organized by the UMFCCI which is a national level non-governmental organization representing and safeguarding the interests of the private business sector.
The summit was a collaboration between the Myanmar government, region and states governments, and the business community. As the aim was to create a platform for businesses to meet, potential international, as well as local investors, were provided with relevant information during this summit.
According to the official summit website, ten states and regions participated in the event—Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan, Yangon, Sagaing, Mandalay, Irrawaddy, and Tanintharyi. Targeted industries were manufacturing, garment, electricity and energy, tourism, education, food processing and fisheries, healthcare, infrastructure, and property.
The key speakers at the summit were State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Union Minister of Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning and Finance U Set Aung and a member of the National Economic Coordination Committee (NECC) U Min Ye Paing Hein.
In her speech, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi summarized key reforms the government has enacted to improve the business environment in Myanmar and emphasized their commitment to make the country investment-friendly. The countries targeted are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, India, Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The second day featured a star lineup of key figures involved in the planning and execution of Myanmar’s economic future. “Myanmar itself is preparing for the change and one of the first things we have done is to make the change and transformation in the economic sector,” said U Thaung Tun. He later elaborated, “Within the last few months, we have taken a number of significant measures to ensure that it will be much easier to do business in Myanmar.” U Thaung Tun also touched on the intention to set up initiatives like the Land Bank, a public database to inform potential landowners on the details of available land. “That would be more transparent, and I think that would level the playing field for everybody who wants to invest in Myanmar,” he said.
U Thaung Tun also addressed concerns about investments in Rakhine State, stressing the need for “inclusive ways to bring together communities” through education, healthcare, and job creation.
Myanmar has experienced a significant decline in FDI since 2015 and after the 2017 Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State which caused caution among western investors. The government’s first priority in 2019 is to focus on the implementation of the MIPP, Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan, which is a major investment plan that aims to attract more than $200 billion in investment from responsible and quality businesses over the next 20 years. Through the MIPP, the government aims for Myanmar to become a middle-income country by 2030 and will make economic reforms to ensure fair and transparent investment systems and institutional development for investment promotion.