Why Invest In Myanmar?
The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar warmly invites responsible investors—both domestics and foreign—to seek and seize business opportunities in Myanmar to accelerate sustainable economic growth. The Myanmar Government is reforming the required regulations to create a more attractive and accessible regulatory climate for both domestics and foreign investors. The new Myanmar Investment Law came into effect on 18 October 2016.
According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), Myanmar’s economy has continuously grown at approximately 8% since 2012. Over FY 2014-15, a GDP increase of 8.7% has been mainly driven by developments and investments in the telecommunication sector (57.5%), extractive industries (50.5%), oil and gas (36.1%), construction (15.9%), manufacturing (9.7%) as well as growth in key service industries (e.g. tourism).
Moreover, the manufacturing sector opens up opportunities due to the significant domestic market of Myanmar, direct access to strategic markets of Southeast Asia (ASEAN Economic Community) as well as to China and India. Preferential tariff arrangements for exports of the least developed country Myanmar to various geographies (e.g. European Union, Japan) create distinct economic incentives for investments in Myanmar.
To facilitate investments in manufacturing, three Special Economic Zones (SEZ) — in Thilawa (near Yangon), Dawei in Myanmar’s Southeastern Tanintharyi Region as well as Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State — are currently under development along with a separate legal framework granting investment incentives to companies in these SEZ. Thilawa started its operation in 2015 as the first SEZ of Myanmar. Additionally, numerous industrial zones have been established throughout the country, i.e. 14 industrial zones in Yangon Region, Mandalay, Monywa, Hpa An, Kalay, Shwebo, Myingyan, Meikhtila, Magway, Pakhokku, Yenanchaung, Taunggyi, Pyay, Mawlamyine, Pathein, Myaungmya, Hinthada, and Myeik.
After decades of international isolation prevented the modernization and expansion of infrastructural networks, the Government of Myanmar is now in the preparation for building the physical “roads” to becoming Asia’s “crossroads” through investments into major domestic highways and transnational road links to Thailand (Hpa An–Dawei SEZ), China (Mandalay) and India (Mandalay and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project).
The development of sufficient and better infrastructure is an important requirement to be able to physically carry the industrial and agricultural growth in Myanmar’s dynamic future. As stipulated in the National Comprehensive Development Plan, the Government prioritizes infrastructural and economic development along certain major trade paths through the country in order to facilitate the integration of Myanmar into production networks of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and Myanmar’s Western neighbors.
Myanmar’s overall growth strategy is built on a complementary mix of policies to simultaneously enable modernization in industry, agriculture and infrastructure, a diversification of the export basis and the expansion of value-added production for domestic and international markets.
With comparatively low labor costs, rich natural resource endowments, a diverse agricultural base for further value-added production and the strong support of industrial investment as a priority of the Government of Myanmar, investors enjoy favorable conditions. Most importantly, Myanmar possesses a skilled, motivated and young population to realize the potentials and positive change.