Investors avoiding fisheries

Foreign investors are staying away from Myanmar’s fisheries industry due to a lack of infrastructure and the prospect of prolonged returns, experts said.

According to figures released last week by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the fisheries and livestock sector has attracted just US$347.474 million between 26 companies, representing a mere 0.79 percent of the total $1.8 billion foreign investment inflow as of September 30.

When the government passed its foreign investment law a year ago, hopes were high that investment would pour into the fisheries sector. But so far this has not happened.

“Farming production is still falling because of a lack of investment. We need money from government and foreign investors to upgrade our businesses,” said U Win Kyaing, general secretary of the Myanmar Farmers’ Federation.

Though would-be investors meet with farmers, there is little follow-up. “We welcome them warmly and invite them to visit our farms. But they don’t seem interested, and they don’t invest. We’ve had plenty of discussions with foreign organisations about loans or micro-financing, but it’s just talk,” he said.

Fisheries experts said investors might be frightened off by political uncertainty and infrastructure defects, and suggest that the foreign investment law could be improved.

“Electricity supply and transportation need improvement, and the fisheries sector requires long-term investment,” said U Toe Nandar Tin, an executive member of MFF.

The investment drought persists despite the best efforts of local players holding exhibitions and conferences designed to pique interest, fisheries experts claim.

Source: Myanmar Times

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