Hong Kong touts entry to Chinese markets

Hong Kong aims to serve as a business entry port to the Chinese market for Myanmar’s companies, as it moves closer to signing an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) with Myanmar, said its Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So.

Hong Kong – a Chinese Special Administrative Region – also plans to begin free trade negotiations with ASEAN in July, he said in an interview with The Myanmar Times.

Firms from Hong Kong have extensive experience doing business in the China, the world’s second-largest economy, he said.

“The latest development [in China] is that as it moves up the value chain, consumption will be affected as the demand for quality has increased,” he said. “There’s a lot of potential as a consumer market.”

Mr So visited Myanmar last week to explore business cooperation and meet Myanmar officials.

“Myanmar businesses can partner with Hong Kong businessmen, and through licensing and franchising, and without spending a lot of money, can crack open Greater China,” he said.

Hong Kong is Myanmar’s third-largest investor, while ASEAN is Hong Kong’s second-largest market after China. Mr So said the investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) between Myanmar and Hong Kong should be completed soon, allowing businesses more certainty when making bilateral investment. A future free trade agreement could also help Myanmar businesses access greater China.

Hong Kong businesses are particularly interested in Myanmar’s jade and jewellery businesses, as well as agricultural products, he said.

Union of Myanmar Chambers of Commerce and Industry president U Win Aung said Hong Kong is the third-largest investor in Myanmar in terms of approved projects, with some 68 projects worth US$6.47 billion having receiving Myanmar Investment Commission approval.

Hong Kong Trade Development Council deputy executive director Margaret Fong said the introduction of Myanmar’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) law in 2012 spurred interest in the country.

“All are very interested in investing in the friendly environment the new government has created since it introduced the FDI law,” he said.

Bilateral trade has grown about 62pc from 2009 to 2013, reaching $152 million last year.

Source Myanmar Times

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