Many foreign companies register in Singapore to invest in Myanmar

This year, Myanmar has experienced a rapid influx of Singaporean investment as US-based and other foreign companies have registered in Singapore in order to invest in Myanmar, according to Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

“Not only American but other international companies entered Myanmar under Singaporean registration. The first reason is for this is that not all sanctions on Myanmar have been fully lifted yet. They are choosing Singapore because, according to Asean agreements, we have to allow companies from any member of the association come and invest in Myanmar. It’s called the Asean Comprehensive Investment Agreement,” explained Aung Naing Oo, the secretary of MIC.

Furthermore, the US has not signed a bilateral free trade agreement with Myanmar, so the US-based companies cannot enjoy the privileges like the Asean countries do if they enter directly.

Even before the MIC renovated in 2011, the practice of investing in Myanmar through Singapore has been very common, especially in the garment sector. Such investment accounts for around 50 per cent of the total foreign investment in Myanmar, according to some reports.

“Companies have invested in Myanmar under the registration of another country for years. This is because previously, foreign investment in the private sector was restricted, and the US dollar could only be exchanged for 6 kyats under the old [investment] law. So the foreigners transferred their cash and initiated their business here using the names of Myanmar citizens. Since the ruling government opened the doors to foreign investment, such companies have officially changed their registration from ‘Myanmar citizen investment’ to ‘foreign investment’. Over 30 businesses have done so,” Aung Naing Oo continued.

Compared to other countries with investments in Myanmar, Singapore soars because of this trend.

The world-famous Coca Cola Co is among the companies that entered Myanmar via Singapore.


To learn about why Singapore companies are so prolific in Myanmar read the article at

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