Myanmar Confident of Topping $6 Bn FDI


THE MYANMAR Investment Commission is confident of reaching its $6 billion (Bt216 billion) target for foreign direct investment in the 2016 fiscal year to March 31, although the nine-month figure accounts for only slightly half of the target.

Despite the decline in FDI inflow, Aung Naing Oo, director-general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration and secretary of the MIC, believes that Myanmar will enjoy an FDI influx in the last three months of fiscal 2016, even surpassing its target.

Yet, this year’s inward FDI would be much less than that of the previous year’s $9 billion.

“We are now reviewing 52 proposals worth nearly $3 billion, and may receive more proposals in the months to come. So, we are very likely to surpass the target,” Aung Naing Oo said.

According to the official, Myanmar had approved $34.6 billion from 78 foreign businesses under the Foreign Investment Law as of Monday.

The nation has also approved $190 million in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, amounting to more than $3.65 billion FDI inflow in total.

At a recent meeting, the investment body approved projects from six manufacturing firms in East Asia – mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Cambodia. This would bring in capital of $24.56 million and create more than 4,200 jobs for Myanmar nationals. Five of them are garment factories and one is a paper manufacturer.

This year’s FDI inflow is $1.3 billion less than that of last year. This does not surprise Aung Naing Oo, who assumes the decline is usual “by nature”.

Foreign investors had cautiously waited for the new government to take office, its economic policy and the long-awaited Myanmar Investment Law, but he is bullish on enjoying a ride in FDI inflow next year and further ahead.

Singapore tops the list of foreign investors in Myanmar, followed by mainland China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan.

Telecommunications has mainly attracted foreign investors, accounting for 47.1 per cent of the total inflow, followed by manufacturing at 25.5 per cent and power at 17.5 per cent.

Other promising industries are hotels and tourism, transportation, services, livestock and fisheries.

Myanmar would enjoy an influx of American and European businesses next year, he said.

American interest in oil and gas, manufacturing, technology and services has been on the rise, although the directorate has yet to receive any investment proposal from the United States this year.

Negotiations for the European Union-Myanmar investment protection agreement are also fruitful. Myanmar hopes to sign the agreement next year.

“We hope to receive a lot of US investment within one year, and EU investment will surge after we sign the pact,” Aung Naing Oo said.

“At this point, we are receiving investment proposals from foreign businesses that want to enter the US market.”

In a bid to attract FDI, Myanmar plans to implement investment zones in all its states and regions. Now, the zoning proposal will be screened by the economic committee, and then needs to be approved by the cabinet. The process should be completed by next month, Aung Naing Oo said.


Source: Eleven Myanmar

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