Yangon gears up to lure more investment into business hub

AS INVESTORS await Myanmar’s new moves to open up the economy, the regional government of Yangon plans to unveil its investment strategies at the first Yangon Investment Forum (YIF2018) next week, according to a regional minister.

Planning and Finance Minister Myint Taung said at a press conference on Wednesday that Yangon region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein is set to reveal the government’s strategies at the full-day event to be held on May 9 to attract more local and foreign investments in Myanmar’s commercial hub.

“Yangon region is home to 45 townships with 33 under the management of Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) and 12 outside the YCDC area. At YIF2018, the chief minister is set to explain which townships will be the most suitable for the implementation of new industrial zones and which areas in this region should be the best to build new cities,” he said.

Myint Taung said the chief minister will lead a team of regulators, policy-makers and investment experts that will shed light on Myanmar’s investment framework and the new Myanmar Investment Law, taxation, present current investment landscape, and emerging bright spots.

He said the discussions at the forum would prioritise on 6 key sectors – agriculture, energy and electricity, logistics, tourism, textile and garment, and banking. Jointly conducted by Yangon region investment committee and the Myanmar Investors Development Association (MIDA), the forum aims to attract over 700 participants with half of them foreigners representing various companies and organisations.

Khin Maung Aye, chairman of MIDA, expects the forum to play a key role in attracting new investors to Yangon region.

“Yangon takes up the lion share of investments in Myanmar, as a number of commercial activities are usually carried out here. It is still an important region with the highest amount of the total investment flow to Myanmar,” he said.

Strengths and attractions

“Our invitation alone cannot attract foreign investors to invest here. We can make it possible by ensuring the strengths and attractions of Yangon.

“We need to arouse investors’ interest by showing off our attractions first. It is one of the main reasons why we have decided to hold YIF2018.”

According to Khin Maung Aye, local and foreign businesses alike cannot even wait to hear from the chief minister about the regional government’s investment strategies.

“We are so eager to cooperate with regional authorities and foreign investors. MIDA has provided the regional government with some suggestions that could be helpful to attract foreign direct investment. With that, we do believe the strategies would move Yangon forward,” he said.

To date, the region has received 585 local enterprises with a total investment of nearly 7 trillion kyats and 845 foreign-owned enterprises valued at US$20.3 billion. Additionally, Yangon region is home to 30 industrial zones including Myanmar’s largest industrial estate in Hlaing Thar Yar township and the Thilawa special economic zone.

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development has also supported the event through GmbH GIZ.

Tobias Stolz, head of GIZ programmes in Myanmar, said the forum would promote investment and provide useful information to potential investors.

“Designed to highlight investment opportunities, attract foreign direct investment, and mark the country’s return to international markets, this forum will be one of the major milestones in the implementation of the government’s business and investment reforms,” he said.

At the forum, GIZ will launch the Investment Application Guidebook which provides easier access to valuable information on investment application procedures.

The development of the guidebook was supported by the German Cooperation and implemented by GIZ in cooperation with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

Source: The Nation

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