Malaysian investors attracted to Myanmar despite rift over Rakhine

Investors from Malaysia say they are attracted to Myanmar’s agriculture and other industries despite the rift between the two governments since the northern Rakhine crisis.

“Malaysian businesses are keen to invest in sectors such as technology, construction, manufacturing, and service in Myanmar. They showed extra interest in agriculture-based businesses,” said Gilbert Lee, president of Malaysian Myanmar Business Chamber (MMBC), during the MMC event held at Wyndham Grand Hotel Yangon on Friday.

Mr Lee has invested in Myanmar for more than 25 years and according to his experience, there are many opportunities for Malaysian investors in Myanmar but most of them are not aware of those great chances.

The aim of the MMC is for Malaysians to know more about the business opportunities in Myanmar and to promote bilateral cooperation.

The event will bring businesses of both countries to cooperate and support the efforts in improving economic opportunities in Myanmar.

More than 100 companies and more than 150 entrepreneurs from Malaysia attended the seminar. For two-thirds of the attendees, this was their first visit to Myanmar.

They will understand that the news they’ve heard are very different from actual situation after touring Yangon, commented Mr Lee. Two MoUs were signed between the business people of Malaysia and Myanmar during the event.

If the Malaysian businesses stay or do business here longer, they can sign more MoUs and cooperation between the two countries, said Mr Lee.

As a result of this, more cooperation and links between Malaysia and Myanmar businesses can be achieved, he added.

Currently, Malaysian businesses are producing quality cosmetics, electrical equipment and construction materials in Myanmar and they also operate engineering and design industry for the service sector.

They have potential to expand the businesses in that sector, he said.

“Many Malaysian businesses are already here, including Axiata, Berjaya, ENRA, Maybank, Muhibbah Engineering, Nissan Tan Chong, Petronas and Texchem, and we hope to build on their engagement in Myanmar,” said Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar Zahairi Baharim.

Over the past few months, MMBC, together with ministries and trade associations in Malaysia, has actively promoted Myanmar as an investment choice to Malaysian companies. Numerous roadshows in Malaysia have generated excitement, and today Malaysian companies from various industries came to the MCC to connect with Myanmar businesses.

“This event is just the start of making the right connections. Post-MCC, we will continue to facilitate interactions for Malaysians and Myanmar in the Golden Land of opportunities,” added the ambassador.

Malaysian foreign affairs minister Saifuddin Abdullah visited Myanmar this April and met with the State Counsellor.

Malaysian companies have invested in oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications, hotel and tourism, real estate, agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors.

Until the end of July in fiscal year 2018-19, data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration showed that Malaysia had invested more than US$1.9 billion, and was ranked as 10th biggest source of FDI by country in Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times

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