Starbucks extends preparation period for Myanmar investment

Starbucks has been plan­ning to open 20 Starbuck stores using a $6 million investment, and they have an­nounced an extension to their preparation period.

“They have extended their preparation period because they are weighing the decision to enter Myanmar. If they de­cide not to invest in Myanmar, they will be required to return the investment permit,” said U Thant Sin Lwin, Director Gen­eral of the Directorate of Invest­ment and Company Adminis­tration (DICA).

While preparing to invest in Myanmar under the name “Cof­fee Concept Myanmar Com­pany,” Starbucks informed the Myanmar Investment Com­mission (MIC) that they had decided to stall the investment activities in the country. They further said they would inform MIC when they would resume investment activities in a year’s time.

The company has been eye­ing Myanmar since 2013. They received official approval from MIC in May 2018, but never opened a franchise store. Now its future in the golden land is in doubt.

Some people thought that Starbucks decision to delay in­vestment in Myanmar might impact the confidence of other investors. However, U Than Aung Kyaw, former Director General of DICA, dismissed the claim saying that the famous U.S. coffee chain’s decision would have no impact on the in­terest of other foreign investors.

Following the lift of sanctions on Myanmar by the United States in 2012, leading U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola,McDonald’s, and Dunkin’ Do­nuts expressed interest in open­ing stores in Myanmar.

During the 2019 Fiscal Year, Myanmar received 20 U.S. in­vestments totaling $432 mil­lion. In terms of investment volume, the United States is ranked as the 13th biggest in­vestor in Myanmar, according to data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Ad­ministration.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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