Myanmar Signs up with EU’s EuroCham for More Investment

YANGON — Myanmar’s investment agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) to attract more investment from the European Union as Myanmar drafts an economic reform and recovery plan to address the impact of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) and EuroCham in Myanmar held an online MoU signing ceremony to boost cooperation in building a sustainable business environment to attract responsible investment.

The EU’s total investment in Myanmar reached nearly US$7 billion (9 trillion kyats) last year, accounting for 8.6 percent of foreign direct investment, according to the DICA.

DICA deputy director-general U Min Zaw Oo told The Irrawaddy: “We will collaborate with the EU chamber for investment promotion, especially to invite more investors from EU countries.”

Under the MoU, DICA and EuroCham will hold meetings, forums and summits to promote investment. DICA will also cohost the annual Myanmar-EU Economic Forum launched by EuroCham.

The European Commission said trade in 2019 reached €3.4 billion (5.2 trillion kyats), behind only China and Thailand. The EU accounted for 11 percent of Myanmar’s trade.

U Min Zaw Oo said EU investors remain interested in Myanmar although coronavirus is the biggest current challenge.

He said countries are facing significant declines in foreign investment due to COVID-19.

“We are facing the same challenges. It is not easy to attract investment during this difficult time but we will try our best,” he added.

According to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), the country secured $5.7 billion (7.3 trillion kyats) in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the 2019-20 fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30. The figure is $1 billion (1.3 trillion kyats) higher than the previous year, the MIC said.

It said Myanmar had received $24.7 billion (32 trillion kyats) in FDI under the current government. Singapore, which is often used as a conduit by other countries, was the largest investor in Myanmar since October last year, followed by China and Thailand.

The National League for Democracy recognized FDI as a key driver of economic development and launched a major investment plan in 2018 which aims to attract more than $200 billion (260 trillion kyats) over the next 20 years.

According to the 2018 Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan, the country is projected to receive $8.5 billion (11 trillion kyats) between 2021-26, $12.3 billion (16.4 trillion kyats) from 2026-31 and $17.6 billion (22.8 kyats) in the third phase from 2031-36.

Source : The Irrawaddy

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