Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>  Myanmar  >>Investment>>Myanmar ripe for Thai investment, says envoy
NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   4  November 2015  

Myanmar ripe for Thai investment, says envoy

Thai businesses should take a more aggressive approach to penetrating Myanmar before other investors get too far ahead, according to Thailand's ambassador to Myanmar, Visanu Suvanajata.

Although Thailand and Myanmar are neighbours, Thai investment in the country remains small with fresh investment pouring in at slower pace compared with other countries.

"Thai investors should hurry otherwise they will have no place to stand as business opportunities shrink," says Mr Visanu.

Myanmar's fast development has attracted considerable foreign direct investment over the past decade.

The outcome of the Nov 8 general election is not expected to affect development plans as the new government is highly likely to follow the country's roadmap, which has significantly boosted the economy over the past years.

Myanmar is expected to enjoy growth of 8% and continue to grow at such a pace for the next five years, says Mr Visanu in Yangon. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts Myanmar's economy will quadruple by 2030.

Mr Visanu says that under the development plans, Myanmar intends to be a more modern agriculture and agro-industry destination, with investment highly welcome.

Tourism in Myanmar is also on the rise with the number of foreign visitors increasing sharply to 2.8 million foreigners visited the country last year, up from only 800,000 a year earlier.

However, accommodation is still insufficient, especially premium-quality hotels, making investment in the hotel sector a lucrative move.

Mr Visanu says many high-rise buildings in Yangon and big cities are coming up to serve the growing economy. In 2013, 250 buildings with more than 16 floors applied for construction licences; the number rose to 700 last year.

The heavy construction means huge demand for raw materials such as cement and steel.

"Myanmar will be a manufacturing hub for foreign investors and several of them will relocate their plants from Thailand to Myanmar, thanks in large part to the competitive labour wage of only US$3 per day," he says.

Besides, foreign companies that use as much as 90% local content can obtain tax privileges under the Generalised System of Preferences developed countries offer to Myanmar, he said.

The growing economy has resulted in costly land prices, especially in big cities, and this could bar Thai investors, but other foreign investors may regard such costs as affordable.

He suggests Thai companies open a representative office to assess local market sentiment and see the real picture.   

"Myanmar has changed and they are more welcoming to foreign investors. Regulations related to trade and investment as well as the financial system have been modernised," he says.

Foreign investors are able to lease land for up to 70 years and they can hold as much as an 80% stake in a joint venture. The labour force is large at 34.5 million, representing 67% of the population.

Major foreign investment in Myanmar covers energy, garments and ready-to-eat products, with China leading the pack.

Wichai Kanrahong, an official at the Office of Commercial Affairs in Myanmar, says Thai accumulated investment over the past 20 years is significant with 49 enterprises, worth a total $3.1 billion.

However, investments has been slow compared with other countries, especially Vietnam, which is quite aggressive in investing in Myanmar.

Mr Wichai says in order to stay competitive, Thai investors should set up their own factories in Myanmar to both serve the local market and explore new opportunities in India, China and Europe.

He suggests Thai investors divide their investments into three stages. First, set up factories in border provinces in Thailand. Second, relocate factories to provinces in Myanmar's border areas. Third, set up plants in industrial estates in order to enjoy tax privileges if the products are for export.

Thai exports to Myanmar over the past decade have increased considerably, reaching $4.2 billion in 2014. Top exports are oil, cosmetics and beverages.

"Thai businessmen have to be more active, dare to explore new chances as prospects in Myanmar are expected to be bright, so don't lose the opportunity," he says.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories                           November 4 , 2015 Subsribe Now !
• VAMC cuts rates on NPLs denominated in euros, dong Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Indonesia inflation eases, but room for rate cut stays small
• Financial tool tweaked to sharpen interbank market
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

• Textiles and Garments Industry
• Coffee industry
• Leather and footwear industry
• Shrimp industry

• HCM City seeks to boost SMEs
Myanmar ripe for Thai investment, says envoy
Asean Analysis                   October 22, 2015
• Asean Analysis October 22, 2015
Climate justice advocates call for fair shares,fair deal and fair process
Advertise Your Brand

Asean Stock Watch  November 3,   2015
• Asean Stock Watch-November 3, 2015
The Biweekly Update
• The Biweekly Update October 16, 2015

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand