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Doing Business in Myanmar

Myanmar is an up and coming country. Although scoring low on The World Bank’s scale measuring ease of doing business and being classed as ‘Mostly Unfree’ by the Index of Economic Freedom at the time of writing, one of Asia’s poorest countries, The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (sometimes still referred to as Burma, despite being renamed in 1989) is set for transformation.
What set this road to economic potential in motion? In November 2015 general elections were held, which led to the National League for Democracy winning an absolute majority of seats in both chambers of the national parliament and making its candidate president, ending 50 years of military rule and propelling Myanmar onto the international stage.

The election result resulted in the removal of trade sanctions by the Obama Administration, which opened up investment flows and boosted economic growth that had effectively been blocked in the past. There have also been many new laws and legal reviews within South East Asia’s second-largest country, such as the Foreign Investment Law and The Financial Services Law, that are spurring overseas investments and adding greater flexibility for business and financial institutions.

The regulatory system that caused business decision-marking to be uncertain as it lacked transparency and clarity, together with corruption, will most likely have previously deterred professionals from doing business in Myanmar. However, the country’s growing reputation as a logistics hub and the Promoted Sectors announced by the government under the Myanmar Investment law that are eligible for tax breaks and investment incentives, which include telecommunications, education, and agriculture, make the idea of doing business in Myanmar more inviting.

In order to bring the poor road and rail services up to speed with the new internet and mobile telephone services, education, entertainment and tourism markets that are developing and emerging, the Myanmar government has officially stated that improving the transport infrastructure is a recognised top priority, with there being 150 designated planned transport projects for road, rail, sea and air transport facilities. A significant project to note includes Myanmar’s links to OBOR (the One Belt One Road Project from China), which will help the country benefit from new transport corridors through Myanmar to India, and to Thailand and Malaysia.

It is clear that Myanmar is a country rich in natural resources undergoing vast urbanisation and is rapidly on the rise. The World Business Culture website has everything a professional or business needs to help them succeed when doing business in Myanmar.

Country Breakdown

53.85

Million

Population

K

Burmese kyat

Currency

$69.32

Billion

GDP

676,575

km2