In October the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) launched the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan (MIPP). The aim, to attract more than USD 200 billion over the next 20 years.
This has been work in progress that started some years ago with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to promote foreign investment in Myanmar. Events are moving quickly. Inertia is growing.
The Myanmar Investment initiative is led by U Thaung Tun, Chairman Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). In June 2018, U Thaung Tun was in Hong Kong, and in his keynote speech he said, “We are aware that Hong Kong is one of the best places in the world to do business. We see the strength of its financial services, capital raising, expertise and technical know-how. Myanmar recognizes Hong Kong’s distinctive role as a super-connector in the Belt and Road Initiative. Hong Kong is the 4th largest investor and major trading partner of Myanmar. Total Trade volume, US$ 386 million: Import US$ 23 million, Export US$ 363 million. 10.28% of total FDI flow in Myanmar”.
The published event headings invited participants to:-
- Participate in Myanmar’s first government led public promotion in Hong Kong
- Interact with Senior Government Officials to understand Myanmar’s progressive reforms
- Learn how Hong Kong investors can participate in existing Myanmar investment opportunities
- Feel the warmth and beauty of Myanmar’s culture landscape and people
U Thaung Tun was back in Hong Kong on October 16 for The Myanmar Investment Promotion luncheon together with a Senior Government delegation. He met with Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. (She was appointed in June 2017). The visit included the widely publicised Investment Promotion Event with attendees from 130 Hong Kong companies and foreign companies located in Hong Kong. Also of note was the announcement by the Myanmar Government confirming visa exemptions for Hong Kong Passport holders. This was warmly welcomed by Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. The event was also attended by senior officials, from the Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) Government, and commerce and economic development councils.
U Thaung Tun emphasised the positive stance of the Myanmar Administration, adding “The investment body is ready to create an investor-friendly environment and is already making investment regulations more efficient and effective for investors”.
There are several initiatives that show more and more activity with China. In September, Myanmar and China signed a memorandum of understanding creating the China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), within the Belt and Road Initiative. Part of the 1,700-kilometer corridor will link Yunnan Province in China to Mandalay, Yangon and Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Last year, Myanmar had announced progress in the ASEAN Free Trade Area policy and this could also work well with the Belt & Road Initiative of China. This is especially of note for Myawaddy, in Kayin State that would be part of the Asian Highway 1. The town will become an international Border Logistics Hub and Commercial Zone. The Myanmar Government has created a team to review similar facilities at Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macao.
The pace and interest is clear, and investment is set to grow even more rapidly, creating new opportunities for joint ventures, and grow demand for commercial product and services fuelled by the growing economy and growth of incomes.
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