ASIA’S business community has made clear its intentions to consider investing in Myanmar, with 30 representatives of major companies visiting Yangon to meet government officials and the premier trade organisation.
U Aye Lwin, co-general secretary of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), said the interest was unprecedented.
“We hope more top-line companies, which have never before been here, come to meet with us and inspect how the political and economic reforms are progressing,”
However, he added that the government needed to take efforts to improve its transparency and be more flexible in policy formation if it wanted to attract investors and forge long-term relationships.
The latest delegation had about 30 members and included delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, including the Tony Fernandes, the owner of AirAsia, as well as representatives of CIMB Bank and Northstar group, both of which are members of the ASEAN Business Club (ABC).
A media team including reporters from Asia News Network from Thailand and Malaysia’s Sin Chew Daily newspaper also accompanied the delegation.
During its February 6-7 visit the delegation met Myanmar Investment Commission chairman and Minister for Industry U Soe Thein, as well as members of the UMFCCI and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Delegates discussed possible investment in hotels and tourism, financial and banking services, oil and gas, construction and infrastructure, media, entertainment and agriculture, one delegate said.
In January the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a press release saying that Myanmar’s government “faced an historic opportunity to jump-start the development process and lift living standards” if it changed some economic policies and eased restrictions on the financial sector.
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Activists have also proactively published social media content in multiple languages using the hashtags #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar and #WhatsHappeningInThailand to boost coverage of events on the ground.
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