Myanmar narrowly escaped being named as one of the top 10 most difficult places to do business, coming in 177th spot on the 189-country list released by the World Bank on Oct 29, The Myanmar Times reported.

It is the lowest-ranked ASEAN member in the Doing Business 2015 report, and with the exception of Afghanistan, the lowest-ranked Asian country. Nevertheless, foreign investors are consistently ignoring World Bank findings, and are pouring more money in the country.

For instance Thailand’s total investment in Myanmar has nearly reached US$10 billion, making the Kingdom the second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country after China, whose investment swelled past $14 billion.

MyanmarDoingBusinessBottom
Myanmar narrowly escaped being named as one of the top 10 most difficult places to do business, coming in 177th spot on the 189-country list released by the World Bank

Myanmar scored last in the “starting a business” category, but did relatively well in the “paying taxes” and “trading across borders” categories, finishing 116th and 103rd respectively.

Myanmar was singled out as the country showing the most improvement for trading across borders in the report.

“Its Ministry of Commerce abolished the export licence requirement for 166 types of goods and the import licence requirement for 152 – reducing the time, cost and number of documents required to export and import general cargo products,” it said.

“As measured by Doing Business, exporting now takes 20 percent less time than before, and importing 19pc less time.”

Investors unphazed by poor ranking of Myanmar

Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings in Singapore, and Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, are among investors who see opportunities in the country over time.

“It’ll take time for Myanmar, but Myanmar definitely is going to get more and more investment,” mainly in infrastructure, Mobius, who manages $53 billion, said in an interview on July 29.

About eight companies may be listed when the exchange opens, according to Shigeto Inami, managing director of Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre, a joint venture between state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank and Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd., a unit of Japan’s second-largest brokerage.

Following in the footsteps of Coca-Cola (KO), Colgate Palmolive (CL) has decided to invest in Myanmar, which has a population of 51 million. They purchased a local company, Laser Brand Toothpaste, for about $100 million.

Other US based companies including General Electric (GE), Caterpillar (CAT), and Ford (F) have also entered the market in Myanmar. Ford is opening a dealership there next year selling F150s manufactured both in the US and Thailand. Although the country does not yet have an active stock market, there are plans to open one in mid-2015 with the assistance of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa Securities.

The hope is to have about 6 to 8 companies listed initially; however, Foreign Direct Investment is being encouraged. Recently, Myanmar granted licences to 15 banks to operate in that country but not as retail locations. The licences were granted only to banks in that part of the world; no US or European bank was granted an operating licence.

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/myanmar-and-foreign-investment-cm408051#ixzz3HzihCtPS

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

SET market report for March 2022

SET Index in the first quarter of 2022 was driven by industry groups which benefit from the country reopening, as such Services, Technology and Resources industry groups rose at a faster pace than the SET Index at end-2021.

Thailand’s Fastest-Growing Industries as the Nation Makes a Comeback

Tourism is being enabled greatly by foreign tourists being given a quarantine waiver, with an anticipated 5.5 million people set to visit the country this year. It’s an increase on the initial forecast, but still short of 2019’s 40 million foreign tourists.

APAC region records 119% QoQ growth in M&A deal value in Q2 2022

India, Australia and China were the top three countries when measured in terms of M&A deal value in Q2, with India accounting for half of the top 20 deals. South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan were the next top countries that contributed to a surge in M&A deal value.