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Emerging Business and Investment Opportunities in Myanmar

Myanmar as the ‘’next great Asian frontier''

May 30th, 2016

Myanmar is a culturally warm and diverse country with long-term business relationships built on trust. More than 100 different ethnicities form the Myanmar society with Burnese as the lingua franca. In recent years they have accomplished groundbreaking political and economic reforms to a democratic system and internationally open marketplace.

Under the Government of U Thein Sein, a comprehensive support infrastructure to SMEs and entrepreneurs has been established. The government has been adopting a policy of promoting particular SMEs throughout the country.  There is also reform of the patent related legislation going on. They are beginning its economic-development journey in the digital age, when mobile and Internet technology are increasingly affordable and the liberalization of the telecommunications industry has changed lives.

Myanmar has not yet followed the industrialization path of regional economies and maintains a strong agricultural focus yes, since two thirds of the population work in the agricultural sector short of modern technology and at low productivity levels. But the recent policy change to encourage foreign investment creates the ability to mortgage a long-term lease. Referred to as “the next great Asian frontier”, the country’s strongest sectors lie in energy and infrastructure, oil and gas. Myanmar’s areas with growth potential include services, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism.

The consumer market is relatively young and offers a great potential for suppliers of basic goods and services. Myanmar is roughly diamond-shaped – with a long southeastern ‘tail’ – and it's attractive geographical location connects it with China, Laos, India, Bangladesh and the ASEAN members of Thailand and Laos, providing access to a market of approximately three billion people. Myanmar’s start-up ecosystem is shaped particularly by repatriates. Recently an increasing number of incubator and co-working spaces emerged in Yangon, like, IdeaBox, DevLab, Project Hub Yangon, SuleTech, Phan Dee Yar: Myanmar Innovation Hub. Most support to start-ups is provided through the telecommunications sector.

News from Berlin
Urška Čelig, Berlin Global