Business Opportunities in Myanmar
Some facts on Myanmar's economy
The Union of Myanmar is made up of 135 national races, of which the main national races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Population of the country is estimated at 55.40 million (2005-2006 Provisional) and the population growth rate is 2.02 percent.
Myanmar has rich natural resources. Petroleum, Timber, Tin, Antimony, Zinc, Copper, Tungsten, Lead, Coal, Some Marble, Limestone, Precious Stones, Natural Gas, Hydropower are abundant in Myanmar.
Rice, Pulses, Beans & Peas, Oilseeds, Fruits and Vegetables, Sugarcane, Soft wood, Hard wood, Fish and Fish products are produced in Myanmar.
Agricultural processing, Knit and Woven apparel, Wood and wood products, Manufacturing, Construction materials, Pharmanceuticals, Fertilizer, Cement industries are being operated.
Agricultural produce, Wood products, Gas, Minerals, Marine products, Clothing and all exportable commodities are exported.
Crude oil, Petroleum products, Machinery, Transport equipment, Construction materials, Fabric, Raw material for plastics are imported.
Myanmar is basically an agricultural country. The agricultural sector constitutes 41 per cent of the total GDP and 11 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. The vast potential of land resources are available with different weather and various soil conditions by the combination of technology can enhance the production of cash crops and industrial crops. Various types of cash crops and industrial crops are able to cultivate in Myanmar , such as rice, pulses and beans, maize, sesame, rubber, coffee, tea, sugar cane, jute, wheat, cotton, pepper, oil palm, various kinds of herbs, variety of fruits and vegetables, etc.
The investor, who wish to cultivate the perennial crops such as oil palm, rubber, is allowed to use up to 50,000 acres of uncultivated land by the land regulation.
The existing supply of those crops cannot meet the present position of demand and there is, therefore, high yield cultivation and value-added manufacturing of these cash crops and industrial crops with the investment of capital and high technology are the areas of the potential business in Myanmar.
The Government is also encouraging the development of agro-based industries by setting up of sugar mill, cotton industry, jute industry, rubber industry, seed industry, edible oil industry, food processing and animal feed plant.
Businesses other than agricultural production, such as agro-based industries by producing value-added agricultural products and processed food are also welcome. The establishment of recreation centers and resorts, golf clubs, motels around the several dams with beautiful landscape are also potential areas.
Livestock and Fisheries
Second prospective sector is livestock and fisheries sector. Myanmar is endowed with rich and varied marine and inland fisheries resources, with a production potentials of 1.05 million metric tons per annum from marine source only. Inland water bodies such as natural lakes, reservoirs, river systems, ponds, etc. cover an area of about 8.2 million hectares.
Under this sector, the significant nature is almost all of the production, processing and marketing of fishery/fishery related activities are carried out by the private sector. All state owned fishing vessels, carried vessels, ice plants, processing plants, cold stores, fishmeal plants dehydration plants, etc. are sold or leased to private sector.
There is no state owned institution competing with the private sector in fishery and fishery related industry.
Myanmar has a long coastline with 2,832 kilometers, which provides a very good base for the development of shrimp and prawn culture. In order to cope with the increasing fishing activities in Myanmar , various laws such as Law Relating to the Fishing Rights of Foreign Fishing Vessels, Myanma Aquaculture Law, Myanma Marine Fisheries Law and Freshwater Fisheries Law have been enacted and procedures have been prescribed.
The foreign investors can undertakes economic activities in the livestock and fishery sector are, cattle breeding, veterinary pharmaceutical production, construction of ice plant, cold storage complex, fish meal plant, canning plant, dockyard and fishing port and fishnet making factory, development if shrimp hatchery, establishment of shrimp farm, bee keeping and bee products production.
The third potential is forestry sector. Myanmar , since the immemorial time, has always been deeply committed to forest and biodiversity conversation and, as a consequence still possessed vast and varied natural forest rich in biodiversity.
The forest flora is diverse, varying from sub-alpines on the snow-capped mountains in the north, through dry and moist deciduous to tropical monsoon forests in the south with mangrove along the coastal areas and coral reefs offshore.
Myanmar is also home of teak which is recognized as one of the most valued and sought-after tropical timber of the world and it is asserted that extensive and beautiful natural teak stands can be seen only in Myanmar today.
There are more than 7,000 recorded plant species of which 1,071 are endemic, about 100 species of bamboos, 30 species of rattan and species of orchids. The diverse forest ecosystems in Myanmar are home to about 1,000 bird species nearly 300 mammal species and about 360 known species of reptiles.
Myanmar is, therefore, often cited as the last frontier of global biodiversity in Asia.
Production of value-added wood based items such as wood related products, wood carvings, parquet, tiles, plywood, doorframes and furniture are prosperous business under the forestry sector.
Myanmar ranks high among the Asian countries in terms of mineral potentials. However, the mineral resources are very mush under-utilized and still exist a larger potential to boost up to fulfill the growing needs of local and foreign markets.
The investment can be made either production sharing or profit sharing to encourage the foreign investors. To enhance the investment, the Myanmar Mines Law and the Myanmar Mines Rules were promulgated in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
With the intention of producing dimension stones for use in construction and decoration works, systematic geological survey and prospecting has shown an abundant occurrences of granite and marble deposits in Myanmar with various colors and patterns.
Jewelry manufacturing and Jade carving is the one of the areas of prospects with new discovery if large stone-tract which needs the new technology gem cutting, polishing and manufacturing.
Oil and gas exploration under the energy sector is contributed highest in the foreign investment of Myanmar . Myanmar has very high potential in the development of oil and gas and hydro- energy sector. New discovery of offshore gas fields developed by foreign investors are operating under the production sharing contracts. There is, therefore, a lot of potential can be seen in the establishment of downstream and related industries in this particular sector.
Pyar, Kyat ( 1 Kyat = 100 Pyars)
1 April - 31 March