MYANMAR PERMITS OVER 100 FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN 5 MONTHS

NEWS
Myanmar Investment Committee (MIC) permitted 109 foreign investments as of February in present fiscal year 2018-2019 which started in October last year, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration. From October, 2018 to February this year, over 1.7 billion U.S. dollars' investments from the permitted projects entered the country. During the period, manufacturing sector topped the list with over 520 million U.S. dollars' investments from 79 projects, the figures said.

(Source: Xinhua, March 21, 2019)

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RESEARCH VIEW
A booming property market in Myanmar has seen real estate sector rank in the top three of sources for foreign direct investment in the last year. USD1.2 billion in FDI flowed into the country's real estate sector in the fiscal year 2017-2018, trailing only the USD1.7 billion that went into manufacturing in the same period, according to a report by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Singapore and China were the biggest investors in Myanmar, pumping USD2.1 billion and USD1.3 billion, respectively, or more than 60% of approved FDI. The Yangon region received USD2.4 billion or 40% of FDI, followed by Mandalay with USD1 billion and Mon State with USD400 million. Overall, for all its challenges, the market continues to offer enormous investment potential. Myanmar is still in the early stages of its economic transition, with opportunities to learn from the experiences of its South-east Asian neighbours.

POLICY COORDINATION IS KEY BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE ELEMENT

NEWS

The Belt and Road Initiative will once again be the centre of attention when the next Belt and Road Forum is hosted in Beijing next month. For many observers the initiative is primarily an infrastructure play, a framework for promoting connectivity to be delivered by Chinese investment in ports, railways and energy projects. But infrastructure, or what the State Council’s March 2015 document on the BRI’s vision and proposed actions calls “facilities connectivity”, is not the only part of this ambitious initiative. The first of the five so-called connectivities is policy co-ordination, an element that has received less analytical attention. In many ways this is the most challenging of the five. There may be some controversy or debate over the geopolitical implications of the other four: promoting infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people bonds. But their goals of enhancing global social and economic interaction reflect the ideas behind globalisation that have been promoted by mainstream opinion across the world, at least until the recent emergence of anti-globalisation forces in the US and elsewhere.

(Source: Telegraph, March 22, 2019)

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RESEARCH VIEW

Overall, the concrete implementation of One Belt, One Road projects has raised the stakes for China in Myanmar, translating into multi-level engagement, including infrastructure and industrial cooperation, support for the government’s peace process and, recently, crisis resolution efforts in some areas of the country. For Myanmar, OBOR holds the promise of much needed connectivity and real estate development — goals realizable only if the ongoing reform agenda and policy coordination initiatives continue. If strongly taken into consideration, the country is expected to maintain a secure momentum in the coming years, on the back of further economic liberalization and new prospects coming up in office, retail, hotel, serviced apartment, condominium, industrial and other real estate segments.

POSITIVE SIGNS FOR MYANMAR TOURISM

NEWS

Against the backdrop of a challenging 2018, Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association says 2019 opened on a positive note with January travel arrivals up 19%. The country’s hotels and tourism ministry reported international tourist arrivals reached 160,000 and domestic trips also improved to Bagan, Kalaw and Inle Lake with the later claiming double-digit growth that saw hotels heavily booked during January. The association in its review said more international hotel brands are entering the market. The new players are Courtyard by Marriott and Sheraton Hotel due to open in Yangon. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Prime Residence to manage Rosewood Yangon, as the brand’s first property in Myanmar and seventh in Asia. A firm opening date has yet to be confirmed.

 

(Source: TTR Weekly, March 22, 2019)

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RESEARCH VIEW

The relaxation of visa requirements for visitors from Japan, South Korea, China and India last year proved to be a wise and well-timed measure for Myanmar. On the back of such relaxation, tourist arrivals from China and South Korea increased significantly and tourism industry could insulate itself from a downturn given the plunge in Western visitor numbers. Despite the challenging 2018, this will provide a positive impetus and sentiment to revive Myanmar’s charm again in tourism world. We recommend developers and hotels to take advantage of this renewed opportunity by diversifying their regional agent channels to woo new visitors and highlighting the attractions of lesser-known tourist destinations in the country.


 


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