US companies in ASEAN expect investment expansion, workforce growth, and profit increases in 2015 according to the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey released at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw.
The survey was designed and implemented by the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Chambers of Commerce in ASEAN member countries and included 588 business executives representing small, medium, and large US companies in all ten ASEAN countries.
As 2015 and the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) approaches, US companies keep a keen eye on opportunities offered by the regional economic integration, although most respondents don’t believe that the goals of the AEC will be reached until 2020 or later.
Still, two thirds of the respondents in Myanmar indicate that their company’s level of trade and investment in ASEAN has increased in the past two years and expect this trend to continue in the next five years. Overall, 86 percent of business executives based in Myanmar regard ASEAN integration as important to helping their companies do business in the region.
The business expansion outlook is high with 91 percent of respondents saying they expect their companies in Myanmar to expand and as many expecting increased profits in 2015.
“The ASEAN Business Outlook Survey shows that Myanmar is one of the most popular countries for business expansion in ASEAN, offering a ready supply of affordable labour and personal security.
“The economic growth is also visible in the number of US companies coming to invest in Myanmar and becoming members of AMCHAM’s Myanmar Chapter. The Chapter was established less than a year ago and we already have 100 member companies,” said Mariano Vela, president of the Myanmar chapter.
Myanmar’s expat workforce are generally satisfied with living and working conditions as 91 percent report satisfaction with their assignments and 77 percent attempt to extend their time in the country.
In addition, US companies are viewed more favourably in Myanmar than in any other country in ASEAN. The major impediments to living and doing business in Myanmar according to respondents are housing and office lease costs, infrastructure, and the limited availability of trained personnel.