China’s foreign investment in Myanmar has reached $14.12 billion, according to figures from the Myanmar Investment Commission, as it continues to be the largest investor in the formerly isolated nation.
“China not only stands at the top of investment figure tables, but we have also seen an increase in border trade and regular trade annually,” said Joint Secretary of Myanmar’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), U Aye Lwin.
The majority of Chinese investments have been in the areas of electricity, mining, hydropower and oil and gas. Oil and gas is the area with the highest Chinese investment, followed by electricity.
According to the figures, in 11 sectors, Chinese companies are operating 381 enterprises, making up 41.28 percent of income from foreign-backed projects.
Second in the figures is Hong Kong, with 48 operations totaling $6.3 billion, or 18.65 percent of the total, followed by South Korea, with 71 operations and a total figure of $2.9 billion, or 8.69 percent.
Meanwhile, border officials revealed last month that they are targeting Myanmar-India border trade to reach $3 billion by 2015.
Myanmar’s relatively new quasi-civilian government has eased tax at border stations, say border entrepreneurs, which has helped trade to flourish between the neighbouring countries.
“Due to the current situation, border trade has increased. Also, road conditions have improved which has helped the situation,” said one border trader, revealing that the majority of goods traded were beans and forestry products.