Economic reforms helped triple foreign direct investment (FDI) into Myanmar to more than $4.1 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, a senior investment commission official said, forecasting an increase this year.
Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government has pushed through a series of political and economic reforms since the end of military rule in 2011 and foreign interest has jumped as Western countries have lifted or suspended sanctions.
“The total inflow of FDI in the last fiscal year amounted to $4.107 billion, compared with $1.419 billion a year before and $91.17 million 10 years ago in fiscal 2003/04,” Aung Naing Oo, secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), told Reuters.
“As you know, we have opened up a number of sectors to foreign investors, relaxed various restrictions, set up Special Economic Zones and removed unnecessary paperwork and red tape since April 2012,” he said.
The official was referring to FDI that has been approved during the year but may not all have flowed in yet.
He forecast more FDI in the present fiscal year, which started on April 1, with plans to make the investment climate even more attractive. Latest data showed that nearly $260 million flowed in in April from 28 companies.
The plans include a single investment law for all investors, combining the Foreign Investment Law passed in 2012 and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law from 2013.
“The Myanmar Investment Commission was recently reorganised, with many new and younger members, and the Commission will open its office in the commercial city, Yangon, saving a lot of time and energy for potential investors,” he added.
Ministries and government agencies are in Nay Pyi Taw, a new capital built from scratch by the military government a decade ago, but embassies and many companies are still in Yangon. Reuters