The recently-emerging investment opportunities in Myanmar against a backdrop of ambitious reforms and strong economic growth were highlighted at a business summit held recently in London.
Titled “Promoting economic reform in Myanmar – Why responsible British business is good for Myanmar”, the conference was attended by over 100 representatives from both the private and public sectors.
Topics on the agenda ranged from Myanmar’s development since its opening up and the sectors of the economy ripe for growth, to information vacuums and advice on doing business in the country. Key industries discussed included financial services, telecoms, mining and energy.
The summit, which took place on February 19, was organised by City & Financial, UK ABC, UK Trade and Investments (UKTI) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar.
Lisa Weedon, director of UK Trade and Investments (UKTI) in Myanmar, said she expected the summit to give business leaders a better understanding of Myanmar.
“There’s an awful lot of interest in what’s happening here from the UK business community in terms of the opportunities it might present. And there’s an awful lot of people who struggle to get accurate up-to-date information, so the objective of this conference is to take a little bit of Burma to London and showcase what there is in terms of business opportunities,” she said, referring Myanmar by its former name.
“I’m trying to demystify a little bit for them what this country is, and what the opportunities are and how to do business here.”
Representatives from publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) also participated in the event, and presented its country report on Myanmar.
OBG’s Managing Editor for Asia, Paulius Kuncinas, said that with the UK, France and Germany each accounting for at most 2 percent of Myanmar’s capital inflows, events that highlighted the country’s changing economic landscape to European businesses and signposted them to information sources were welcome.
“Myanmar’s tempo of development has inevitably produced challenges, while the approaching Presidential elections, together with looming ASEAN integration, will bring added uncertainty,” he said.
“However, the country’s economy is expected to grow by at least 7 percent until 2020. This forecast provides us with a reminder that what was once a forgotten market is fast reinventing itself as a magnet for global investors.”