Rice Communications, a Singapore-based boutique communications agency, announced that it has opened its office in Yangon to tap the growing number of international firms that are seeking to establish their presence in Myanmar.
“Myanmar is the most exciting emerging market in Asia, and phenomenal growth is on the cards this year as the country leapfrogs into the digital age,” said Sonya Madeira, Rice Communications founder and managing partner.
“With the combined strength of our teams in Singapore and Myanmar, we offer brands entering Myanmar international levels of account servicing with market-relevant insights.”
Myanmar’s economy is on course to grow 7.8 percent this year, with foreign direct investment expected to reach more than $5 billion in 2014-15, according to the Myanmar Investment Commission.
Almost a third (31 percent) of the total investments received as of end August 2014 was in the telecommunications sector, followed by oil and gas (23.8 percent), real estate (18.4 percent) and travel and hospitality (13.3 percent). The banking and finance sector is also closely watched by the international business community.
“Before the end of 2014, Myanmar granted licences to nine foreign banks and plans are underway to launch the country’s first-ever stock exchange in Yangon in October. We couldn’t have chosen a better location for our first overseas expansion. All eyes are on Myanmar and we’re raring to support companies that are as bullish as we are about the market,” Madeira said.
Rice Communications, which was set up in 2009, works in sectors such as automotive, consumer, healthcare, travel and hospitality, mining and energy, and technology.
The firm said its Myanmar team will be led by associate director Donna Garcia, who has over 10 years’ experience in corporate communications, government relations, and public affairs across Asia Pacific.
Rice Communications currently has 22 people across Singapore and Myanmar. Key retainer clients of the firm include Bosch, ESET, FICO, Inmarsat, Kimberly-Clark, Millennial Media, Mobile Marketing Association, National Instruments and Palo Alto Networks.
Rice Communications Singapore and Rice Communications Myanmar are both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sirocco Holdings Pte Ltd. It recently hosted two events in Yangon: a dialogue with bloggers and technology journalists on digital PR, and a training session for PR and marketing executives in the hospitality industry.