Monday, 14 May 2012

Foreign investment in Myanmar

Investor Interactive has provided some detail on new foreign investment in Myanmar
"Burma is open for business once more" has been the cry that has gone up from many on hearing the news that EU sanctions are to be suspended on the military-dominated state. Indeed many have declared a gold rush, but for British businesses and investors alike there is opportunity and obstacle in equal measure in this underdeveloped nation. Burma is an attractive prospect, with massive precious metal and gem reserves, 22 trillion cubic feet of gas and 215 million barrels of oil, a 60 million population baying for prosperity and the spending power that goes with it - and all this situated between economic powerhouses, India and China. In March [2012], Burma further reformed its foreign investment laws. Investors can now own 100% of businesses without the need of a local partner, there will be a five-year tax holiday for foreign firms, and companies can now lease land from individuals as well as the state. But new restrictions were put in place that mean all unskilled and 25% of skilled workers must be Burmese after five years, with this figure rising to 75% in 15 years. Nevertheless, those in the know have warned against a headlong rush into the country, highlighting a number of pitfalls for those looking to move into the market. Ranjiv Biswas, chief Asia economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The transition towards a more market-driven economy will itself create challenges, as Vietnam and others would agree. Some of the key challenges facing [Burma] are the need to improve the business climate, reform of the state-owned enterprises, development of the financial sector, and vital corporate governance and anti-corruption initiatives."

No comments:

Post a Comment