With the recent lifting of European and US sanctions, the re-integration of Myanmar in the global market has begun. This has been the result of new and fast-paced reforms.
Myanmar has the fastest growing economy in the South-east Asia region. But the country comes from far. In 2014, Myanmar had a GDP of 62.8 billion USD and a GDP per capita of only 1221 USD.
In the same year, Myanmar had a total census of approximately 52 million people, with 80% of this population being a part of the working age group. Labourers here have an average of monthly salary of $65-$127 USD, making the location labour attractive to local and global businesses.
Future growth is possible in Myanmar
Myanmar is known as a frontier market that is in need of investments in every sector. This means that most fields in the commercial industry are recommended for investment. In addition to this, the recent economic platforms and reforms, the country’s strategic location and labour cost and a large workforce make Myanmar a top choice for business growth.
Myanmar is a large country with a centrally located business locality. Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay are the key commercial hub areas. Most banks, embassies, and non-government organisations are located in these three cities.
Myanmar: From military rule to democratic governance
In 1948, the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom. A few years later, a coup d’état had taken over, forming a single-party socialist state that nationalised the country’s economy.
The course of achieving democracy has been a hard one for the locals of the country. Protests, alliances and injustice have played a prominent role in Myanmar’s past. Things have changed though from the late 90’s to early 2000’s, as power and reforms have been transferred to the people of Myanmar. To further strengthen the country, parliament by-election was introduced and Europe and the US lifted all sanctions except those governing weapons and embargo.
Opportunities in garment sourcing, ICT and infrastructure
Myanmar is becoming a garment destination for European and American retailers. Well-known brands such as H&M, GAP and The North Face are already manufacturing and sourcing in the country.
The country’s infrastructure is rapidly growing especially within the ICT sector. Market research shows that mobile penetration is expected to increase from 10% in 2010 to 80% in 2016, with partnerships from large investors.
Myanmar is also in great need of improvement in transport infrastructure. From 2015-2025, more than 20 billion USD is expected to be invested in building and remodelling transport related structures and facilities within the country.
The right time to enter Myanmar
Myanmar is a country rich in history and culture with the past that has not deterred its collective will to prosper. Since its economy is on a progress path, this seems like the right time to enter the market and grow with it. For a detailed insight into specific business opportunities in Myanmar, market research for to the various sectors will be an essential step.