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The world, including Vietnam, eyes Myanmar opportunity
  • | VIR | September 18, 2012 07:38 PM
Vietnamese enterprises have some advantages in investing in Myanmar due to the economic situation and reforms in Myanmar that are quite similar to Vietnam in the past.

Myanmaris currently one of the most interesting investment destinations in the world and competes with Vietnam in attracting foreign investors. Moreover, Vietnamese investors are also eager to exploit Myanmar market.

In the conference “What do you need to know to invest in Myanmar” held in Ho Chi Minh City last week, many participants were excited to research Myanmar market and the way to invest in this emerging market.

However, according to experts at the conference, Myanmar’s economic situation is quite similar to the beginning period of Vietnam’s reform procedure previously. As a result, Vietnamese investors and foreign investors familiar with Vietnamese market could not face many difficulties to figure out and forecast the market in Myanamar.

Christopher Muessei, partner of VDBl Loi, a law firm said that the market opening procedure in Myanmar nowadays nearly shared the same the happening in Vietnam previously.

The Vietnamese investors joined the conference focus on the issues of opening the bank office, money transference, potential sectors such as agriculture, telecommunication, insurance… Among them, money transference was the top problem and paid the investors’ intention.

Myanmargovernment, currently, only grants license to foreign banks to open representative office instead of foreign bank’s branches. BIDV is the very first Vietnam’s bank has representative office in Myanmar.
AB Bank, another Vietnam -based bank also expressed its intention to take root in Myanmar.

According to Robert Easson, CEO of Imagino group, a businessman with 19 years in Myanmar said that the money transference in and out Myanmar was quite tough currently. But, there were seven big foreign corporations preparing for their operation in Myanmar so the money transference could be easier soon, shared he.

Nguyen Hong Van, general manager human resources, admin & legal of Vietnam-based Vector Aviation said that her company inked a Memorandum of Understanding with a local partner to exploit Myanmar market. As her experience via market research in Myanmar, Myanmar was similar to Vietnam 15 years ago.

According to experts, like Vietnam, Myanmar has abundant and cheap labor force with 62 per cent among over 60 million of population in labor age and the salary around $65 per month. Moreover, Myanmar has plentiful natural resources and potential agriculture development.

Myanmarand Vietnam aims a target of trade revenue reach $500 million in 2015.

According to Tran Phuoc Anh, Vietnamese Counselor in Myanmar, Vietnamese products in Myanmar was still limited with only sweetie, coffee, food material and cookers, with the payments made by L/C via Singapore-based UOB Bank.

Vietnamhas also implemented oil & gas exploration, and testing rice cultivation in Myanmar.

According to Vietnam-based Hoa Sen group, the group has exported plate and steel to Myanmar and set up its plan to invest a $300 million steel, plate and construction material plant in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s foreign investment law is approved by the national assembly and waiting for last ratify by the president.

However, telecommunication could be opened 100 per cent to foreign investors while finance, communications, agriculture, oil & gas could be in list of registration, said Robert Easson.

Last month, PepsiCo has reached a distribution agreement to export PepsiCo brand products, which produced by PepsiCo Vietnam’s operations, in Myanmar.

According to Asean Business Outlook Survey 2012-2013 conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Vietnamhas the largest number of respondents considering exporting to Myanmar.

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