business‎ > ‎

Checklist for investing in Myanmar

posted 20 Jun 2012, 00:31 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 20 Jun 2012, 00:32 ]

Before investors take the leap into one of the world's most promising emerging markets, there are a few pitfalls they'll need to consider. Tara Joseph reports.

ASIA-MYANMAR CHECKLIST - World leaders are pouring into Myanmar. And politician Aung San Suu Kyi re-connecting with the outside world.


Profound symbols of change. And the country is increasingly open for business


GENERAL MANAGER, GE OIL & GAS, ASIA PACIFIC, VISAL LENG SAYING:

"Everybody wants to go into Myanmar. We are in the process of assessing this market. And given the resources, the natural gas potential resources, it's very exciting"


REUTERS REPORTER, TARA JOSEPH, SAYING:

"But the country has a lot of work to do before companies can rush in and cash in."


Here is a list of key factors to watch: Banking, infrastructure, regulation, ethnic strife.


MANAGING PARTNER, VRIENS & PARTNERS, HANS VRIENS, SAYING:

"I think what is very important for potential investors to understand, is to what extent the economy has been mismanaged in the last 50 years."


Decades of isolation, military control, economic sanctions.


Myanmar's banking system is almost non-existent, it's basic infrastructure sorely out of date.


MANAGING PARTNER, VRIENS & PARTNERS, HANS VRIENS. SAYING:

"There are only 110,000 Internet connections and that's for a population of 60 million people. The economy wasn't geared toward serving the people, it was geared toward serving a very small group."


Human rights firms have voiced concern about the U.S. easing sanctions on Myanmar, worried about the government's harsh treatment of minorities .


But for U.S. firms, the race is on to get into a strategically key country.


Geographic neighbour China has long been active in Myanmar, building a pipeline and railroad line which will stretch the heartland.


But unless Myanmar fast-tracks political and regulatory reform, it will be hard work for firms on the ground.


Tara Joseph reporting for Reuters.

Comments