Myanmar, or known as Burma, is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, covering 676,578 square kilometres. It is populated with 54 million population, according to the latest census held in 2017. Myanmar is considered by most to be the last frontier economy in Southeast Asia region. The country has alienated themselves from foreign business for decades due to the lasting military occupancy in the country.
The tables have now turned as Myanmar has implemented initiatives to open up their border for foreign businesses and investors. Myanmar currently undergoes rapid transformation in its economies and industries. This burgeoning market now offers many untapped opportunities that can be utilized by regional and even global players. Foreign businesses are now able to enter, grow, and expand their businesses in the country.
Myanmar has shown prominent growth in its economy since they opened up their economies to the global market in 2011. Since then, foreign direct investment has been growing at a staggering pace. Between 2015 to 2016 alone, the country has been able to gather investors around the world to invest more over USD 9.5 billion. The succession by the democratic government in 2016 has also assured investors and reinforcing global faith on Myanmar’s positive outlook on growth and economic landscape.
Foreign investments also push local conglomerates to expand their businesses in Myanmar. Local businesses are trying to stay competitive with other global businesses and aim to take advantage of the current rapid transformation happening in the county. As businesses compete with each other, the country has seen a higher employment rate which therefore increased Myanmar’s overall purchasing power.
Pushed by the increasing foreign investment and domestic consumption, the economy of Myanmar is expected to grow about 6.8% by 2020 according to the Asian Development Bank. Despite being one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, the GDP growth rate of Myanmar is the highest compared to other countries in the region. This fact further highlights the government’s success in reforming the economy.
Over the years, Myanmar has relied heavily on non-industrialized agricultural sector. Statistics shows that over 60% of the total population continues to seek employment in the non-industrialized agricultural sector. However, in terms of exports, petroleum gases dominate 43 percent of Myanmar’s export, followed by dried and shelled legumes in second place with 17 percent.
Even though the promising growth of Myanmar’s economy may seem lucrative, Myanmar still faces a number of barriers which can potentially hold down foreign investors and business’ interests towards the country. Myanmar in general needs to improve their infrastructure to support its economy. Transportation infrastructures in Myanmar have been ageing, with the national railway to only have few repairs since its construction in the late 19th century. Most roads also needs refurbishment, with highways outside the capital are usually unpaved. With an estimated 20 million of Burmese population, the country would require a total of USD 60 billion in investment until 2030.
Power shortage also shows up as a national threat for Myanmar’s potential growth, as only 32 percent of the population have proper access to electricity with half of the consumption is concentrated in Yangon. According to The World Bank, the demand for electricity in Myanmar is expected to grow as much as 11 percent each year. However, the government has already set up a plan to provide 100% of the population with electricity by 2030. At least USD 2 billion of investment each year is needed to achieve this plan, which is twice as much of the amount of previous investments in Myanmar’s electricity.
The government’s heavy involvement in tackling those key barriers are much needed to continue the ongoing economic reform and development. Yet, this also presents plenty of great opportunities for investors to tap into Myanmar’s infrastructure and energy sectors.
Market Research Myanmar is a growth strategy advisory firm and innovation marketing consultancy, entrusted to help clients in Myanmar and the Southeast Asia region. We seek to help multinational corporations and local businesses to enter, grow, and expand their business in the fast-growing Myanmar economic landscape by providing B2B market research and strategy recommendation.
Market Research Myanmar strives to deliver clients with insights and roadmaps that are useful to help clients in capturing profitable market share both in Myanmar and region. Our team always performs primary research to obtain credible facts, thorough analysis around market trends and industry perspective, and also collaboration with partners so our client can effectively compete within the fast-growing Myanmar market.
Market Research Myanmar has offered services in Myanmar that help our clients comprehend the market landscape, size the market, assess industries, identify and profile competitors, analyze supply chains, locate production sites, segment customers and distribution channels, determine investment feasibility, and find local suppliers. Through our provided service, we will support our client to grow and gain profit in Myanmar.