KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — The Malaysian business community is urged to diversify and invest in Myanmar due to its growing economy and the Myanmarese government’s openness towards foreign investments.
Malaysia’s Ambassador to Myanmar Datuk Zahairi Baharim said Myanmar is experiencing progress, and offering fertile opportunities for keen investors – including from Malaysia – to take part in its development.
“I believe it is timely for Malaysian investors to relook at the business potential offered by the Golden Land. There is a lot of potential for us.
“There are many industries (there), such as in the infrastructure, transportation, IT, e-commerce, trading, services, manufacturing and agro-based industry,” he told Bernama International News Service and BNC in an interview at Wisma Bernama, here, Monday.
He said this potential is also boosted by the Myanmarese government’s initiative – specifically in 2018 –where it had released a list of 120 development projects estimated to be worth more than US$500 million across the country.
The projects cover eight key industries – manufacturing, garment, power generation and distribution, tourism, education, food processing and fishery, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Myanmar is currently one of the top three growing economies in Asean with a GDP growth of 6.6 per cent, while its population of 54 million people also present a huge and growing market for consumer goods.
Malaysia-Myanmar bilateral trade volume in 2018 was RM4.4 billion, down from RM4.8 billion the previous year.
Zahairi said investments by Malaysian companies in Myanmar are estimated at RM4.5 billion, and notable Malaysian investors there include Petronas, Maybank, Texchem, OCK Yangon, Nissan Tan Chong, Axiata, ENRA and Muhibbah Engineering.
Another company, Kian Joo Group, had invested US$150 million in the canned food processing industry last year, making it the largest to be made by a foreign company in Myanmar for 2018.
To attract more Malaysian businesses to invest in Myanmar, Zahairi said the Malaysian Embassy in Yangon is partnering with the Malaysia-Myanmar Business Chamber (MMBC) to organise the inaugural Malaysia-Myanmar Connect 2019 (MMC2019) in Yangon next month.
The event, he said, is aimed at opening the doors for Malaysian investors to the opportunities in Myanmar.
Zahairi added that the four-day event had received the approval from the Myanmar President Office as well as the support of Myanmar’s Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Ministry.
“I think it is timely for us (Malaysian businesses) to come to Yangon and see for yourselves the opportunities available there. The country is developing, there are a lot of good Myanmarese businessmen and they are looking to establish good rapport with Malaysia,” he said.
Programmes for MMC2019 participants include site visits to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and knowledge-sharing sessions with Myanmar associations, a briefing on the country’s economic system, and networking sessions with local businesses.