Myanmar heading to digital platform for investment and more Asian investors are entering the country

30 July 2020

Myanmar is receiving the foreign investment at a steady rate, and it has already reached $4.1 billion of approved foreign direct investment until the end of May of this fiscal year according to the data released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). According to the statistic until the month of May, the leading countries and regions with most investment in Myanmar during eight months of 2019-2020 fiscal years are Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Korea. Most of the countries on the top of the list are Asian countries.

“The government’s policy is the look-east policy. Asian countries are very keen to invest in Myanmar, and we are also keen to accept them. But, at the same time, there are many western companies, coming from Europe or USA, who are interested to be engaged with us. Therefore, we hope that after the Covid-19, there will be more investments. At the moment, we have to understand that Myanmar has a lot of potential in many sectors. For example, in the fisher sector, we have the long coastline. The question is how do we exploit, how do we manage and how do we ensure that the resources from the sea can be exploited for the benefits of the country. We also have land resources like mineral, oil and gas. All these have to be exploited but at the same time, we have to ensure that these resources are exploited in a responsible manner,” said Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet, member of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

For ensuring the easier procedures for investors and better way of receiving foreign investment amid Covid-19, DICA and MIC provide online services, which are further being accelerated.  Instead of laborious and lengthy process to submit proposal, the investors can easily submit the investment proposal through online.

“This digitalization of the DICA and MIC will be further accelerated. We would like to make sure for any potential investors that there are no difficulties, and the process can be done and achieved very quickly. At the same time, MIC also ensures that we follow the standard operation procedures. Once the MIC approval is done as quickly as possible, the investors can start invest and operate as soon as possible. This is our aspiration, and this is our goal. We are trying to use whatever digital technology that is available to us. I am happy to say that the foreign investors have expressed the appreciation for the ease of use of online applications. They encourage us to develop further such facilities,” said Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet.

Amid Covid-19 outbreak, the e-commerce in the country becomes booming. Despites online selling and buying, the country is heading towards the digital platform in every aspect including teaching, working and most importantly, economy.

“We have to get to the digital economy. This is very important. Most of our people are very young, hard-working and educated. This is why MIC encourages digital technology. We are trying to encourage that many companies to come and invest in digital economy of Myanmar. During four months of Covid-19 outbreak, there is a lot of e-commerce that took place. We now have online commerce, online business. We have to accelerate this and encourage, especially young people to focus on digital technology and digital business. This would encourage the foreign companies coming in to help us with digitalization of the economy. We know that many companies in Myanmar and banks are on the road towards digital transformation. Therefore, digital transformation will be the big area in the future with foreign direct investment,” said Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet.

With more convenient facilities providing for investors, the foreign investment approved amount increases by $747.216 million in the month of May with the sharp increase amount of $648 million from Japan.

Thaw Tar Swe Zin