More than 1,000 local and international investors took part in the Yangon Investment Forum 2018 (YIF 2018) in Myanmar’s former capital last week.
Organised by the Yangon Region Investment Committee (YRIC) and the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), YIF 2018 was designed to showcase Yangon as a leading investment destination in Asia.
Yangon Region chief minister Phyo Min Thein, told reporters that he was delighted with the response, saying, “Yangon is the economic epicentre of Myanmar and the potential for growth is tremendous. What some might consider challenges, we see as opportunities.”
Participants at the event included business leaders from Myanmar enterprises as well delegates from around Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East. Asian investors made up more 80 per cent of the international delegates led by China (27 per cent), Singapore (11 per cent), Thailand (11 per cent), South Korea (6 per cent) and India (5 per cent).
The chief minister unveiled priorities in industry, trade & logistics, transportation and sustainable urban development. Major projects open for investment include a deep-sea port, an integrated logistics zone, a new special economic zone, and the New Yangon City Project.
He also highlighted investment opportunities in the areas of public transportation, including the development of inland water transport jetties, further improvements to the public bus and railway infrastructure, and the building of a central urban traffic management system to ease road congestion. Fresh investments in power and energy with a focus on renewables are also regarded as a priority.
“Building a smart, sustainable Yangon is part of our vision. We are committed to promoting a green economy and encourage those who want to seize investment opportunities in Yangon to forge partnerships that will lead us towards responsible and inclusive growth,” the chief minister said.
From the 1988-1989 to 2016-2017 fiscal years, 64,517 businesses were registered in Myanmar, 69 per cent of then in Yangon, according to the Myanmar Investment Commission. Over the same period, 845 foreign investment enterprises were established with a total of US$20.28 billion in investment, while and from FY 1994-1995 to 2017-2018, 585 Myanmar enterprises were set up involving kyat 6990.22 billion in investment.
Home to seven million people, Yangon is a booming consumer market with the population expected to increase to 10 million by 2030. As a manufacturing hub, it accounts for 73 per cent of the country’s total manufacturing investments. Yangon is the headquarters of major companies, as well as banks and financial institutions, and its ports handle 90 per cent of the country’s total imports and exports.