“Myanmar has the potential for enormous growth. To realize this potential it is essential to create space for entrepreneurship. A vibrant private sector can generate jobs, and spur growth.”Kaushik Basu, World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.

With a multi-ethnic population of 60 million people, Myanmar is the biggest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and one of the least developed nations in the region. After one of the world’s longest civil wars and five decades under a military rule, a historic and peaceful election took place in November 2015 and brought the National League for Democracy party into power.

Long ago the main trade route between India and China, Myanmar is today located in the heart of the world’s fastest-growing region, it has abundant natural resources and it is close to a market of half a billion people.
It is still an underdeveloped economy with an untapped potential that has been subject to crushing economic sanctions since the mid-90s, but that has also recently shown record figures in its inward foreign direct investment since its democratic and economic reform started. According to the government`s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), inward FDI increased 50% from 2014 to 2015 ($8 billion in 2014/15), and was US$9.5 billion in financial year 2015/16, a dozen times the level of 10 years ago.

According to The Economist, real GDP –underpinned by large projects funded by foreign investors, will grow at 8-9% average annually in the period 2016-20. With 46 million inhabitants of working age and its early stage of economic development, there is a unique opportunity to build a suitable economy for the modern world.



Myanmar needs to strengthen the private sector, since engaging it is fundamental to achieving the Government’s strategic goals and contributing to inclusive growth and jobs creation in order to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity.

On the other hand, the country’s business community must consider their opportunities in different markets, reach international quality standards, and explore foreign partnerships. International companies need to move fast, be prepared to commit to Myanmar for the long term, and consider partnerships with local firms.

Therefore, Myanmar’s private sector approach should be pro-active to reach out to the international business community, not just by highlighting the great opportunities but also to talk openly with investors and business analysts about the risks and rewards – about the progress, yes, but also the challenges, and the strategies for dealing with them




Today, the world is witnessing how Myanmar is increasingly attracting international attention and funding –mainly from Asian countries. Las fiscal year, the oil and gas sector attracted the biggest investment, followed by transport, communication and manufacturing.

The Tourism industry is on the rise, and it will play a vital role on the country’s future growth. Nevertheless, last March the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism predicted 6m inbound tourists for 2016, up 25% on the 4.68m arrivals last year and far above the 2010 total of 800,000, which reflects the interest the country is raising amongst international travellers, also in countries like the US, which tourists are ranked the 4th in Myanmar’s international arrivals.

Myanmar’s income generation policies should strongly focus on developing infrastructures and skilled labour for the sector, since there are now opportunities to further deepen reforms, create shared prosperity for all, and for the tourism sector to resume its place as one of the most dynamic and booming in Asia.