US businesses eye investment opportunities in Myanmar
Last Thursday, US Ambassador to Myanmar Scot Marciel met with businessmen from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce (UMFCCI) to discuss potential investment opportunities available to US businesses.
On November 8, 2018, for example, the Central Bank of Myanmar announced that it would allow branches of foreign banks in the country to offer financing for local businesses and operate other banking services as well as expand.
U Maung Maung Lay, vice chair of the UMFCCI, said local businesses welcome investments from the US. “We invite investors to invest in any sector, but especially in education, technology and infrastructure, such as telecommunications,” he said, adding that local education providers are in need of large US supporters to grow. US investors also expressed interest in agriculture and livestock as well as insurance.
“We believe international investors should not ostracize Myanmar and are happy to have met with the US ambassador to discus US investments in Myanmar. We see this as a step forward and a building block in the business relationship between our two countries,” U Maung Maung Lay said, adding that three business delegations from the US are expected to visit Myanmar soon.
The meeting between Mr Marciel and U Maung Maung Lay took place after the leaders of seven foreign business groups in Yangon on February 5 signed an open letter calling on investors abroad to put their money in Myanmar, stressing the critical role foreign direct investment (FDI) plays in the country’s transition.
The letter was co-signed by the British, Australian, American, European, Italian, German and French chambers of commerce in Myanmar, representing more than 600 companies from over 30 countries.
Last December, a delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council also visited Myanmar to discuss opportunities. Members include US-based multinational companies such a Abbott, Amazon, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Ford, Mastercard and Visa.
In November 2018, the UMFCCI also signed an MOU for business development with the US ICT Council of Myanmar
The US has so far invested over US$400 million (K607 billion) in 20 Myanmar companies over the past 30 years and is ranked as the 13th largest foreign investor in the country, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.