Since Myanmar passed the new Foreign Investment Law in November 2012, the rate of foreign investment flowing into the country has increased fivefold, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
“In the past, the total foreign investment [for one year] in Myanmar used to be only around US$200 million. This year, it reached $1.4 billion in the first five months,” DICA Director General Aung Naing Oo told the Myanmar Global Investment Forum on September 10.
“If our forecasts are not wrong, foreign investment will hit $3 billion by the end of this year,” he said, adding that the increase is a direct result of Myanmar’s economic reforms.
Total foreign investment in Myanmar has now reached over $43 billion, according to the government’s figures. In August alone, it received $731 million in foreign investment.
“Back in 2011, only one or two groups of foreign businessmen visited us each month [to discuss possible investments in Myanmar]. Now, about six to seven groups visit us every day. Most come from Japan,” Aung Naing Oo remarked.
During the forum, the officials and businessmen discussed Myanmar’s economic development and future investment opportunities. They also discussed the bottlenecks that investors face in Myanmar.
Serge Pun, chairperson of the Myanmar conglomerate Serge Pun & Associates, said there are unnecessary delays setting up companies in Myanmar because the owners need to meet with the head of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) as part of the procedure.
However, Aung Naing Oo countered that this requirement applies only to large businesses, which account for less than five percent of the total investors. He said that the MIC takes only one month to six weeks to process approval for the companies.