Asian business leaders keen to merge Myanmar human resources with Japanese technologies

YANGON—Asian business leaders are keen to see Myanmar merge its human resources with Japanese technologies, the chairperson of the Asia Business Leaders Association (ABLA) told an investment seminar held on Saturday.

The seminar, organized by the Myanmar-Japan Friendship Association, was aimed at encouraging Japanese businesses to invest in Myanmar. It was also a chance for Myanmar authorities to explain recent developments in legal affairs governing foreign investments.

“The senior citizens’ population is gradually increasing in Japan, and the country is now facing a decline in capacity building.

Myanmar, meanwhile, not only has the strength of human resources but also natural resources. That’s why we are looking at the investment possibilities after combining Myanmar’s human resources and Japanese technologies,” the chairperson added.

Kyaw Zaw Maung, a director with the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, noted that Myanmar stands in tenth position among natural gas-producing countries in the world.

“Moreover, 62 percent of the populace can work in every field, and 91 percent are well-read citizens. Myanmar is a good country to invest in because labour costs are cheaper than in neighbouring countries,” he said.

Kyaw Zaw Maung added that the government could promise foreign investors that it would never control their enterprises as state-owned. Nor would it ever suspend their projects before scheduled completion. The government would also allow tax-free status for the first five years of investment in Myanmar and allow the remittance of profits to the country of origin. In the past, the government had granted 30-year land rentals; land lease permits can now be extended for up to 70 years.

“At present, China is the leading investor in Myanmar. Among the two special economic zone projects being implemented with Japan, the Thilawa Special Economic Zone can operate early in the coming year,” said Kyaw Zaw Maung.

Hlaing Oo, a director with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, addressed concerns about the need for hotel investments given the increasing numbers of tourists visiting Myanmar compared to previous fiscal years. Foreign investment would go a long way to address the current hotel shortage, he said.

Today, the total foreign investment in Myanmar’s hotel industry is US$ 1.7 billion (Ks 1.65 trillion). Singapore is the top investor, at US$ 677 million.

The seminar was attended by the Minister for Construction and directors from the ministries of National Planning and Economic Development and Hotels and Tourism Industry, as well as the Yangon City Development Committee, and Japanese business people.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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