Yangon traffic and high expenses obstruct FDI

Heavy traffic jams, lack of a public mass transit system and outstanding living expenses are the major obstacles to foreign direct investments in Yangon, according to an advisor for the commerce ministry.

“Foreign investors mainly seek to do business within a 50-mile radius of Yangon City. Living expenses should be reasonable. The most important thing is to have better transportation for the flow of goods. No one can deny that Yangon is a suitable place to make investments. However, heavy traffic in Yangon will raise manufacturing and service costs,” advisor Dr Maung Aung.

From May 2012 to September 2014, a total of 195,187 vehicles were imported to Myanmar. Eighty per cent of all vehicles in the country are in Yangon. Since import licence fees were cut, the cost of cars has gone down. Traffic jams have been worsening in Yangon since 2013.

To develop the country’s economy, it is necessary to cooperate with foreign investors for better technology, the advisor said.

“The first reason why the country is poor is low production prices. The second is that many people have no jobs. To solve all these matters, we need foreign investment. We need to eliminate smuggling to develop the economy as well. Foreign investors consider the prevalence of smuggling in a country before they invest. If there is a lot of smuggling, they are unlikely to enter the country,” he added.

Myanmar’s unemployment rate has not been officially calculated, but some estimate that 70 per cent of Myanmar youths lack job opportunities.

Source: The Nation

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