More Asian companies keen to expand into Myanmar: UOB

SINGAPORE: One in four Asian enterprises plans to expand into Myanmar this year, following the country’s steps to liberalise its banking sector. This according to United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) latest Asian Enterprise Survey, which polled 1,024 enterprises from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The companies were surveyed on their views on the challenges and opportunities in the region.

A fifth of businesses from Singapore (21 per cent) said they would expand into Myanmar in 2015. Other companies from around the region were also keen to enter Myanmar, led by Hong Kong (31 per cent), Thailand (28 per cent), mainland China (26 per cent) and Malaysia (25 per cent).

According to the survey, businesses in the automotive (44 per cent), F&B (39 per cent), information technology (33 per cent), shipping (33 per cent) and logistics (30 per cent) sectors were among the top companies looking to expand into Myanmar to fuel their next stage of growth.

Mr Ian Wong, managing director for group strategy and international management at UOB Group, said: “To build a strong foundation for the country’s long-term economic growth, Myanmar will need to attract ongoing investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, communication and education.

“Companies specialising in these areas have an opportunity to be part of Myanmar’s economic transformation by investing early and it is these companies we are keen to support.”

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that S$650 billion in investment will be needed to support Myanmar’s economic growth over the next 15 years, of which S$320 million will be for building infrastructure.

UOB was one of nine banks to be awarded a Foreign Banking licence to operate in Myanmar last year.

Source: Channel News Asia

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