UK provides $300m loan to boost exports to Myanmar

YANGON – The United Kingdom is seeking closer trade engagement with Myanmar, with US$300-million (Bt10.72 billion) in export financing to boost direct exports as well as drive infrastructure projects that require notable UK content.
UK Transport Minister Lord Ahmad was here last Friday to unveil the export-finance facility, which will be extended directly to British exporters seeking to enter Myanmar, as well as to the Myanmar government for eligible transport projects.

According to the minister, the Myanmar government will prioritise the projects that should need funding.

“We look forward to working with the new administration and government as it comes on board. We are more than willing to maintain our friendship for now and for future generations.

“We look forward to building and strengthening our key areas. We want to establish the link between transport infrastructure and the country’s development, the link between the two countries in terms of how the UK plays our part in assisting you and your country,” he said.

Lord Ahmad said UK Export Finance, a government agency, was currently working closely with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) – another official agency – and the Myanmar government to identify export opportunities, particularly related to infrastructure, and a number of British companies had already approached UK Export Finance about potential projects in Myanmar.

The minister noted that there was incredible potential for improving railways, waterways, the road network, aviation capacity, and domestic and international gateways in Myanmar.

Many UK companies are well-qualified to play a crucial part in Myanmar’s transport infrastructure development, for example, in building new tunnels and roads, and improving airport capacity, he said.

“When you are looking at providing transport solutions, the key element to success is developing an integrated transport solution, for road transport, railways and aviation. Of crucial importance is connectivity, ensuring that these are independent modes – and that they are also interdependent modes,” he explained.

Other potential areas for UK businesses are in financial services as well as energy.

Currently, about 40-50 British firms have presence in Myanmar, mainly involved in professional services like legal, accounting and consulting.

During his two-day visit, Minister Ahmad had discussion with Yangon’s mayor Hla Myint and local and international business community. He also launched UKTI Myanmar’s “Business is GREAT” campaign, where the UK Government provides a matching service to help local companies connect with 20,000 British suppliers.

 

Source: Eleven Myanmar

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