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Chin State offers greenfield opportunities for investors

Chin State is looking to attract local and foreign investors to accelerate the development of tourism, agriculture, livestock, and electricity generation in the state, U Aung Naing Oo, the secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), said Tuesday.

As part of efforts to attract potential investors theChin State Investment and Products Fair will be held on March 16 and 17 at the Myanmar Convention Center in Yangon, with the support of the Myanmar Investment Commission, Chin State government, Chin State Chambers of Commerce and Industry, DaNa Facility, and VDB Loi.

“The sectors in the state with the most potential for investors are hotels and tourism, agriculture and livestock, and power generation so we will target foreign investors keen on those sectors,” U Aung Naing Oo said.

“Tourism in the state offers many opportunities for investors because of Chin’s mountains, forests and natural beauty. Tourism is a sector that can be developed rapidly in the state due to the significant number of beautiful sites that would appeal to visitors. However, some sites are largely ignored or forgotten so investors and development would help to preserve and develop such natural resources,” he said.

In the agricultural sector, the state is well-known for the quality of products such as coffee, tea, fruit and cereals. Investment in the sector would help boost the production of such crops. The state is also the only region in the country that breeds mithun, also known as gayal, a semi-wild species of buffalo as livestock.

Chin coffee and tea offers good potential for growth if investors help to introduce modern growing and processing techniques. The state’s coffee and tea are known in nearby areas and better marketing would help to make it better known both locally and internationally.

In terms of livestock, mithun are currently bred using traditional methods in rural areas, so modern breeding techniques and facilities would boost production of another good source of meat, said Kyin Lun Man, vice chair of the Chin State Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

“At present, Chin’s roads and transport infrastructure are underdeveloped as there has not been significant interest in the state from investors. Development spurred by investors would help remedy the situation,” U Aung Naing Oo said.

The state government is already working to upgrade roads and the airport, so connectivity will be improved, U Aung Naing Oo, added.

To date, the state is the only one in the country not to have received any foreign investments and only one local investor has set up a hotel there.

Last month, the Chin State Chamber of Commerce and Industry asked the government for approval to raise the tax-exempt period granted to investors in the state.

The proposal called for the tax-exempt period in Chin Stateto be raised to 10 years from the present seven years in order to attract more local and foreign investors.

In 2017, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) laid out tax exemption periods for states and regions based on their level of development – seven years for investors in less developed regions, five years in moderately developed regions, and three years in developed regions.

The chamber said a longer tax exemption period should be given in Chin State as it currently has no industrial zones. The chamber is also asking the government to set up industrial zones in the state create jobs and to improve the state’s infrastructure.

SOURCE: MYANMAR TIMES

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