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COVID-19 could hit Myanmar’s FDI: MIC

The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Myanmar could be hampered by the global COVID-19 pandemic, hitting manufacturing businesses which rely on labours and imports of raw materials, according to a senior official.

The COVID-19 outbreak could curb FDI inflow in Myanmar to a certain extent, warned U Thant Sin Lwin, secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC)..

Manufacturing business depending on labour productivity and importing raw materials will be primarily affected by this global pandemic, he added.

“COVID-19 is being faced around the world so that it would also hit businesses in the country to a certain degree,” said U Thant Sin Lwin.

Currently, more than 10 garment factories in the country have shut down on losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The MIC has approved foreign investment proposals from the manufacturing sector every month and it currently has approved new projects primarily for the manufacturing sector.

In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, starting from October 1, 2019 until the first week of March 2020, US$2.9 billion worth of FDI commitments have been approved by the body.

Last week, the Myanmar government started to examine and prepare for the impact of COVID-19 on the national economy.

On March 13, the Working Committee was formed to address the issue and is chaired by U Thaung Tun, minister for investment and foreign economic relations and also chair of the Myanmar Investment Commission.

After the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus as a pandemic on March 12, Myanmar’s Office of the President put up an announcement the next day prohibiting huge gatherings, including the Thingyan Festival, the most celebrated in the country, to ramp up measures in the fight against the disease.

The ban in celebrating festivals and holding public events started on Friday up to April 30, the President’s Office said.

The government is also said to be preparing to quarantine or turn away tourists from Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and Iran, the countries that have been hit the worst by COVID-19.

A tourism organisation, Union of Myanmar Travel Association, confirmed that the government is preparing to quarantine or turn away tourists from the five countries, adding that more countries may be added to the list

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Source: Myanmar Times

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