YANGON—More than 120 regional and private business projects worth a total of over $3 billion will be showcased at the upcoming Invest Myanmar Summit 2019 which aims to attract major investment from East Asia countries.
The summit is part of the government’s effort to counteract a significant decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) seen in Myanmar over the last two fiscal years and it will be held on Jan. 28 and 29 at Myanmar Convention Centre 2 in Naypyitaw.
“With the projects on showcase, local and international investors at the summit will have a very clear picture of the prospects they can look forward to when investing in Myanmar, the industries they can invest in and types of projects open to them in each state and region,” said U Zaw Min Win, president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
Invest Myanmar Summit 2019 is a collaboration between the Myanmar government, region and states governments and the business community and aims to create a platform for businesses to meet. The summit will provide international and local investors with the opportunity to discover the investment potential in the country and potential investors will be supplied with relevant information.
The countries targeted during the summit will be China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, India, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“I expect the summit will help our investment figures to increase this year. From initial discussions with international investors, Japan and Hong Kong investors are quite interested in investing more here,” U Maung Maung Lay, vice president of UMFCCI, told The Irrawaddy.
According to the official summit website, ten states and regions will participate in the event—Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine, Shan, Yangon, Sagaing, Mandalay, Irrawaddy and Tanintharyi. Industries to be targeted will be the manufacturing, garment, electricity and energy, tourism, education, food processing and fisheries, heath care, infrastructure and property.
During the summit, a centralized database of key projects called Project Bank will be launched. The database is expected to enable effective implementation of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Programme (MSDP) was drawn up with an ambition to align the country’s numerous policies and institutions in order to achieve inclusive and transformational economic growth.
According to the event press release, one of the projects with good prospects is the development of Myotha Industrial Park City (MIPC) in Mandalay Region which currently holds the highest value in the Project Data Bank which is expected to create up to 33,700 jobs and target infrastructure, labor intensive-industries like food and wood processing, capital-intensive industries like pharmaceutical and renewable energy production, consumer services and producer services like banking and finance.
The key speakers at the summit will include State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, newly-appointed Union Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun, Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance U Set Aung and a member of the National Economic Coordination Committee (NECC) U Min Ye Paing Hein.
Myanmar experienced a significant decline in FDI, from $9.5 billion in the 2015-2016 fiscal year to $6.6 billion in 2016-2017, after the 2017 Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State which tarnished the country’s image and caused caution among western investors.
In October 2018, the Myanmar Investment commission (MIC) launched the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan (MIPP), a major investment plan that aims to attract more than $200 billion in investment from responsible and quality businesses over the next 20 years.
According to U Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the government’s first priority in 2019 is to focus on the implementation of the MIPP.
Through the MIPP, the government aims for Myanmar to become a middle-income country by 2030 and will make economic reforms to ensure fair and transparent investment systems and institutional development for investment promotion. They intend to oversee infrastructure development, supportive business-associated systems, competitive industrial links and a higher quality of human resources.