Chin State Investment Fair Starts Saturday

By Nan Lwin 12 March 2019

YANGON — The Chin State Investment Fair gets underway at the Myanmar Convention Center in Yangon on Saturday to stir up foreign interest in one of the least developed parts of the country.

The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations is partnering with U.K. Aid and private businesses to host the two-day event as part of the government’s efforts to counteract a significant decline in foreign direct investment.

Together they intend to raise awareness of the business opportunities in Chin State, said U Wunna Aung, director of investment promotion at the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). He said panel discussions will address both the opportunities and challenges of doing business in the region.

Situated in western Myanmar along the border with Bangladesh and India, Chin State has a mountainous terrain that has hindered infrastructure development. Road upgrades and renewable energy projects are in the works, but much more investment is needed, in particular to improve roads and energy supply.

The state plans to use the fair to highlight infrastructure and urban development projects in Hakha, Falam, Tedim, Paletwa and Mindat townships; agriculture, organic farming and traditional weaving projects in Falam, Hakha, Kanpetlet, Mindat and Paletwa townships; tourism projects at Khonumsum National Park, Rih Lake, Kimo Wildlife Sanctuary, Seinmu National Park and the Khuado Festival; and hydro and wind power projects in Manipur, Lay- Myo, Bawinu, and Tedim townships.

“We hope to increase investment in the tourism and infrastructure sectors in Chin State,” U Wunna Aung said.

Investors from the U.S., Canada, China, India, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium, Israel and ASEAN countries including Brunei and Vietnam are registered to attend, according to DICA. But the agency said it was too soon to say how many people would attend or which countries were showing the most interest.
Chin State also joined the first Invest Myanmar Summit in Naypyitaw in January, showcasing 38 tax-exempt projects including 10 in the tourism industry and 28 in the energy sector.

The Chin State Investment Fair is part of the government’s Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan, launched last year. Foreign investment has tumbled over the past two years, and the plan aims to attract more than $200 billion over the next 20 years from responsible and quality businesses abroad.

With the plan’s help, Myanmar hopes to become a middle-income country by 2030. It calls for reforms to improve investment transparency and project oversight, business support, human capital and competition.

In February, the government hosted the Rakhine State Investment Fair in the beach resort town of Ngapali and showcased six priority projects there.