Burma

German Food Giant Metro Ends Operations in Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 2 September 2021

German wholesale food distribution company Metro is ending its operations in Myanmar due to the volatile business environment. Metro is the latest international company to leave the country following the military’s February 1 coup.

The company currently employs 131 people in Myanmar. It announced on Wednesday that it will terminate its operations by October.

Metro officially launched in Myanmar in March 2019. It has a 5,900-m2 warehouse situated in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone outside Yangon. It offers one-stop food service distribution for hotels, restaurants, catering firms, independent small retailers and offices entirely through e-commerce and delivery systems.

Metro Myanmar warehouse. (Photo: Metro)

The wholesaler said that the reason for discontinuing its business in Myanmar is due to the volatile investment and business environment, which is expected to continue for some time.

‘We made this decision with regret because we started in 2019 with positive expectations in this interesting market and were able to quickly build a stable customer base,” Kubilay Özerkan, Operating Partner for Metro businesses in Asia, said in a press release issued Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, the significant changes in business conditions in Myanmar give us no other option than to cease the business.”

15 foreign companies have suspended or stopped their operations in Myanmar since the coup. Prior to the military takeover, a majority of foreign businesses were planning to maintain or increase their operations and investments in the country.

Last month, US pretzel company Auntie Anne’s and the Taiwan bubble tea franchise KOI The’ also left Myanmar. The Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor announced on July 8 that it had agreed to sell its Myanmar operation.

Metro operates in 34 countries worldwide. The company generated annual sales of €7 million in Myanmar in 2019-2020.


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