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Myanmar – Asia’s Next “Big Thing”

MyanmarMyanmar is continuing to attract investors anxious to “get in early” on this frontier market, as the country sits on the cusp of becoming the next hot emerging market.

The first half of 2014 has been a busy one for Myanmar bureaucrats, as 78 foreign investment firms submitted proposals seeking access to the country’s assets. Among them, top suitors were (in no order) Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Also pursuing opportunities were China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sweden, and others.

Based on permissions granted by the government it appears that two business models were given the privilege to invest: 100% foreign-invested firms, and joint ventures with local partners.

And this investment has flowed into a wide variety of business sectors, including garment factories, electricity production and distribution, agriculture, hotels, construction, construction materials, communication services and devices, and production and distribution of soft drinks.

Par for the course, when business investment heats up so does the property market. A survey conducted by local real estate web portal house.com.mm shows that 75% of the country’s estimated 100,000 visitors in the past year expressed a desire to buy Myanmar property.

For now, though, that desire needs to be put on ice, as foreigners in Myanmar are only permitted by law to lease properties in cash transactions. A new condominium law that seeks to ease such restrictions is still awaiting approval.

As with anything in Asia, and being so close to hot-money China, things pop up fast. Lightning fast. One day a new bar or restaurant opens, and within a year the entire street is refurbished and is suddenly a trendy and hip area.

Myanmar is definitely an Asian market to watch. And one to be patient and smart about.

H/T: Eleven Media

  • Andy

    Very informative, thanks! I keep seeing more and more on Myanmar here as of late. There has to be something to it. It might be time for a visit here before too long!

    • Brian

      I have a friend who just moved there. One of the last frontiers. Cowboy and bandit type stuff. Fortunes made, lessons learned and heartbreak with the territory.