Myanmar: The Recluse Emerges
Myanmar has been under the spotlight since 2011 when military dictatorship of the nation formally ended and numerous political and economic reforms were rolled out to help the country re-enter the global market. The country however remains plagued with political instability and religious clashes, both of which are hindering its pursuit of regional integration within the AEC.
Southeast Asia’s Final Frontier
Much has been said and written about Myanmar’s potential since 2011. The country’s vast natural resources, arable land and geographic advantages are undeniable , and many investors have seized the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. There are m any others however who have been more restrained, choosing to observe developments from the sidelines as the dust settles. For now, the risks involved in venturing into Asia’s last frontier are significant enough to keep many investors at bay.
The pace of economic reforms in Myanmar is encouraging. In 2012, a new foreign investment law was passed and the kyat was placed on a managed float. The next year, telecoms licenses were awarded to Norway’s Telenor and Qatar’s Ooredoo, ending the state’s monopoly over the mobile phone services sector. In 2014, bank licenses were awarded to nine foreign banks from China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.