Myanmar has recently re-emerged onto the global stage after 50 years of isolation. It is a country of over 50 million people in a strategic location between China and India with plentiful natural resources. Economic growth from 2014-15 was 8.5%, making Myanmar the fastest growing country in Southeast Asia.

Country Information
  • President: Incumbent Myint Swe (Acting)
  • State Counsellor: Vacant
  • Capital city: Naypyidaw
  • Total population: 54.05 million
  • Languages: Burmese
  • Religions: Buddhist 87.9%, Christian 6.2%, Muslim 4.3%, Other 1.7%
  • Monetary unit: Kyat (MMK)
  • Natural resources: Petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
  • Major exports: Natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade, gems
  • Major imports: Fabric, petroleum products, fertiliser, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, cement, construction materials, crude oil, food products, edible oil

The diverse nature of Myanmar’s economy and its broad development needs present opportunities for British business in a broad range of sectors. However, many of these opportunities will take time to realise.

DIT Myanmar has identified 4 priority sectors for UK business; these are sectors that are believed to have immediate and achievable opportunities. There are also opportunities in other sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, aerospace and retail.

In April 2012, the EU suspended all sanctions on Myanmar, except the arms embargo which remains in place, and the UK changed its policy of discouraging trade with Myanmar. The EU made it clear that responsible investment in Myanmar by EU companies was now welcome. The US has lifted some of its sanctions too, though some restrictions remain.

Myanmar is still developing, with vast resources and outdated infrastructure the opportunities are huge but there is also a range of obstacles. Even so, there are a large number of foreign business leaders looking to engage with the great opportunities available and there is an increasing number of companies and organisations that are succeeding.

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