By Nyein Nyein
Foreign investments are likely to increase in the current financial year once proposals for offshore oil exploration and minerals extraction are scrutinized and approved, said U Thaung Tun, the Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.
He made the remarks at the 30th regular meeting of the Private Sector Development Committee with Myanmar entrepreneurs, held on 19 October at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yangon.
“We only granted foreign investments amounting to US$4.2 billion in the 2018-2019FY. In view of our political situation this year, some of the foreign investors are reluctant to invest in Myanmar. Although we have already received many proposals, we expect that we will receive record investment next year, especially in offshore oil blocks. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is likely to flow into the country once we scrutinize the proposals for offshore oil blocks and minerals,” said U Thaung Tun.
“The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations is inviting investors to conduct business in a responsible and accountable manner. If those businesses enter Myanmar, it would be beneficial for our country. We are already implementing the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan (MIPP), which was drawn with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” he added.
Under the MIPP, the country has set a target of attracting over $200 billion in FDI within the next 20 years, said U Thaung Tun.
“Moreover, the Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Ministry is working to update the policy. So, Myanmar’s economic sector will develop significantly in the next fiscal,” he added.
According to an ADB report released a few days ago, Myanmar expects GDP to grow by 6.6 per cent next year. The World Bank has forecast a growth of 6.8 per cent. The Myanmar Investment Commission is targeting $5.8 billion in FDI in the 2019-2020FY. Although the MIC had set an FDI target of $5.8 billion in the 2018-2019FY, but only $4.5 billion came in, less than a billion dollars.
During the period from 1988 to the end of September, 2019, around 1,837 foreign enterprises from 50 countries around the world were permitted to invest a total of $81.8 billion in 12 sectors. The countries with the highest investment rates are Singapore, China, and Thailand, and they largely flowed into oil and gas, electricity, and manufacturing sectors.
Myanmar received $9.4 billion in foreign direct investment in the 2015-2016FY, $6.6 billion in the 2016-2017FY, and $5.7 billion in the 2017-2018 FY. (Translated by Hay Mar)