- By Kyaw Htike Soe
US$ 4.4 billion of foreign direct investment has been channeled into Myanmar inthe fiscal year 2018-2019 which ends on 30 September, according to a senior official from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration under the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. “We set a target to attractUS$ 5.8 billion of FDI in the financial year 2018-2019. But we have only received US$ 4.4 billion of FDI. So we still need more than one billion US dollar to meet our target,” said Daw Tin Aye Han, Deputy Director-General of the DICA.
The deputy director-general made the remarks during a press conference held at the DICA office in Yangon on 17 September. The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave nod to 27 foreign investment projects in July this year. The new foreign investments are worth US$ 366.474 million and can create 16,683 job opportunities for Myanmar citizens. The MIC also greenlighted 27 foreign investments valued at US$ 349.747 million in August, creating 12009 job prospects for Myanmar people. The MIC permitted 13 Myanmar citizen-invested projects in seven sectors during this period. The investment by Myanmar businesses are worth more than Ks. 228,920 million and can create up to nearly 1,700 job opportunities for Myanmar citizens. The MIC approved 262 foreign investment projects worth US$3959.64 million from 1 October 2018 to 14 September 2019. The investment volume including the promotion of investment which was permitted under the Special Economic Zone during this period reached US$ 362.28 million.
The FDI inflow into Myanmar from 1 October 2018 to 27 September 2019 totaled US$ 4.4 billion, she added.The monthly meeting of the MIC was held at its office in Yangon on 14 September.The meeting gave the green light for eight projects in fishery and livestock, manufacturing, hotel, real estate, oil and gas, transport and communications sectors.The MIC also approved the investment projects worth more than US$ 200 million and Ks. 25 billion during its monthly meeting held in Yangon on 31 August.The MIC OK’d six projects in the livestock and fisheries, manufacturing, hotel and tourism, and mining sectors during its monthly meeting held on 27 September. The investment projects permitted by the MIC during the meeting were valued at US$ 147.903 million and Ks. 2 billion, creating 1,083 job opportunities for Myanmar citizens.Italy invested US$ 3.20 million in hotels and tourism sector in Myanmar for the first time, an official from the DICA said.Italy joined the list of countries which invest in Myanmar, the director from the DICA said.
“Company registration system in Myanmar has improved as compared to previously introduced scheme. This is the reason why investment from Italy flowed to Myanmar,” he highlighted.The country set a target to woo US$ 221 billion of FDI within 20 years from 2016-2017 FY to 2035-2036 FY under the short-term, mid-term and long-term Myanmar Investment Promotion Planandto encourage the inflow of responsible investments into the country. In addition Myanmar is estimated to become a middle-income country by 2036. The MIPP is aimed to realize the responsible and quality investments necessary for Myanmar to become a middle-income country by 2030 and for pursuing subsequent further growth until 2035, through fundamental improvement of the business environment. It will be assessed and reviewed once in five years due to changing political and economic situations globally. The DICA has been cooperating with NGOs and INGOs so as to attract foreign direct investments to the country by organizing seminars, investment and business forums.
Singapore is the largest foreign investor in Myanmar, pouring more than US$ 22 billion into 312 projects of the Asia’s last frontier market between 1988 to date.Most of the investments from Singapore came to oil and gas sector. Around 1,780 foreign enterprises from 50 countries around the world were permitted to invest in 12 sectors, with the total amount of US$ 81,597.743 million during the period from 1988 to the end of August 2019.Myanmar received US$ 9.4 billion of foreign direct investment in 2015-2016 FY, US$ 6.6 billion of FDI in 2016-2017 and US$ 5.7 billion of FDI in 2017-2018 FY. Singapore and China were the largest foreign investors in Myanmar, with both countries channeling more than US$ 1.3 billion and around US$ 350 million into the projects in the Southeast Asia country.The majority of foreign investment in the fiscal year 2018-2019 flowed to electricity generation and manufacturing sectors.
China’s investment in Myanmar during the period from 1988 to date was valued at US$ 20 billion which is equivalent to about 26 per cent of total FDI in the country. The largest sector of FDI came to oil and gas sector, accounting for 27.48 per cent of the total foreign investments, followed by the power sector with 25.95 per cent and the manufacturing sector with 14.01 per cent.