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More US investments headed to Myanmar, trade federation says

HTIN LYNN AUNG the myanmar times  MAY 1 2019

Downtown Yangon on a regular weekday. Photo: Aungmyin Yezaw/The Myanmar Times

The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) expects more investments from the US to be channelled to Myanmar, U Zaw Min Win, chair of the UMFCCI, tells the Myanmar Times.

U Zaw Min Win said this after US ambassador to Myanmar Mr Scot Marciel and delegation from nine US companies met with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) on April 29. The delegation also met with the UMFCCI the next day.

U Zaw Min Win said, based on the discussions held during the meetings, there is every possibility that investments from the US in Myanmar will increase.

“During the meetings, the US delegation said it is very interested in increasing investments in Myanmar. Currently, smaller companies are discussing about actually coming to Myanmar and I expect larger companies will follow,” said U Zaw Min Win.

Representatives from Chevron, Earth Networks, ITW Welding Singapore, Xylem Water Solutions, Astrophysics, Visa Myanmar, FedEx, GIS and Arizona Tools Company were present at the meeting with UMFCCI.

“US companies involved in transportation, service businesses and water purification are in talks to enter the Myanmar market. As a US company has already entered the local insurance sector, I feel there are good prospects for more US companies to invest in Myanmar,” said U Zaw Min Win.

In January, the government announced that it would allow five foreign companies to enter the insurance market and among the five is Chubb Life (USA).

At present, investments in Myanmar from the US have not been significant and have come via the Singaporean arm of US companies, said U Aung Naing Oo, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations

“Although Coca Cola Co is US company and it has a presence in Myanmar, its investments have come via its Singaporean arm. There are other similar situations with like that here. For instance, Pepsi Co also invests in Myanmar via its South Korean arm” U Aung Naing Oo said.

Currently, multinational conglomerate GE Co, and Ball Corp, the world’s largest manufacturer of recyclable metal beverage and food containers, are among the US companies operating in Myanmar via direct investments.

Trade volumes between the US and Myanmar only can increase via more direct investment, said UMFCCI Deputy Chair Dr Maung Maung Lay.

Between 1988 and 2011, US investments in Myanmar totalled just US$ 243.56 million.

From: THE MYANMAR TIMES (Myanmar) April 1, 2019

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