Myanmar’s economy has continuously grown at approximately 6 – 8% since 2012. Myanmar’s overall growth strategy is built on a complementary mix of policies to simultaneously enable modernisation in industry, agriculture and infrastructure, a diversification of the export base and the expansion of value-added production for domestic and international markets.
To encourage economic growth, three Special Economic Zones – in Thilawa, Kyaukphyu and Dawei – have been set-up by the Myanmar government. These provide investment incentives and simplified processes for investors, with the hope that these international-standard industrial facilities will become growth engines of the new Myanmar.
Location and Connectivity
Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia and has – beyond its domestic market of more than 50 million citizens – direct access to China, India, ASEAN and other international markets through ports along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
After decades of international isolation prevented the modernisation and expansion of infrastructural networks, the Myanmar government is prioritising the establishment of efficient national and international supply chains for future economic growth – particularly in terms of power infrastructure, road, rail, air and ports.
Myanmar is undergoing a fundamental political and economic transformation to a democratic and peaceful nation state. A National Comprehensive Development Plan has been formulated to identify policy directions for country-wide sustainable economic development based on international best practices to alleviate poverty in the country. As a least developed country, Myanmar is also has preferential tariff arrangements in place – to facilitate access of the country to major international markets.
The Government of Myanmar is highly committed to encouraging investments with a positive impact on society and environment. Investment activities in certain sectors are therefore prohibited or restricted – or may require specific approvals, processes, joint venturing or Environmental and Social Impact Assessments to avoid adverse impacts on communities and their livelihoods, the environment as well as the progress in peace and national reconciliation.
Society and Culture
Myanmar not only offers natural resources and arable land in abundance – importantly, the country also possesses a skilled, motivated and young population. In the previous years of political and economic reform, Myanmar society has shown to be capable of driving change.
Myanmar’s citizens have demonstrated flexibility in adapting to the availability of new opportunities and in dealing with new technology (the ‘digital leapfrogging of Myanmar’), while acquiring new skills and competencies in a learning society – as employees and entrepreneurs. Particularly in Yangon, and increasingly in urban centres in all of Myanmar, traditional life and modernity mix harmoniously – society is open, warm and welcoming to foreign cultures and influence.