Doing Business with Myanmar – An overview of Myanmar Trade

One of the fastest-growing countries in Asia, Myanmar enjoys a strategic geographical position and ample underutilized natural resources.

European companies are already beginning to glimpse the country’s possibilities, and some of them, coming from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, or the Netherlands, have already started to invest in production plants.

After years of stagnation, Myanmar (former Burma) is reborn from its ashes. The main cities of the country vibrate economic growth driven by foreign investment and increased tourism.

Myanmar Trade Overview

Burmese Economy:

1. Myanmar has liberalized trade (domestic and foreign), has strengthened the role of the private sector and openness to foreign direct investment (FDI)

2. Burma is a country rich in natural resources, with a solid agricultural base (50% of GDP)

3. It also has wood, natural gas, and essential fishing reserves.

4. Myanmar is a significant producer of jewelry and jade

5. The state remains very inefficient and participates in most of the economy, infrastructures have deteriorated markedly, and there are critical legal gaps

6. The activity controlled by the Burmese state predominates in energy, heavy industry, and foreign trade of rice

7. Commercial entities related to military government play an essential role in the economy

8. Burmese currency: the Kyat (MMK)

Burmese foreign trade.

 1. The main products exported by Burma are natural gas 38%, food products 18%, precious and semiprecious stones 11%, wood and forest products 8%, and marine products 5%

2. The main export markets are Thailand 40%, Hong Kong 11%, India 11%, Singapore 13%, China 7.5%, and Malaysia 5%

3. The main imports are lubricating oils and diesel 16.9%, textiles and fabrics 8.6%, machinery parts 8.7%, and steel and iron 5.8%

4. The leading suppliers are Singapore 30%, China 18%, Bahamas 13%, Thailand 6%, and Japan 5%

The port of Rangoon is the main port of Myanmar; it handles about 90% of Burmese exports and imports.

Burmese Companies.

Myanmar Brewery Limited was established on 23.3.1995 as one of the 1st large joint venture projects in Myanmar with a total capital of 50 million dollars. The brewery occupies 13.6 hectares in the Pyinmabin Mingaladon Township Industrial Complex in Rangoon. This brewery is considered one of the best cases of companies with foreign investment in Myanmar.

Waaneiza is a group of companies created in 2008, specializing in manufacturing, foreign trade, and value-added services. It is Myanmar’s leading supplier of food and beverages exports its products to several countries.

MobileMate Telecommunications was founded in 2003 to promote and distribute telecommunications equipment, mobile value-added services, and mobile telephony. MobileMate is currently the largest distributor in Myanmar of mobile phones, with 90% for TDMA phones.

Access to markets and free trade agreements (FTA) of Myanmar.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMES)

Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMSTEC)

Asian Compensation Union (ACU)

The subregion of the Great Mekong

European Union: Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

Myanmar has trade agreements with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Israel.