Myanmar striving to lure foreign investment for economic growth

GMT 03:29 2016 Tuesday ,14 June

Arab Today, arab today Myanmar striving to lure foreign investment for economic growth

Yangon - Xinhua

Myanmar's new government is taking steps in its efforts to attain economic growth, reforming the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

"Myanmar should know how to take the opportunity from its political change for the country's economic growth," commented Aung Tun Thet, an economist who served as advisor to former President U Thein Sein.

This is just a first visible step taken for the country's economic growth since the new government took office in April.

The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) laid down the objective for reviving the country's economy in its election manifesto.

According to the country's current laws, the MIC has to be reformed under the new government to scrutinize new investment.

A total of 102 proposals for investment including over 50 foreign ones are awaiting to be permitted by MIC.

The new MIC includes 11 members. Two of them are ministers from the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Ministry of Commerce and one representative from private sector U Aye Lwin who is the joint secretary of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Minister of Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win, who is MIC chairman, told Xinhua in March that the new government has planned to boost foreign direct investments with more inflows of capital to back its economic growth.

Ongoing structural constraints, short-term exchange rate pressures, rising inflation peaking at 16 percent in October 2015, and the political transition led to a deceleration in new investment flows last year, according to the World Bank's Myanmar Economic Monitor.

The country drew 9.5 billion U.S. dollars foreign investment in the last 2015-2016 fiscal year with China topping the foreign investors line-up with 18.072 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 28.36 percent of the total, followed by Singapore with 13.066 billion U.S. dollars and Thailand with 10.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Myanmar's economic growth declined to 7 percent in the 2015-2016 fiscal year from 8.5 percent in the last fiscal year. The slowing growth was due to the shortage of agriculture supply under heavy flooding, a slowdown in new investment during the 2015 election year and lower commodity prices affecting Myanmar's main exports, according to the World Bank.

Abdoulaye Seck, the World Bank's Country Manager for Myanmar, said the country's growth prospects are positive if the government structural reforms and macroeconomic maintain stable.

Meanwhile, the country is still drafting new company and investment laws which are deemed essential for the economic reforming process.

Myanmar needs to encourage private sector for the economic growth. To promote the financial and insurance sectors is extremely important for the country to attract investments, John Goyer, senior director of Southeast Asia Department of U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Xinhua.

Although the new government vowed to boost the investment in the country's value-added manufacturing and agribusiness sectors, energy and power still remain priorities in the eyes of foreign investors, according to experts.

source : xinhua 

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