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TheStreet Open House

Frost & Sullivan: Future Is Bright For Myanmar





BANGKOK, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan is optimistic on the future growth for Myanmar as the country is an untapped new frontier at the crossroads of India, China and South East Asia offering abundant opportunities.

Mr. Vivek Vaidya, Vice President at Frost & Sullivan said that Myanmar was among first few countries US President Barack Obama chose to visit in his second term indicates Myanmar's improving status and image among the global community.

" Myanmar, the only neighbor for both China and India is likely to assume great geo-political-business importance in years to come," he added.

He added that Myanmar has a large untapped potential and is truly going through transition with a population of more than 60 million.

He also that Myanmar's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) has been growing at a very solid rate and is expected to continue to do so over the next few years in the range of 5-6 per cent. He noted that Myanmar's GDP (PPP) has increased by 20 per cent since 2007.

Mr. Vaidya said Myanmar has a very young population spread that will help to drive it economically. He added that the low unemployment rate of about 5 per cent was due to the growth of the agriculture sector, which remains the key driving force of the Myanmar's economy both in terms of GDP and employment.

"There is a large labor force to be tapped into in Myanmar but two-third of this is involved in agriculture, representing about 43 per cent of GDP," he added.

Mr. Vaidya said that most imports into Myanmar are basic commodities not yet manufactured in wide scale in the country and thus show growth potential.  He added that the top ten import industries/items for Myanmar in 2011 are petroleum and related products, machinery/spares, steel construction materials, plastic raw materials, palm oil, vehicles and spare parts, pharmaceutical products, ships & boats, cement and fertilizers.

He also said that China has been the leading investor in Myanmar in the last few years, but this is likely to change. "With the market opening up, South East Asian companies are rushing to invest in the country. US/International companies are also doing so, but on a more selective and wait and see nature to get clarity on director and laws of the country," he added.

Mr. Vaidya said that all industry sectors and sub-sectors are of interest, but for the economy to take off and to benefit from Myanmar's location, large infrastructure project covering power, water, ports and roads are needed.

"Oil, gas, power, infrastructure, telecommunications and consumer businesses could top the list in terms of being the most attractive and easier to do investments in the country. Property prices are already very high," he said.

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