Myanmar’s infrastructure deters investors

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Myanmar-roadThe absence of reliable energy, transport and ICT infrastructure in Myanmar is deterring potential investors from entering the emergent ASEAN nation, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has said.

However, a JETRO official believes that investors’ fears will be allayed once a sound industrial park is established, especially considering the ongoing saga of the Dawei project, which has lost most of its momentum and raised the spectre of the country’s ultimate inability to execute large price-tag deals.

“We are developing [the Thilawa Special Economic Zone] and investors will go there by 2015 when basic infrastructure exists, when there is water and electricity and when there are proper industrial parks,” said Masaki Takahara, executive managing director of JETRO, in Eleven Myanmar.

On his recent visit, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt also decried Myanmar’s deplorable infrastructure, urging the central government to allow the private sector to development the country’s ICT network, as well as promote internet freedom.

There are just three internet service providers in Myanmar, two of which are wholly or partially owned by the government.

Dauntingly staring potential investors in the face are a number of other harsh realities.

All internet connections in Myanmar run through a single fiber optic cable, connections to which haven’t been updated since 2008, according to an Open Technology Fund report.

The country is also beset by brownouts, creating the need for Yangon and industrial parks to be powered by generators for a lack of access to reliable energy capacities; the country’s road network is roughly one-fourteenth that of neighbouring Thailand, though their landmasses are nearly the same.

However, JETRO believes that the opportunities of the Myanmar market merit investment in basic infrastructure.

“Myanmar has a large consumer market. A 62 million population is an attractive figure,” Takahara said.

“Labour costs are also cheap. It’s the cheapest among Southeast Asian countries. Moreover, the working population is nearly 37 million. These all attract the attention of potential investors,” he added.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The absence of reliable energy, transport and ICT infrastructure in Myanmar is deterring potential investors from entering the emergent ASEAN nation, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has said.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar-roadThe absence of reliable energy, transport and ICT infrastructure in Myanmar is deterring potential investors from entering the emergent ASEAN nation, the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has said.

However, a JETRO official believes that investors’ fears will be allayed once a sound industrial park is established, especially considering the ongoing saga of the Dawei project, which has lost most of its momentum and raised the spectre of the country’s ultimate inability to execute large price-tag deals.

“We are developing [the Thilawa Special Economic Zone] and investors will go there by 2015 when basic infrastructure exists, when there is water and electricity and when there are proper industrial parks,” said Masaki Takahara, executive managing director of JETRO, in Eleven Myanmar.

On his recent visit, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt also decried Myanmar’s deplorable infrastructure, urging the central government to allow the private sector to development the country’s ICT network, as well as promote internet freedom.

There are just three internet service providers in Myanmar, two of which are wholly or partially owned by the government.

Dauntingly staring potential investors in the face are a number of other harsh realities.

All internet connections in Myanmar run through a single fiber optic cable, connections to which haven’t been updated since 2008, according to an Open Technology Fund report.

The country is also beset by brownouts, creating the need for Yangon and industrial parks to be powered by generators for a lack of access to reliable energy capacities; the country’s road network is roughly one-fourteenth that of neighbouring Thailand, though their landmasses are nearly the same.

However, JETRO believes that the opportunities of the Myanmar market merit investment in basic infrastructure.

“Myanmar has a large consumer market. A 62 million population is an attractive figure,” Takahara said.

“Labour costs are also cheap. It’s the cheapest among Southeast Asian countries. Moreover, the working population is nearly 37 million. These all attract the attention of potential investors,” he added.

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