The Myanmar government is pushing to improve the country's physical infrastructure to match the needs of the growing urban population.
One key area is transport. The Myanmar government has detailed huge public investment plans for new transport infrastructure in the National Transport Master Plan. The plan details MMK26.7 trillion (S$29.2 billion) of new investments in road, rail, ports and aviation infrastructure projects between 2014 and 20301. Planned projects include new north-south and east-west highways, refurbishment of the national railway, new mass transit systems in Yangon and Mandalay, a port expansion programme, and a new aviation centre outside of Yangon.
Apart from transportation, there are opportunities for Singapore companies to design and develop quality housing, improve traffic management, and provide sustainable power and water solutions in Myanmar.
Singapore ventures in Myanmar include Sembcorp Utilities’ 225MW gas-fired project in Myingyan, Mandalay; and Tiong Seng’s project in Yangon that will manufacture and supply pre-cast components for an affordable housing project.
1 “The Report: Myanmar 2017”, Oxford Business Group, 2017
Myanmar’s growing economy, young population, growth in jobs and rising disposable incomes can signal opportunities for your business.
The country’s middle-class and affluent population is expected to increase by 8.5% per year between 2012 and 2020, growing from 5.3 million to 10.3 million2. A growing middle class can lead to a demand for increasingly sophisticated goods and services – driven in part by affordable mobile data, smartphones and the use of social media.
Singapore food has made its mark in Myanmar. There is a Singapore food aisle in City Mart, Myanmar’s largest supermarket retailer. BreadTalk has opened its first boutique bakery in 2017 in Yangon, while Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Fish & Co, and Pastamania now serve up Singapore fare to the Myanmar public.
2 “Vietnam and Myanmar Continue to Advance”, The Boston Consulting Group, 2016
Consider getting a headstart in Myanmar’s growing manufacturing industry as the country moves towards industrialisation.
Myanmar’s industrial sector has witnessed dramatic growth over the past few years, with manufacturing being concentrated in industries like garment and textiles, agricultural processing, automotive parts manufacturing, and canning and bottling
The ruling National League for Democracy party has set a bold industrialisation target, with manufacturing expected to become one of the country’s most significant economic growth drivers in the coming years3. Job creation and infrastructure investment are priorities. Ongoing development at three Special Economic Zones are also expected to attract new industrial and manufacturing investment.
Myanmar is well-positioned to become an alternative manufacturing hub, complementary to neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. This is due to its large, young and educated population, and abundant land. The country’s labour costs are the second-lowest out of 172 countries surveyed by Verisk Maplecroft4.
An example of a Singapore manufacturing business in Myanmar is SC Auto, which is setting up a S$30 million facility in Yangon. The 16,000-sqm facility will enable SC Auto to increase its production by four times, allowing it to meet the growing demands of both Myanmar and the region.
If your company has expertise in manufacturing, you can unlock the potential in Myanmar’s growing economy and young population. As you expand your manufacturing capability into Myanmar, you can expect productivity gains as industrial reforms and modern technologies are introduced.
3 “The Report: Myanmar 2017”, Oxford Business Group, 2017
4 “Verisk Maplecroft’s Labour Costs Index”, Verisk Maplecroft, 2015
Myanmar is an agricultural country, where the agriculture sector is the backbone of its economy. The sector contributes to 37.8% of its GDP, accounting for 25-30% of total export earnings, and employs 70% of the labour force5.
Myanmar’s abundance of fertile land, long coastline and varied climates are ideal for agriculture. However, the country’s agricultural yield in terms of its land and labour productivity is much lower than some Asian countries6.
Bring your business know-how and technological expertise to improve yield and output in Myanmar’s agricultural industry. This can boost Myanmar’s exports to the region and beyond, to meet the ever-growing demand for fishery and agricultural products.
One example of a Singapore firm in Myanmar’s agricultural sector is Golden Sunland, an established rice-farming company. It services the entire value chain, from seeding to marketing, using modern technology and management. The company developed a new high-yield hybrid rice and wants to empower local farmers to improve their livelihoods7.
You can also be a part of this exciting growth of Myanmar’s economy. Check out how our full suite of services can support your business expansion to Myanmar.
5 Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
6 “Myanmar - Analysis of farm production economics”, The World Bank, 2016
7 “Leveraging economic links between ASEAN countries to gain a foothold”, The Business Times, 29 August 2018