It has been nearly five years when we started our business journey in Myanmar and since then, we have been progressively expanding our business presence in this last frontier market in Southeast Asia.
As the country opened up rapidly after a series of political and economic reforms, we have identified unique opportunities within Myanmar’s consumer market whereby the Group has firmly established its business foundation with 3 core business pillars, comprising of ravel and fashion retail, food and beverage and logistics.
According to the World Bank’s projections, Myanmar’s GDP growth rate has the potential in increase from 6.7% in 20% in 2018 to 7.1% in 2020. As such, Myanmar is expected to remain an outperformer in Asia.
Despite favourable long-term prospects, Myanmar’s growth is estimated to “remain below potential” due to on-going reforms to the legal and regulatory frameworks. Particularly, 2018 has been a challenging year for Myanmar due to external sentiments towards the country.
To attract more foreign direct investments into the country, the Myanmar Companies Law, replacing the 1914 Myanmar Companies Act, was finally implemented in August 2018, which allows foreigners to invest up to35% in local companies, as well as hold stakes of up to 35% in Myanmar companies traded on the Yangon Stock Exchange.
In addition, the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan (“MIPP”) was introduced by the Myanmar Investment Commission in October 2018, to promote investments for better development in economy, institutions, infrastructure, industries and human resources in the country. Under the MIPP, Myanmar targets to attract US$200 billion in the next 20 years.
While there are short-term challenges in Myanmar, our group is optimistic about the long-term economic potential in the country and we are prepared to make a long-term commitment to Myanmar and to play a part in training the talent pool and develop the business environment over there.
With a growing young population (within a large population of more than 50 million) and urbanization in Myanmar, the consumer trend in the country is rising and our business activities are calibrated around it, spearheaded by our group’s President and CEO, Mark Bedingham and experienced management team of the various business units.
Myanmar is still early in its transformation and our team will continue to work tirelessly to establish lasting business relationships in Myanmar and build market share into leadership position in our respective business segments.
A Note of Thanks & Appreciation
Our employees are our most important asset and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation for their continued efforts and professionalism as we endeavors to stay ahead amid Myanmar’s economic transformation.
The support of our stakeholders and local partners is another cornerstone of our progress in Myanmar and we thank them for their confidence in us.
Last but certainly not least, I would like to express my gratitude to our shareholders for their support as we focus on added value creation for our businesses and steer new horizons ahead in the last frontier market in Southeast Asia.
Ho Kwok Wai