Myanmar is basically an agricultural country. The agricultural sector constitutes 41 per cent of the total GDP and 11 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. The vast potential of land resources are available with different weather and various soil conditions by the combination of technology can enhance the production of cash crops and industrial crops. Various types of cash crops and industrial crops are able to cultivate in Myanmar, such as rice, pulses and beans, maize, sesamum, rubber, coffee, tea, sugarcane, jute, wheat, cotton, pepper, oil palm, various kinds of herbs, variety of fruits and vegetables, etc.
The investor, who wish to cultivate the perennial crops such as oil palm, rubber, is allowed to use up to 50,000 acres of uncultivated land by the land regulation.
The existing supply of those crops cannot meet the present position of demand and there is, therefore, high yield cultivation and value-added manufacturing of these cash crops and industrial crops with the investment of capital and high technology are the areas of the potential businesses in Myanmar.
The Government is also encouraging the development of agro-based industries by setting up of sugar mill, cotton industry, jute industry, rubber industry, seed industry, edible oil industry, food processing and animal feed plant.
Businesses other than agricultural production, such as agro-based industries by producing value-added agricultural products and processed food are also welcome.The establishment of recreation centres and resorts, golf clubs, motels around the several dams with beautiful landscape are also potential areas.
Livestock and Fisheries
Second prospective sector is livestock and fisheries sector. Myanmar is endowed with rich and varied marine and inland fishery resources, with a production potentials of 1.05 million metric tons per annum from marine source only. Inland water bodies such as natural lakes, reservoirs, river systems, ponds, etc. cover an area of about 8.2 million hectares.
Under this sector, the significant nature is almost all of the production, processing and marketing of fishery / fishery related activities are carried out by the private sector. All state owned fishing vessels, carried vessels, ice plants, processing plants, cold stores, fishmeal plants, dehydration plants, etc. are sold or leased to the private sector.
There is no state owned institution competing with the private sector in fishery and fishery related industry.
Myanmar has a long coastline with 2,832 kilometers, which provides a very good base for the development of shrimp and prawn culture. In order to cope with the increasing fishing activities in Myanmar, various laws such as Law Relating to the Fishing Rights of Foreign Fishing Vessels, Myanma Aquaculture Law, Myanma Marine Fisheries Law and Freshwater Fisheries Law have been enacted and procedures have been precribed.
The foreign investors can undertakes economic activities in the livestock and fishery sector are, cattle breeding, veterinary pharmaceutical production, construction of ice plant, cold storage complex, fish meal plant, canning plant, dockyard and fishing port and fish-net making factory, development of shrimp hatchery, establishment of shrimp farm, bee keeping and bee products production.
The third potential is forestry sector. Myanmar, since the immemorial time, has always been deeply committed to forest and biodiversity conservation and, as a consequence still possesses vast and varied natural forest rich in biodiversity.
The forest flora is diverse, varying from sub-alpines on the snow-capped mountains in the north, through dry and moist deciduous to tropical monsoon forests in the south with mangrove along the coastal areas and coral reefs offshore.
Myanmar is also home of teak which is recognized as one of the most valued and sought-after tropical timbers of the world and it is asserted that extensive and beautiful natural teak stands can be seen only in Myanmar today.
There are more than 7,000 recorded plant species of which 1,071 are endemic, about 100 species of bamboos, 30 species of rattan and 800 species of orchids. The diverse forest ecosystems in Myanmar are home to about 1,000 bird species nearly 300 mammal species and about 360 known species of reptiles.
Myanmar is, therefore, often cited as the last frontier of global biodiversity in Asia.
Production of value-added wood based items such as wood related products, wood carvings, parquet, tiles, plywood, doorframes and furniture are prosperous businesses under the forestry sector.
Myanmar ranks high among the Asian countries in terms of mineral potentials. However, the mineral resources are very much under-utilized and still exist a large potential to boost up to fulfil the growing needs of local and foreign markets.
The investment can be made either production sharing or profit sharing to encourage the foreign investors. To enhance the investment, the Myanmar Mines Law and the Myanmar Mines Rules were promulgated in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
With the intention of producing dimension stones for use in construction and decoration works, systematic geological survey and prospecting has shown an abundant occurrences of granite and marble deposits in Myanmar with various colours and patterns.
Jewellery manufacturing and Jade carving is the one of the areas of prospects with new discovery of large stone – tract which needs the new technology in gem cutting, polishing and manufacturing.
Oil and gas exploration under the energy sector is contributed highest in the foreign investment of Myanmar.Myanmar has very high potential in the development of oil and gas and hydro – energy sector. New discovery of off-shore gas fields developed by foreign investors are operating under the production sharing contracts. There is, therefore, a lot of potential can be seen in the establishment of downstream and related industries in this particular sector.
As we all aware that, industralization can only be enhanced the country’s economic development. Since Myanmar has adopted the market oriented economy, it is trying to increase the share of manufacturing sector in the national economy by encouraging and extending the scope for international industrial cooperation and economic collaboration with the private sector.
Since then, international standard industrial zones with infrastructure are established on joint-venture basis in cooperation with foreign investors. Foreign investors are also allowed to invest at the local industrial zones by permitting them a long term lease with the permission of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).
Hotels and Tourism
Another prospective booming sector is tourism sector. Myanmar is a cultural destination with its rich cultural heritage and is also blessed with natural environment like snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes, long rivers lush tropical forests, unspoilt beaches and archipelagoes.
There is a growing potential for the construction of international class hotels in major tourist sites. There are also many newly opened areas where there are required tourism related services. Besides, opportunities for the investment in developing golf courses, beach resorts, tourist village, amusement parks, recreational centres are still tremendous.
Information and Communication Technology
With a view to focus on the high acceleration of information and communication technology development all over the world, Myanmar has laid down the policy and encouraging the human resource development for the implementation of ICT plans to narrow down the gap of digital divide.
Myanmar still has the comparative advantage in wages compared to other developing countries. Existence of fairly trained and literate labour force attracts for this sector.
In order to provide the required infrastructural facilities to the foreign investors, the industrial parks projects are established with the collaboration of foreign developers. A number of industrial zones developed in the satellite towns around the Yangon City, will serve as the production base for export promotion and expansion.
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