Business confidence in Myanmar still robust: ADB

A domestic passenger aircraft lands at Myanmar’s busiest airport in Yangon. The country’s tourism boom is a welcome development for the aviation market.—Photo: Ye Myint
A domestic passenger aircraft lands at Myanmar’s busiest airport in Yangon. The country’s tourism boom is a welcome development for the aviation market.—Photo: Ye Myint

Yangon, 26 March — Business confidence in Myanmar remains robust, as indicated by a 10 percent increase in company registrations in the first nine months of the 2014 fiscal year, the Asian Development Bank said in its assessment of the country’s economy.
Myanmar saw foreign investment topping US$6.6 billion between April and December last year, up from $4 billion for the full year of 2013, the ADB said in its report released on Tuesday.
The report said telecommunications represented almost one third of total investment, followed by oil and gas at 24 percent with a $400 million increase in gas exports, reaching $2.1 billion in the first half of the 2014 fiscal year. Real estate made up 18 percent, hotels 13 percent and manufacturing 8 percent, with an average of one new garment factory opening per week in 2014.
Moreover, growth in services was boosted by a surge in tourist arrivals from 2 million in 2013 to an estimated 3.1 million last year, it added.
The report attributed rapid economic growth in the closing fiscal year to the country’s policy reform which is expected to drive stronger expansion through the forecast period.
The ADB urged Myanmar to maintain the stability and momentum of reform that underpins the growth.
Since ending its isolation and establishing democratic practises, Myanmar has undertaken a wide array of reforms, including opening up the country to the international business community.
After seeing significant economic reform for four years, many development challenges of improving infrastructure, strengthening governance and public sector capacity, developing human capital, building a dynamic private sector, revitalizing agriculture and reducing poverty remain for the country, the ADB pointed out in the report. — GNLM

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