Recent reports that Korean investors plan to pull out investments from Myanmar and invest in Bangladesh instead are not true, said U Thant Sin Lwin, director-general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
A report carried by Bangladeshi media agency bdnews24.com cited the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority stating on 5 November that 100 enterprises from South Korea plan to leave Myanmar to invest in Bangladesh.
The announcement is absolutely wrong, said U Thant Sin Lwin at a media conference held on 6 November at the DICA office.
“Those investments are not easy to become easily. We have negotiated several times and after severd cpmsultations, industrial zones were developed. Moreover, the Myanmar Investment Commission has been providing the necessary assistance, even before a project’s implementation. The MIC is also working to ensure a smooth investment process. So, Korean investors are still submitting proposals to make investments, and inquiries are still being made. There have been no investors returning the investment license granted to them,” said U Thant Sin Lwin.
“I have contacted with the commercial attache of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. And, the attache said that one businessman has spread the information in Bangladesh. We completely reject reports of such a withdrawal (of investment),” he added.
Additionally, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations has met with the South Korean ambassador in Myanmar, who has also reiterated that this story is not true, said U Thant Sin Lwin.
“The Korean Industrial Complex Co. Ltd (KIC) had inquired at the DICA about the investment process. But, it did not intend to invest in Myanmar,” he said.
“The KIC seemed keen to do business in Myanmar. They had asked us about the investment process. After we gave them a reply, they did not contact us again. The KIC came in 2016. Then, we found some troubles — the company had tried to obtain land and sell it back to other companies at a profit. We are not accusing them. Our conclusion came from its background. So, what the KIC said is not legal,” said U Thant Sin Lwin.
South Korean investment in Myanmar stands at 6. South Korea made 179 investments projects worth US$4 billion. Currently, most of the Korean investments are flowing into the oil and gas sector, followed by the manufacturing sector. Korean investors are also investing in the industry sector in two industrial zones.
Meanwhile, U Thaung Tun, the Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations and the chairman of the MIC, attended the 35th ASEAN Summit held on 5 November in Thailand. He also participated in the 14th East Asia summit, during which he met with the South Korean Economic Minister and discussed investment.
Myanmar will also attend the Korea ASEAN Special Summit, scheduled in November in Busan, South Korea.
By Nyein Nyein(Translated by Hay Mar Tin Win)