Myanmar (Burma) is a name increasingly appearing in our booking systems. After 50 years of isolation, the recent surge in interest has stirred our creative team to investigate the new ‘destination to watch’.
The country’s economy is mainly supported by the agricultural production of rice. Rice farms span over 60% of the country’s total land area. But this fast developing country is catching up on decades of underdevelopment. The business opportunities are becoming vast and the country is becoming a key centre for resources.
90% of the world’s Rubies originate in Myanmar, prized for their purity and hue, with neighbouring Thailand buying the majority of the countries gems. The mountainous Mogok area, boasts “the valley of rubies” and visitors are able to gaze on the rare pigeon’s blood rubies and blue sapphires.
Thailand is not the only country benefiting from Myanmar’s growth as China and India have both formed strong bonds. Leading businesses are already operating in Myanmar for various sectors, including oil and gas exploration, IT, hydro power and port/building construction.
The new Silk Road development is expected to open trade doors for countless countries and Myanmar too is set to feature. The city of Mandalay will become part of the route stretching from Kunming to Kolkata, running through China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India.
With renewable energy and our planets future becoming more and more prominent in policy and politics, Myanmar faces some major energy challenges. It has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world – only a third of the population have access to affordable and reliable electricity. With the world turning to technology more and more, it’s expected that the demand/need for electricity is said to increase by 700% by 2030.
Currently, 70% of Myanmar’s domestic energy is generated by hydro-power, as amazing as this is, it can be problematic due to unpredictable weather. The government is planning on adding more diverse types of energy to the country but have said that they will keep renewable energy as their priority. Solar and wind energy are great potential sources of energy for the developing country. With large scale infrastructure naturally comes opportunities for transportation companies. Huge, specialised equipment needed in infrastructure projects will require transportation especially as much of the investment is external.
Some of the key benefits for UK business exporting to Burma include:
- strong historical and trading links with the UK with a recognition of British brands
- increasing demand for products, equipment and services resulting from incoming foreign investment and a growing middle class
- strong economic growth to date and positive future forecasts
- Potential strengths of the Burma market:
- access to 40% of the world’s population living in bordering countries
- abundant natural resources
- commitment to political and economic reform with strong international donor backing
- proven agricultural capacity
With all this to consider perhaps we can expect many more bookings to Myanmar over the coming years.