Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Myanmar-Malaysia trade expected to top $ 1 billion


Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:03 Mizzima News

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Myanmar is expected to reach around US $1 billion this year, according to a report on Tuesday by Malaysian news agency Bernama, which said the 10 percent increase is spurred by the substantial economic growth by both countries.

Deputy chief executive officer of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Datuk Kamarudin Hassan, is reported saying that the economic liberalization of Myanmar’s markets has significantly spurred the export of Malaysian goods.

Last year, Malaysia's exports recorded a 27.3 percent jump to register at RM 2.17 billion ($700 million), while imports stood at RM 0.57 billion ($184 million), said the report.

On investments, Kamarudin is reported as saying that Malaysian companies should be more aggressive in taking advantage of the enormous level of opportunities being dished out in Myanmar.

“Myanmar needs a high amount of infrastructure development. This involves the construction of roads, highways, airports and other commercial buildings. This is where Malaysian companies can create a niche for themselves, as we have some of the best infrastructure developers in Malaysia,” he is reported saying.

Last year, Malaysian investment in Myanmar amounted to RM 3.18 billion ($1 billion), and mostly in the area of oil and gas, hotels, plastics and seafood.

Among the major Malaysian companies in Myanmar are Labuan Re, Lumber Mart Sdn Bhd, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Sapura Crest Petroleum Sdn Bhd, Scansia Sdn Bhd and UMW Holdings Bhd.

In a separate report the same day in Bernama, the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office in Yangon Senior Advisor, Prof Aung Tun Thet, is reported saying that Myanmar's new Foreign Investment Law will offer vast opportunities for Malaysian businessmen to invest.

He said the new law pertaining to land, tax and investments would facilitate and provide comfort to new and existing investors who are interested to invest in the country.

“Malaysian companies are at the advantage rather than other countries because Myanmar has always been working with Malaysia. With the implementation of the new law, it's going to make investment inflows much more easy for Malaysia in Myanmar,” he told Bernama after a seminar entitled “Myanmar: Your New Frontier for Investment Opportunities."

“We've worked on this law to make it easier for investors not just from Malaysia but also for all other countries that are keen to invest in Myanmar,” Tun Thet is reported saying.
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