Opportunities and Risks of Foreign Direct Investment in Myanmar

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Project Title: Opportunities and Risks of Foreign Direct Investment in
Author: Miss. Lwan Po
Advisor: Dr. Tanakorn Limsarun
Degree: Master of Business Administration (International Program)
Major: International Business Management
Faculty: Graduate Schools
Academic year: 2019


Po, Lwan. (2019). Opportunities and Risks of Foreign Direct Investment in Myanmar. (Independent study, Master of Business Administration). Bangkok: Siam University.


After decades of isolation, foreign direct investment began to flourish as a seemingly civilian government replaced the military junta in 2011. While the prospects of this new market have captured the excitement of investors, Myanmar has yet to facilitate foreign investment efficiently. Primary objectives of the study were to assess contemporary risks and opportunities of investing in Myanmar and give recommendations for foreign investors. The study was particularly significant for foreign companies considering investing in or has already begun operating in Myanmar. The information provided could aid top management with deciding whether to invest, and operation and middle management with what to expect of local businesses and environmental factors, such as access to internet and electricity. Articles published on EBSCO Host between 2013 and 2019 were included in the study. Other articles from news agencies have been used to supplement them with up-to-date and specific information regarding events and the business environment. Opportunities included: (1) Natural resources; (2) Large market & demand for goods; (3) Low wages. Risks include: (1) Inefficient & inexperienced government; (2) Inadequate transport and energy infrastructure; (3) Restricted economic sectors for FDI; (4) Internal conflict with ethnic groups; (5) Underdeveloped banking & finance sector; (6) Lack of skilled labor. A survey of 197 international firms which had existing FDI in Myanmar was conducted for the study. The survey explored their perception of 17 investigated factors with economic impact. The findings showed a majority of risk factors and the average of the means was 3.312. Before making strategic decisions, top management was recommended to study the factors introduced in this study, as well as analyzing their implications for their own companies, brands, operations, and product lines. Operation and middle management of investing firms should be aware of several limitations when managing and operating businesses in Myanmar. The author recommended further research into the motivations and drawbacks of the top foreign investors of FDI in Myanmar: Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, and United Kingdoms.

Keywords: Foreign direct investment, Myanmar, opportunities, risks, final frontier.

Opportunities and Risks of Foreign Direct Investment in Myanmar

Master of Business Administration (International Program), Siam University, Bangkok, Thailand

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