Myanmar: what investors need to know
Burma, the south-east Asian country, officially titled the Republic of the Union of Myanmar hosts 7 regional dialects, has two major military conglomerates that dominate the economy and is rife with political turmoil.
In the 1990 general election the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, despite winning 59% of votes, was detained in her until home 2010.
Early in 2012 the National League for Democarcy (NLD), Suu Kyi`s opposition party, announced she had been elected into a lower house of the Burmese parliament; the NLD won 43 of the 45 seats in the lower house.
Investors have been eyeing the emerging energy, timber and mining possibilities in the region. Exclusive Analysis has a few pointers for investors to look at before they leap.
A Military State
Despite many countries, the United States included, opening up trade with Myanmar, there is considerable political concern over dealing with any military owned companies.
The US has barred all transactions with military companies, which is a major problem as economic transactions in the Asian region are dominated by the military based corporations Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Limited and the Myanmar Economic Corporation.
The economy is not the only thing heavily influenced by the military. Burmese constitution ensures that the military is guaranteed at least 25% of all parliamentary seats. In the past, in opposition of the Burmese state has led to
Though the last census was run in 1983 by a military junta, it is estimated that Burma is home to over 130 different ethnic groups. These groups, however small, are represented in part by ethnicity-based parties. So, even though the Bamar, Shan and Kayin are the three dominant ethnicities, any planning and negotiating would likely be done on state and local levels.
Violence Between Sects
Instability is still a major concern within the country. One of the most notable areas of investor interest, a gas field located in the Rakhine state worth billions of dollars, has been hit with a curfew in an attempt to stem the violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities.
Obviously any widespread violence or humanitarian problems results in a severing of investor confidence – at the moment nearby Bangleadesh is home to hundreds of thousands of Burmese refugees due to the widespread violence in the region.
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