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Myanmar Set to ‘Easily’ Reach $7bn in Foreign Investment This Fiscal Year
Foreign investment has reached $5.78 billion for this fiscal year so far, meaning the country is all but guaranteed to hit its target of attracting $6 billion of inflows, and is very likely to exceed it.
U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, indicated last week that Myanmar could “easily” reach $7 billion before the April 1st deadline, state media reported.
“We will try our utmost to check the (investment) proposals and grant permission not later than the end of March,” he said.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s new government has left many commentators unimpressed by its handling of the economy. Policies have been vague and slow to arrive, while a drastic fall in FDI in the first three quarters after she came to power have been held up as evidence of her government’s weak business credentials.
But a rush of new investment approvals in recent weeks should mute some of that criticism, even if the $7 billion estimate falls short of the $9.48 billion that came in last year under the USDP.
As the new approvals racked up, U Aung Naing Oo began to strike a more confident tone about hitting the target for this year following concerns inflows would fall short because of a slow start to the financial year after the National League for Democracy took power in April.
Investors have been more cautious as they await clarity on the NLD’s economic policies, but the slowdown can also be attributed to the fact the Myanmar Investment Commission was out of action for over two months after the handover of power.
U Aung Naing Oo has said his office has enough investment applications pending to comfortably surpass the $6 billion target, and that it was just a matter of getting them approved before the deadline.
Addressing a meeting of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry last week he also said that 2017 would be a more promising year for Myanmar, bolstered by increased activity in the ASEAN economic community and deals due to be struck with Europe and Singapore.
The arrival of an amended Myanmar Companies Act and the impending launch of the recently passed Myanmar Investment Law will also embolden investors, he said.
Source: Myanmar Business Today