The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) and EuroCham in Myanmar have signed an MoU to promote European investment in Myanmar. The partnership will include an annual Myanmar-EU Economic Forum as well as further events to encourage European firms to enter Myanmar markets.
“We will collaborate with the EU chamber for investment promotion, especially to invite more investors from EU countries,” DICA deputy director-general U Min Zaw Oo told The Irrawaddy.
The MoU comes during a boom of foreign investment, which has grown despite the global pandemic. Although the coronavirus put a freeze on international travel and hobbled key industries such as tourism, FDI reached USD 5.52 billion for 2019-2020 fiscal year, reported the Myanmar Investment Commission. According to the Irrawaddy, the EU is responsible for nearly 9% of Myanmar’s overall FDI and accounted for around 11% of last year’s trade.
Other than the pandemic, Myanmar’s political situation may be the biggest challenge for attracting European firms. The problems in Rakhine State have drawn condemnations from many Western governments and leaders and have compelled some would-be investors to hold the country at arm’s length. However, economic rivalry with China — the current investment juggernaut in Myanmar — may encourage Europeans to set their political compunctions aside.