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Report | The Report: Myanmar 2015

Over the past few years Myanmar has experienced a number of dramatic transitions that have restructured its economy, rapidly changing its unique landscape and gradually enriching the social welfare of its people. These changes have placed modern-day Myanmar back on the international investment radar and have seen the nation coined “the Last Frontier”.

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Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Myanmar 2015

This chapter contains an overview of the rules and regulations surrounding business and investment in Myanmar. It also features a legal viewpoint from Cheah Swee Gim, Director, Kelvin Chia Yangon.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Myanmar 2015

This chapter offers an overview of Myanmar’s tax system, examining how new laws and amendments are affecting the country’s business environment. It also features a tax viewpoint from U Win Thin, Chairman, Win Consulting.

Chapter | Tourism from The Report: Myanmar 2015

According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism the number of international entrants to Myanmar in 2013 doubled to 2m from the previous year, with data showing that during the first half of 2014 a 40% year-on-year increase in arrivals was also recorded. The government is hoping to channel the industry’s short-term growth into long-term benefits for the country. In June 2013 the ministry unveiled its Tourism Master Plan, which focuses on six main areas including building human resource development, developing quality products and services, and building Myanmar’s brand as a tourist destination. Together with a Tourism Law it was developed to encourage the establishment of sustainable eco-tourism projects countrywide. Myanmar’s rich natural assets and cultural lure have the potential to make the country one of the top tourism destinations in the region. Major upgrades to transport infrastructure as well as hospitality and public services will be necessary to withstand the pressure of the tourism industry on the country’s infrastructure. This chapter contains interviews with U Htay Aung, Minister of Hotels and Tourism; and Chali Sophonpanich, President, City Realty Company.

Chapter | Transport from The Report: Myanmar 2015

Building a modern transport network will be necessary if the government is to accomplish its ambitious development plans, with a host of air, rail and shipping upgrades planned for the coming years. Major projects include the proposed $1.1bn Hanthawaddy International Airport project, which will be able to accommodate 12m passengers with a plan to increase numbers to 30m per year, over 10 times the country’s current capacity. The existing network threatens to limit growth if air, rail and port facilities are not successfully upgraded in the coming years. The capital needed for improvements is significant, but Myanmar has great incentive to push for economic reforms and to further engage private parties and international development agencies. The state aims to be a major logistics player in the region, and given Myanmar’s strategic geographic position within the region, many believe this vision can be realised with sufficient injection of capital and international cooperation. This chapter contains interviews with U Nyan Tun Aung, Minister of Transport; and U Si Thu, Managing Director, Myanmar Airways International (MAI).

Chapter | Health & Education from The Report: Myanmar 2015

Following years of poor governance, limited resources and international sanctions, much work needs to be done in order to bridge the gap between Myanmar’s ill-equipped public health system and internationally recognised norms. The government and foreign donors are ramping up efforts in the fight against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and maternal and child mortality as well as the increasing prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCDs). After decades of isolation, the sector is now open to foreign investment, allowing 70% ownership in clinics and hospitals. Both private and public sector players are taking significant steps to adjust to the evolving landscape of the country in an effort to improve the provision of medical care. The education system is also undergoing revitalisation. With many of the country’s development goals relying on the improvement of education and the expansion of vocational training, the transformation is well under way. Although the Ministry of Education has numerous hurdles to overcome, an increased budget, growing support from the global community, and the reopening of Yangon University are all positive signs for the future of Myanmar’s education system. This chapter contains an interview with Dr Ye Moe Myint, Hospital Administrator, Pun Hlaing Hospital; and an education viewpoint from Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia.

Chapter | Industry & Retail from The Report: Myanmar 2015

While much ground remains to be covered in Myanmar’s industry and retail sectors, its progress to date is remarkable, given the country’s history and the challenges it faces in a highly competitive neighbourhood. Figures from the end of November 2014 show manufacturing coming in third, behind the oil and gas and power sectors, in terms of total investments received. Strong international support and investment, together with the efforts of a hard-working, young, highly literate and motivated population, are paying increasing dividends, as Myanmar opens up to the world and progresses towards joining the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). With robust economic growth expected to continue, paralleling continued investor interest, industry and retail are likely to see further expansion in 2015 and beyond. While almost all manufacturing areas offer major upsides, an awareness of changing local conditions and the ability to adapt to political dynamics will be key for sustained growth. This chapter contains interviews with Stuart Dean, CEO, General Electric ASEAN; and Rehan Khan, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Myanmar.