This chapter includes the following articles.
Benefitting from a large population, an ideal geographic position and abundant natural resources, Myanmar’s trade and investment volumes hold enormous potential for future expansion, although the country is facing both domestic and external challenges. Foreign direct investment inflows soared from 2011, upon the country’s economic liberalisation and democratic transition, although they have slumped recently in the wake of ongoing restrictions on foreign business activities, delayed legal reforms and rising international scrutiny of domestic conflicts. Trade volumes have expanded considerably since 2011, supported by strong agricultural output, energy exports and expansion of the labour-intensive garment. However, imports continue to outpace exports and the potential withdrawal of EU trade privileges has darkened the near-term outlook. This chapter contains interviews with U Than Myint, Minister of Commerce; U Zaw Myint Maung, Chief Minister, Regional Government of Mandalay; Patrick Ip, Managing Director, China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund; and Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman, Japan External Trade Organisation.