Since 2011, Myanmar has promoted reform and opening up. As a brand new and open market in Southeast Asia, more and more Hong Kong businessmen have invested in the local government over the past eight years. Some young people have taken the opportunity to come to this infrastructure. The country of Vantaa, whose power supply is not stable, looks for opportunities. Today, Hong Kong is already the fourth largest investor in Myanmar, developing ports, real estate, shipping, and even Hong Kong-style dessert shops.
The Myanmar Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (MHKCCI) was established in September this year to serve as a bridge for the development of trade between the two places. “Hong Kong 01” and the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce Zhou Yousheng and Director Wang Zhanheng understand the development status and investment environment of the country.
Zhou Yousheng, a representative of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in Thailand and South Asia, pointed out that Hong Kong is now the fourth largest source of investment in Myanmar, second only to Singapore, China and Thailand. Since the reopening of Myanmar, many Hong Kong companies have been interested. Hong Kong property developer Marga Group entered the local market in about 2013. The HKTDC also assists Hong Kong businessmen to enter this market, especially in the manufacturing sector, including electronics and clothing.
Three major investment directions
Myanmar is now in the stage of opening up. What kind of investment is Hong Kong most in need? Zhou Yousheng said that there are currently three major types of local investment in Hong Kong, the first being manufacturing. The country is labor intensive and low in cost, and it has advantages in this respect, and the local area also needs a lot of job opportunities. “Liantai Garment has 8,000 to 10,000 workers in Myanmar, and Roche Group has hired 8,000 to 10,000 workers to create huge employment opportunities in the local area.” Zhou Yousheng added that under the Sino-US trade war, The cost of manufacturing in the Mainland has risen. The TDC is studying the need for Hong Kong manufacturers to move out. It has gathered a group of Hong Kong businessmen who need to move and set up a land in Yangon New Town as a Hong Kong business migration base and take advantage of its own Hong Kong. Designed a Hong Kong industrial park.
The second investment focus is on infrastructure. At present, the local infrastructure is not developed. In the case of electricity, the total installed capacity is only 3,000 megawatts (MW), which is similar to that of Bangladesh 10 years ago, but today there are 16,000 megawatts in Bangladesh. It has grown more than fivefold, but there is no growth in Myanmar. He mentioned that Hong Kong-based VPower Group has invested in at least four gas projects, with a total installed capacity of 10% (300 MW) in Myanmar, which is a relatively high-profile investment in Hong Kong.
The third is tourism. Myanmar has rich tourism resources. Like Phuket, it faces the Andaman Sea. However, the infrastructure is backward and tourism resources cannot be fully utilized.
Speaking back to infrastructure development, Hutchison has invested in the local area in the 1990s. Its Hutchison Ports MITT near the Yangon River estuary has become Myanmar’s first modern container port.
Myanmar has a superior location with a coastline facing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It has great potential to develop ports and shipping hubs, but it is currently lacking deep-water ports. The Myanmar government has mentioned this year that it will develop a new deep-water port. The other is the Dawei deep-sea port in the south of Thailand. It is conceiving to build a road from Bangkok to connect the deep water port of Tuwa. The Straits of Malacca went west to Europe, but for various reasons, the project was not implemented.
Hong Kong shipowner and maritime services company Wealth Ocean (Yuyang) began investing in the local area about ten years ago. Wang Zhanheng, a director of the company, pointed out that Myanmar crew members have long been known, and those who are engaged in shipping and shipping industry know that their crews are of good quality. In the early days, the relationship between the United States and Myanmar was poor, and the crew visa was interrupted. When the visa issue is resolved, the company will enter the Myanmar market to hire crew members and open a crew school to train locals.
Wang Zhanheng is also optimistic about the development prospects of the Myanmar shipping industry, as eight to 90% of the world’s cargo transportation is by ship, but the country lacks a deep-water port. “At present, mainland China is developing a deep-water port project in Rakhine state. Although Myanmar’s traditional business center is in Yangon, there is no deep-water port in Yangon. Most of the country’s containers are in and out of it. With fine ships, the cargo volume is low and the cost is high. Therefore, it is necessary to rely on Singapore to re-export and use large ships to transfer to the rest of the world. Therefore, the import and export cost in Myanmar is very high.” Wang Zhanheng believes that the biggest bottleneck at present is the lack of port terminals, but once the relevant facilities Successful completion will naturally lead to the development of the maritime industry.