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INVESTMENT

Hong Kong third-biggest investor in Myanmar

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 July, 2013, 5:09am

Mainland China is the biggest investor in Myanmar, with US$14.19 billion of cumulative investments, while Hong Kong ranks third with US$6.39 billion, PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed yesterday.

Thailand was the second-biggest investor in its southeast Asian neighbour, with a cumulative investment of US$9.98 billion, said Jasmine Aung, Myanmar director at PwC.

The Myanmese government was preparing to establish a stock exchange in the country, with the first initial public offering expected by October 2015, Aung said.

It was also preparing a new foreign investment law that was expected to offer tax breaks to investors, allow them to lease private land and repatriate investment proceeds using market exchange rates, the accounting firm said in a report.

"Myanmar's GDP is expected to grow 6.3 per cent this year, driven by improved business confidence following recent political and economic reforms. However, short-term risks to growth include the rapid appreciation of the kyat," the report said.

The power sector had received the most cumulative foreign investment in Myanmar, at US$19.24 billion, Aung said, followed by oil and gas at US$14.37 billion. By 2011, China surpassed Thailand to become the largest foreign investor in Myanmar, the report said. Hong Kong's financial secretary, John Tsang Chun-wah, held meetings with the Myanmese president, Thein Sein, the country's deputy commerce minister, Pwint San, and other top officials in Myanmar last month.

Tsang said Hong Kong was a major service economy, and was highly complementary with Myanmar's economic structure, the Hong Kong government said in a press release.

Pwint San said Hong Kong entrepreneurs were among Myanmar's major investors and he would welcome more Hong Kong firms to set up in Myanmar. Thein Sein said Hong Kong had the capital and technology while Myanmar had the manpower, land and natural resources.

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