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Spire comments on Myanmar’s burgeoning investment climate

22 June 2012
Channel NewAsia – Asia Business Tonight

Spire comments on Myanmar’s burgeoning investment climate

Myanmar has been in the spotlight recently as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a high profile visit to Europe. Back home, President Thein Sein promised to commence the next wave of economic reform in a bid to attract further foreign investment. But before investors jump onto the bandwagon, what are some of the risks they should be wary of? Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, was invited to share his insights on Channel NewAsia – Asia Business Tonight.

Perera mentioned that the President’s announcement on the reforms came as a surprise, as they had not been expected so soon. The pro-reform group within the government is strengthening its hand relative to the hardliners, as Aung San Suu Kyi garners support from the West. Myanmar is trending in the right direction, for both investors and the country alike.

Companies seeking to set up in Myanmar and tap business opportunities were worried about the delicate political situation and whether the recent gains could be reversed. Perera reiterated that this was a judgment call on the part of investors. He counseled that the way to manage that risk would be to carefully calibrate the size of fund injections with improvements in the legal and regulatory environment. He also spoke of the need to balance this perspective against the risk of not going into Myanmar quickly enough.

Perera added that the Myanmar government needs to demonstrate the ability to enforce laws in governing investments. More importantly, big and symbolic investment projects from iconic international investors will be absolutely crucial for creating psychological momentum among the broader investment community to “pull” them into Myanmar.

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