CNI News

21 Sept 2022

Russian investment should be attracted to the garment industry to create job opportunities for Myanmar nationals, said local entrepreneurs and economists.

A Myanmar delegation led by SAC Chairman Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attended the East Asian Economic Forum held in Russia on 7th September, 2022 and invited Russian businessmen to invest in Myanmar.

Economic observer U Aung Pyae Sone told the CNI that he hoped that Russian companies would invest in the garment sector, which can create job opportunities for a strong workforce in Myanmar.

He said, “Our country has a large number of workers. They have to go to work in other countries like Malaysia. The minimum wage is set at MMK 4,800 a day. If other countries set up factories in Myanmar, our workers can get MMK 6,000 to 8,000. However, Russian investors are not interested in establishing factories and they are looking forward to investing in the mining and oil and gas sectors.”

  A garment factory worker.

Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and an agreement to cooperate in the nuclear sector was signed during the visit.

He invited Russian companies to invest in many sectors including oil and gas, construction, hotels and tourism and discussed imports of fuel oil from Russia, launching direct flights between the two countries.

An economist, who did not want to be named, said Russian companies are interested in investing in the oil and gas sector in Myanmar.

He told the CNI, “I don’t think they will invest in the manufacturing sector. Myanmar invited them to invest in the oil and gas sector. Exports from the garment sector head to the US, Europe and Japan, which imposed sanctions on Russia. So, it is difficult for Russia to export garments to other countries.”

Currently, Myanmar has faced political instabilities and has not adopted precise foreign investment policies. So, it is difficult to attract new investment while existing foreign investors are leaving Myanmar.

Snr Gen Min Aung Hlaing and President Putin

U Aung Pyae Sone said, “The government should offer tax exemption for five or ten years for investors who set up factories. Another factor is that it must also adopt stable policies. The most serious impediment for attracting foreign investment in Myanmar is that it does not have stable policies for factories that are important for the economy. We should be able to give protection for factories by adopting precise policies. Only then, will the number of factories increase in Myanmar and Myanmar workers will get jobs and their wages will increase. So, the government should adopt precise policies to attract foreign investment in the manufacturing sector.”

The SAC has invited foreign companies in the grain export and energy sectors.

Economic observers expect that oil and gas companies, mining companies and hotel and tour companies from Russia will invest in Myanmar.