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International Business in Myanmar: Internal Constraints, Commercial Concerns and Challenges


  • Vicki Thein


This paper discusses institutional and structural constraints in the economy of Myanmar with special reference to international business trade and investment. It notes that these constraints impose difficulties and threats for international enterprises operating in Myanmar. The extant literature on the market entry and operation of foreign enterprises in Myanmar concentrates on external political determinants (trade sanctions) of international business activity, with little attention afforded to management and operational challenges arising from the country’s domestic business and investment environment. In this regard, researchers often outline various sanctions and restrictions that governments and international institutions have imposed on Myanmar, but fail to provide contextualised description of internal institutional and structural constraints and an assessment of their impact on international enterprises. The paper sets out to fill this gap in the literature by arguing that, apart from evident external pressures and constraints, major constraints and challenges arise from domestic sources and play a significant role in shaping the decisions of international corporations to engage in market entry or exit from Myanmar.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicki Thein, 2008. "International Business in Myanmar: Internal Constraints, Commercial Concerns and Challenges," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 27(3), pages 4-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:4-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gerke, Solvay & Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "Looking East, looking West: Penang as a knowledge hub," MPRA Paper 33980, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Evers, Hans-Dieter, 2011. "Penang as a knowledge hub," MPRA Paper 31763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Gerke, Solvay & Menkhoff, Thomas, 2010. "Knowledge Clusters and Knowledge Hubs: Designing Epistemic Landscapes for Development," MPRA Paper 33956, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Oct 2011.
    4. Evers, Hans-Dieter & Nordin, Ramli, 2012. "The symbolic universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia," MPRA Paper 39210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Michael E. Porter, 2000. "Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 14(1), pages 15-34, February.
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