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Foreign Direct Investment Relations between Myanmar and ASEAN


  • Thandar, Khine


Myanmar highly appreciates foreign direct investment (FDI) as a key solution reducing the development gap with leading ASEAN countries. Accordingly, it is welcomed by the government. Myanmar's Foreign Investment Law was enacted in 1988 soon after the adoption of a market-oriented economic system to boost the flow of FDI into the country. Foreign investors positively responded to these measures in the early years and FDI inflow into Myanmar gradually increased during the period from 1989 to 1996. However, after 1997, FDI inflow was dramatically reduced and markedly declined until 2004. In 2005, FDI inflow increased at an unprecedented rate and reached the highest level in the country's history. However, this growth was not sustainable in the subsequent years, as it declined again and turned stagnant at the previous level.In terms of source regions, ASEAN is a major investor in Myanmar, which investment is significantly exceeds the combined investment of other regions of the world. Among top ten countries, Thailand's investment alone is significantly more than combined total investments of the other nine countries. Next to Thailand in terms of investments in Myanmar are Singapore and Malaysia among ASEAN, at second and third places, respectively. The combined total FDI inflows into the power and oil and gas sector represent about 65 percent of the total investment.There are many opportunities for foreign investment in other sectors, which are not, yet exploited. ASEAN countries will certainly be source countries of Myanmar FDI in the future, and Myanmar should expand to other Asian countries like Japan, India, China, Korea, and Hong Kong where its FDI portfolio is concerned. To effectively attract FDI into the country, Myanmar needs to minimize the effect of policy while opening and encouraging other potential sectors of FDI to foreign investors in ASEAN and Asian countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Thandar, Khine, 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment Relations between Myanmar and ASEAN," IDE Discussion Papers 149, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper149

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Norman, 2009. "Internalization Revisited," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 121-133, March.
    2. Kohpaiboon, Archanun, 2002. "Foreign Trade Regime and FDI-Growth Nexus : A Case Study of Thailand," Departmental Working Papers 2002-05, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    3. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Hans Jarle Kind & Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås, 2002. "The Role of FDI in Economic Development," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 28, pages 109-126.
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    More about this item


    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC); Myanmar; ASEAN; Southeast Asia; Foreign Investments; 海外直接投資; ミャンマー投資委員会; ミャンマー; アセアン; 東南アジア; 国際投資;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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