Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 7/25/2017
Myanmar is an exciting emerging market located in a critical and rapidly changing part of the world.  The National League for Democracy (NLD)’s landslide victory in November 2015 election was a major step forward for Myanmar’s political and economic future.

As a recently opened market, there are opportunities in various sectors.  At the same time, the market currently presents multiple and complex challenges for U.S. companies.  With the opening of the Commercial Service office in Yangon in August of 2014, there is a team on the ground that can help companies understand the market and succeed.

Myanmar or Burma – Which Name to Use?
Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to foreign diplomatic corps in April 2016 where she told diplomats that they could use either name to refer to the country, as the constitution does not mandate either name.  However, she said the goverment will continue to use Myanmar and that name continues on all their official letters and documentation. 
Since 2011, the Government of Myanmar has adopted, among other changes, budgetary and tax reforms, and financial sector regulatory changes with limited liberalization of trade and investment in order to integrate the country into the international economy.

There are five main reasons why American companies should consider exporting to Myanmar.

Right Time, Right Place
With a rich natural resources base, an estimated population of 51 million, a young labor force and prime geographic location – between India and China, and linked with the countries that make up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Myanmar is the subject of great interest from the international business community.  The enactment of a new Foreign Investment Law along with other economic reforms, the termination of U.S. economic sanctions, along with the previous lifting of EU and Australian sanctions (except for a ban on the sale of non-civil use military goods and services), have encouraged foreign companies to view Myanmar as a potential market.

Growing Economy Means More Opportunity for U.S. Products
Economic growth in Myanmar is expected to be 6.5 percent in 2016-2017 according to the World Bank.  The pace of recovery in agriculture from the floods of 2015 was hampered by longstanding productivity constraints in the sector. However, medium-term growth is currently projected to average 7.1 percent per year. Investment is an important factor to sustain economic growth.  Thus, Myanmar has encouraged domestic and foreign investors to invest in various economic sectors through selective liberalization and incentives.  Further details on the investment climate can be found in the ‘Investment Climate Statement’ section.

Great interest in partnering with American Companies
Given Myanmar’s five decades of isolation, there is a need for a wide array of product and services across multiple sectors.  U.S. products and services are viewed favorably by Burmese society and businesses large and small.  In fact the Commercial Service office is approached on a regular basis by local companies actively seeking U.S. suppliers.

Viable projects
While there is a large amount of multilateral development underway, there is a growing number of privately financed projects that are seeking American inputs.

Fast-Mover Advantage
Myanmar's market presents U.S. companies with unique opportunities and potentially significant gains, but requires patience and persistence.  Local knowledge gained by early movers could prove to be an invaluable competitive advantage.  As the saying goes - if you wait for a perfect market, you will also face perfect competition. 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Burma Trade Development and Promotion