The political and economic sectors are dramatically changing in Myanmar. The Myanmar government has allowed businesses to reach untapped resources. As a result, many industries are developing in Myanmar and among them, some are fast-developing such as in the telecommunications, financial sector, tourism and the retail sector.
Firstly, telecommunication services in Myanmar is fast developing and foreign direct investment has boomed in Myanmar’s telecom industry. Telecommunication plays an important role in infrastructure development because 66% of the population in Myanmar live in rural areas. Developing telecom sector can also improve the services for commerce and wellbeing like transfer or remittance of money, agriculture and health consulting services via mobile application in remote areas.
The number of mobile operators has increased in Myanmar and four telecommunication companies were operating till now. Myanmar Post and Telecommunication Company (MPT) is a leading incumbent telecom operator in Myanmar, a joint operation with KDDI Corporation & Sumitomo Corporation. MPT offers competitive services, and has more than 20 million subscribers. Foreign firms, Ooredoo (Telecommunications Company from Qatar) and Telenor (Norwegian multinational telecommunications company) started in August and September 2014 respectively. Telenor boast more than 18 million subscribers and Ooredoo more than 10 million subscribers. In 2017, a newcomer called “MyTel” launched as the fourth mobile operator in Myanmar. MyTel is a joint venture of a local consortium comprising 11 companies and Viettel, owned by Vietnam defense ministry, MyTel will become the second major telecoms operator after MPT, in Myanmar.
Secondly, the financial sector is developing fast as a result of the implementation of new financial services by Myanmar’s government. The new services include opening a saving and deposit account in the local currency Kyat (pronounce as ‘chat’) and introducing trade financing, providing banking services to businesses involved in external trade, providing bank guarantees, granting access to loans for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and import-substitution businesses and selling vehicle insurance. It also included the opening of 47 office branches by a total of 11 insurance companies.
The other sector that showed considerable development in growth was tourism. It is to be noted that the tourism sector earned around a total of $1.5 billion during the first six months for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Myanmar has varied tourist attractions and is served internationally by numerous airlines via direct flights. Domestic and foreign airlines also operate flights within the country and cruise ships also dock at Yangon. Moreover, the government is gradually implementing the availability of visa-on-arrival, facilitating direct international flights and visa-free entry to nationals of targeted countries. More than 2.9 million foreign tourists visited Myanmar in 2016 and as of the end of October 2017.
The retail sector is also one of the fast-developing industries in Myanmar due to the income of people has increasing, with a growing number of international brands in Myanmar market. Llifestyles and trends are changing rapidly and consumers have a chance to choose and visit supermarkets and convenience stores. Modern trade is rapidly growing in Myanmar with the number of modern retail outlets reaching 700 in 2015-2016 according to the Myanmar Retail Association which aims to increase more modern retail outlets in in the country.
In conclusion, we can see significant rapid growth of industries in Myanmar in the recent years. We can also expect that other sectors will be developed in the near future. The government has launched an implementation process by establishing ten sector coordination groups for facilitating development assistance in designated areas such as agriculture, education, energy, healthcare, nutrition, job creation, social protection, transport, information and communications technology as well as the environment.
With all of these industries flourishing and more technologies and brands entering into the Golden Land, it is only apt that the Intellectual Property Laws in the country are introduced and enforced. As our Myanmar Office obtains frequent updates from the relevant registry and ministry in Myanmar, we will keep you abreast with developments of their brand new IP laws.
TheinThein Win is an IP Executive at KASS Myanmar IP Services Company Ltd the Myanmar branch office of KASS International, an established intellectual property firm with offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar. For more information, please visit www.kass.asia or drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.