Htet Tayza discusses the findings of a new report, which suggest that Myanmar was a global leader in liberalising investment during the period from October 2015 to February 2016.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a global organisation which focuses on trade and development, has released its latest report. Online news site Business World reports that according to UNCTAD, 25 countries or economies implemented 41 investment policy measures from October 2015 to February 2016.
UNCTAD found that the share of investment liberalisation and promotion measures implemented by these nations and economies during this period was 85%. This is broadly in line with the average for this category during recent years. UNCTAD wrote: “These policy measures show a continued move towards improving entry conditions, reducing restrictions and facilitating foreign investment.”
Leading on liberalisation
Asian countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kazakhstan, took the lead in implementing investment liberalisation and promotion policies from October 2015 to February of this year. Explaining this further, UNCTAD wrote that “in terms of type of policies, measures related to “entry/establishment” were predominant.”
Writing on this subject further, UNCTAD listed the most important investment liberalisation measures adopted during this period. These included the implementation of new investment laws in Myanmar, the Republic of Serbia and South Africa. The Organisation also cited “the adoption of a comprehensive plan for full investment liberalisation in selected sectors in Indonesia” as a key measure enacted during the time between October 2015 and February 2016.
Encouraging foreign investment
When UNCTAD says that countries are “liberalising investment,” they mean that these nations are opening up their economies to foreign investors. According to Investopedia, an online finance sector resource, economic liberalisation: “Is generally thought of as a beneficial and desirable process for emerging and developing countries. The underlying goal is to have unrestricted capital flowing into and out of the country in order to boost growth and efficiencies within the home country.”
The UNCTAD report suggests that Myanmar is implementing the policies required to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a known driver of national economic growth. Regional news portal Eleven Myanmar suggests that the nation’s FDI hit US$23 billion during the past five years. Myanmar is continually liberalising its economy, implementing measures such as the recently opened Yangon Stock Exchange and enacting legislation like the Companies Act, which will open up this bourse to international investors. As Myanmar opens itself up further to international markets, it could keep attracting the FDI required for its economy to thrive.