When asked for their reasons, both sides agreed that the country offers what is essentially a clean slate; thereis a lack of infrastructure, industry and skills. But it seems how this void is viewed affects the answer. Theinterviewees who feel positively about the opening up of the country think a workforce willing to learn, the abilityto enter a competition-free market and growth in other sectors that will inevitably require IT presents a greatopportunity. One interviewee explained, “Burmese companies are just at the nascent stage of their developmentand most of them don’t even have access to the World Wide Web. Think about how much IT it would need to just bring them so that they can compete at the world stage.”One response from within the country said, “IT is very popular within
Myanmar as a commodity. However, there is poor infrastructure and
grounding in the basics to be able to understand and develop thenew and novel applications Myanmar needs to address its problems.
Much is needed in the areas of education, training and development of
On the other hand, the negative responses cite skills shortages, poor infrastructure and a lack of industry as
barriers for investment. Several respondents also commented how they didn’t feel the country was ready yetbecause there was so little on the ground, but possibly would be in the future around 10 years from now. Thegovernment was the most dividing subject among interviewees. Some cited a fresh government and a waveof new legislation as a boon, however it seems some are distrustful of the government and reluctant to believe
things will change. One interviewee explained, “This is one of the most repressive regimes on the planet. Until
democracy comes to Myanmar I plan on boycotting any business involved there.”
Despite Myanmar’s checkered past, in the last 12 months the countryhas turned a corner. The release of the pro-democracy party leader AungSan Suu Kyi after nearly 20 years of house arrest, free elections and the
easing of international sanctions on the country have seen the nation take
As well as greater freedom and the hope of improving the lives of thepeople, companies around the world are seeing real potential for the
country to become the next major emerging market. Companies such as Coca-Cola and ad agency WPP are alreadystarting to build a presence, and executives are ying out on a regular basis to scope out the landscape.
“Most Burmese companiesdon’t even have access to theWorld Wide Web. Think abouthow much is needed in IT sothat they can compete at theworld stage.”IDC has called Myanmar an‘unpolished gem; virtuallyone of the last untappedICT markets in the APACregion’
“15% expected growth in Myanmar’s IT sector in 2012 reaching $268.45 million in 2016”,