You are on page 1of 27

Doing business in Burma

UK Trade & Investment Doing business in Burma

Are you a member of a UK company wishing to export overseas? Interested in entering or expanding your activity in the Burmese market? Then this guide is for you!
The main objective of this Doing Business Guide is to provide you with basic knowledge about Burma; an overview of its economy, business culture, potential opportunities and an introduction to other relevant issues. Novice exporters, in particular will find it a useful starting point. Further assistance is available from the UKTI team in Burma. Full contact details are available at the end of this guide.

Important Information Sanctions and Embargoes

Some countries maybe subject to export restrictions due to sanctions and embargoes placed on them by the UN or EU. Exporting companies are responsible for checking that their goods can be exported and that they are using the correct licences. Further information is available on GOV.UK

The purpose of the Doing Business guides, prepared by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is to provide information to help recipients form their own judgments about making business decisions as to whether to invest or operate in a particular country. The Reports contents were believed (at the time that the Report was prepared) to be reliable, but no representations or warranties, express or implied, are made or given by UKTI or its parent Departments (the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)) as to the accuracy of the Report, its completeness or its suitability for any purpose. In particular, none of the Reports contents should be construed as advice or solicitation to purchase or sell securities, commodities or any other form of financial instrument. No liability is accepted by UKTI, the FCO or BIS for any loss or damage (whether consequential or otherwise) which may arise out of or in connection with the Report.

Introduction Preparing to Export to Burma How to do business in Burma Business Etiquette, Language and Culture What are the challenges? How to Invest in Burma Contacts Resources/Useful Links 4 9 11 15 17 18 21 26

Burma or Myanmar? The British Governments position remains that we formally recognise the name Burma. Further information is available here: However, the country is referred to by its government as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, or Myanmar for short. Many businesses use the name Myanmar when they are dealing with the government in Naypyitaw. Sanctions Following significant progress on political and economic reform, the EU agreed on 22 April 2013 to lift all sanctions on Burma except for the arms embargo and a ban on equipment that can be used for internal repression which remain in place. The European Union had imposed targeted sanctions for many years on Burma. These included an arms embargo, a prohibition on trade in the gems, mining and timber sectors, and a prohibition on doing business with listed companies and individuals. However, when sanctions were first suspended in April 2012, the EU made clear in a statement that responsible investment in Burma by EU companies was now welcome. The British government also withdrew its own bilateral policy of discouraging all trade and investment in Burma, while strongly emphasising the need for any investment in Burma to be done responsibly. On July 11, 2012, the US Government eased restrictions to broadly authorize the exportation of financial services and to allow US companies to responsibly do business in Burma. On 22 February 2013 the US Treasury also announced that it would issue general licences to four of Burmas major financial entities, allowing US individuals, companies and financial institutions to conduct most transactions. For more detail go to or Opportunities in Burma When compared to its neighbours Burma is a markedly underdeveloped market. It has a sizeable population (62m), fertile and resource-rich land, and a strategic location at the heart of Asia, one of the worlds largest growing economic regions. Burma has a long coastline with good port access and shares land borders with India, China and Thailand. It is also a member of ASEAN and stands to benefit from its increasing economic integration - the ASEAN region alone has a cumulative population of more than 500 million and GDP in excess of US$ 700 billion. In 2014 Burma will chair ASEAN and host the East Asia Summit. UKTI Rangoon is confident there are opportunities for British business in a number of sectors across the economy. However, many of these opportunities will not bear fruit in the short term therefore companies should approach the market with a long term vision. 1. Oil and Gas The Burmese Government is currently in the process of tendering for 18 onshore and 30 offshore blocks, many international investors are interested. Whilst it is impossible to assign a value to the opportunity due to a lack of data it is clear that the potential is vast; Burma is already the 10th largest producer of natural gas in the world and the largest in Asia. The UKs expertise in deep sea drilling is well recognised here; some of the offshore blocks are on a par with the deepest wells in the Gulf of Mexico. The Government is yet to develop the regulatory and pricing infrastructure in this sector which makes the environment more challenging however that aside we are already seeing strong interest from British business. 1. Telecoms and ICT The Burmese telecoms market is one of the final frontiers in international telecommunications. At present (April 2013) it is estimated that only 2-4% of the population have access to a SIM card and there is no international roaming capacity. The Government has recently begun a tender process to award four licenses to operate in the sector; the process is open to international bidders. There will also be opportunities in the ICT sector which is drastically underdeveloped; these will spread right from deployment of network services (internet penetration is as poor if not worse than mobile) to the sale and distribution of software and hardware and the provision of technical training. 2. Financial and professional services The services sector offers the closest thing to a quick win for British companies in Burma, given the growing demand from international investors and a relatively low cost of market entry. We are already seeing some British businesses operating in this space and many more are watching closely. Whilst most of the services sectors remain restricted to foreign investors there is a commitment from the Government that this will change in the not too distant future and those companies able to position themselves well from an early stage will reap the rewards further

down the line. There is much to be done in terms of local capacity building and any potential investor should consider this in their approach to the market. 3. Education The British education system is extremely well regarded in Burma and this gives British business an immediate advantage. Whilst literacy rates are impressively high the general standard of education is poor and the countrys isolation for the last 40 years has led to a general de-skilling of the local population. There is undeniable appetite on the part of the Burmese people and the Government for education and vocational training however there is also an expectation on the part of the Burmese Government that others will pay. Therefore providers should be prepared to operate on a pro bono basis initially or through relevant aid funded programmes; as more multinationals develop their presence here and the domestic economy grows we anticipate the commercial opportunities will increase. 4. Infrastructure Any visitor to Burma soon realises that the infrastructure needs updating across the board. The Government has plans for developing the roads, railways, ports and airports and this will doubtless present opportunities for British business. Whilst many of the projects are already being managed by Japanese and Chinese contractors, there remain supply chain opportunities at all levels. Urban planning is an area in which Burma lacks experience (26 qualified urban planners for the whole country) and potentially this is somewhere British business could find success. 5. Manufacturing Low cost labour and a reinstatement of General System of Preferences (GSP) by the EU (and in longer time the US) are making manufacturing an increasingly attractive sector in Burma. However land costs remain high and the skill base is low as is the quality of raw materials. We are already seeing British business operating in manufacturing and many more are looking. Incentives The Burmese Government have said that they are committed to moving towards an open, market oriented economy and they view foreign investment as a means of promoting economic development, employment and technology transfer. Through the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) under the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development they offer a range of tax incentives, support services and import duty concessions to companies seeking to invest. These are detailed in the new Foreign Investment Law which is covered later in this guide. Foreign trade For many years, the government has limited imports to ensure a balance of trade surplus. Although recent trade policies are aimed at liberalising the market, some restrictions remain. Burmas trade surplus has depended largely on the export of raw materials such as teak, precious stones and natural gas. Thailand, India and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) accounted for more than three quarters of Burmas (cumulated) exports between 2006 and 2010 totalling 21.2bn to these countries. Its leading export products are natural gas, timber, vegetables, fish, pulses and beans, rice, clothes and precious stones; and the top buyers are Thailand, India, China and Japan. The country imports textile material, petroleum products, fertilizers, plastics, machinery, transport equipment, cement, construction material, crude oil and foodstuffs; the main suppliers are China, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia. Economic Overview President Thein Sein has recognised the high levels of poverty and implemented some reforms, such as breaking up big monopolies, undertaking a major privatisation programme, issuing a new Foreign Investment Law and working with the IMF on the unification and flotation of the exchange rate in April 2012. His government has also established a framework for the next phase of economic reforms. Important next steps include building up the banking system, improving infrastructure, power supply and communications, and establishing a more robust rule of law. The British Embassy has recently established a Prosperity Team. They are working with Government, Parliament, civil society and international organisations to support the establishment of transparent and stable regulatory systems and the promotion of economic policies that underpin strong, sustainable, balanced and low carbon growth in Burma. The Prosperity Team works closely with UKTI colleagues to ensure that business interests and concerns are fed into our work on the other tracks mentioned above.

Political Overview Independence British rule in Burma began in 1824. By 1885, this extended to the whole of Burma, which was annexed to British India. In 1937, Burma was separated from India and it became a self-governing protectorate. After heavy fighting in Burma between the Japanese and the Allied forces in World War II, Burma achieved independence in January 1948. General Aung San (father of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi), leader of Burmas Independence movement, had tragically been assassinated in 1947. He is still today regarded as the father of the nation. 1948-1988 From 1948 to 1962, Burma had a democratic, parliamentary government. However, following the death of Aung San, efforts to reconcile the many ethnic nationalities under the new Union failed. Burman rule has been contested by a number of ethnic rebel groups since Independence, most notably by the Karen, Kachin, Shan, Wa and Mon. The country suffered widespread internal conflict as a result. In 1958, Prime Minister U Nu accepted temporary military rule to restore political order. The military stepped down after 18 months. But in 1962 General Ne Win led a military coup, abolishing the constitution and establishing a Burmese Way to Socialism. Through his Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP), Ne Win put in place socialist policies that had lasting effects on the country's economy. His government lasted until widespread protests in 1988. 1988-2011 On 8 August 1988 hundreds of thousands of people nationwide marched to demand the BSPPs replacement by an elected civilian government. The protests were crushed by the military. The events of 8 August 1988 brought Aung San Suu Kyi to prominence as the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD). In September 1988 the military re-established control under the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). The SLORC undertook to hold elections on 27 May 1990. The NLD won over 80% of the seats. The military regime prevented the NLD from assuming power. Many NLD leaders were imprisoned. Aung San Suu Kyi spent much of the next 20 years under house arrest. In 1997, the ruling SLORC was reconstituted as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) under Senior General Than Shwe. In 2003 the SPDC announced a 7-step road map to build a "modern, democratic, prosperous state". The roadmap culminated in a constitution and then elections in November 2010 which were boycotted by the NLD and some other opposition parties due to concerns about the constitution and the electoral process. The elections were won by the SPDCs proxy party, the USDP, amidst credible allegations of significant electoral irregularities. 2011-present In March 2011, former SPDC Prime Minister U Thein Sein became President. He has set out on a welcome path of democratic reform. His government has initiated a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi (culminating in the NLDs participation (and overwhelming victory) in by-elections in April 2012), released political prisoners, and agreed ceasefires with ten of eleven ethnic groups. Major challenges ahead include converting the ceasefires into a lasting political settlement; addressing a current of inter-communal tension that has flared up in disturbing violence in Rakhine state and to some extent in central Burma, displacing tens of thousands of people; finding a solution for the status of the currently stateless Rohingya; and holding free and fair national elections in 2015. The international community has recognised the progress made so far by easing sanctions on the country; the EU suspended all of its sanctions except the arms embargo in April 2012 and lifted them in April 2013 (the arms embargo remains). The US has suspended financial sanctions and most trade and investment restrictions but maintains some limited measures. Getting here and advice about your stay FCO Travel Advice The FCO website has travel advice to help you prepare for your visits overseas and to stay safe and secure while you are there. For advice please visit the FCO Travel section

Practicalities Burma presents some logistical challenges that you should be aware of from the outset. Burma has limited facilities for credit cards mostly available at major hotels, so you will need to bring US dollars in cash: crumpled, creased or ripped bills will not be accepted. You can pay at international standard hotels, restaurants and tour agents in dollars, but everywhere else you will need to pay in the local currency (kyats). You can change dollars for kyats at the airport or at any of the government-licensed exchange counters in towns. The exchange rate fluctuates between 850-900 kyat to the dollar. At the moment international roaming is extremely limited in Burma; visitors from Singapore may get signal on their phones but others will not. You should prepare accordingly by ensuring those who need to contact you know where you are staying. It is possible to hire a SIM card at the airport for the duration of your stay, this is not a cheap option (approximately $10 a day) however we would advise it is a worthwhile investment as it will allow you to set up and confirm meetings once you have arrived. Wi-Fi is increasing available at hotels, restaurants and cafes; make sure you ask for the wifi code when you arrive. However the internet is still slow and unreliable, so it will take time to download and send emails. Skype works in some places but the line is often patchy. Getting around Rangoon is more difficult than it used to be due to increased traffic. There is no public transport to speak of so you will be relying on taxis (if you have not hired a car and driver). You should negotiate the fair with the driver before starting the journey (in kyat), taxis outside major international hotels will charge more than if you walk a little further down the street. The quality of taxis is variable; you often pay more for air conditioning. Traffic is heavy and unpredictable, always leave enough time for journeys and dont be surprised if people turn up early or late to meetings because of traffic. Visas Foreign nationals wishing to visit Burma need a valid passport and must obtain an appropriate visa from their nearest Burmese Embassy or Consulate. For a recce visit, you should apply for a tourist visa, which allows a stay of 28 days extendable for an additional 14 days. At a more advanced stage, you should apply for a business visa, which allows a stay of 10 weeks extendable up to 12 months on case-by-case basis. A business visa requires a sponsor letter from a local organization or company with a copy of the companys registration certificate and a letter of guarantee from a local citizen. More information on visa requirements can be found at the Burmese Embassy in London: Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar 19A, Charles St, London W1J 5DX Tel: +44 207 499 4340, 207 493 7397 Fax: +44 207 409 7043 Website: Office hours: Monday to Friday 09.30-16.30 Submission of visas from 10.00 to 12.00; collection from 15.00 to 16.30 Visa on Arrival This is now possible although the process is not without challenges. Full details can be found on the website Our advice is that whenever possible to apply for your visa in advance of your visit. Arriving by Air There are still no direct flights from the UK to Burma. You can fly via Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong or Qatar and there are many international airlines operating these routes. There are also flights available between Rangoon (Yangon) and Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Kunming, Hanoi and Calcutta.

At the airport There is a taxi counter on the ground level near the entrance. Public taxis are widely available as well and it costs about 7000 Kyat ($8) to downtown Rangoon (Yangon). Hiring cars You may need to hire a car and driver, particularly if you are travelling to Naypyitaw (see below). See the index for providers. Please remember you will need to pay for car hire in cash (dollars) Getting to Naypyitaw You will need to travel to the capital Naypyitaw if you want any meetings with government officials. This is a 4.5 hour drive from Rangoon (Yangon). Buses do go regularly (see below) but you will also need transport within Naypyitaw. You can hire cars to make the journey from Rangoon (Yangon). There are also three daily return flights to Naypyitaw from Rangoon (Yangon)s domestic airport (next to the international airport). The first flight leaves at 7.30am and the last flight from Naypyitaw leaves at 5.00pm operated by a private airline called FMI Air. The other airline that flies this route is Myanmar Airways FCO Travel Advice advises against using this carrier because of its safety record. FMI Air tickets to Naypyitaw are sold at their Head Office in Yangon and Naypyitaw, as well as at their airline counters at relevant airports. They are payable in cash only and are not offered to any travel agents.

Preparing to Export to Burma

Desk research General introductory business information about Burma is available, though is harder to find than in many other countries in the region. There are an increasing number of news articles and academic reports on the country links can be found at the end of this guide. The Myanmar Chamber of Commerce (UMFCCI can also help to point you in the right direction. The use of e-commerce and B2B (business-to-business) websites in Burma is limited at present but growing. Social media is a relatively new phenomenon here and has increasing reach across the younger Burmese population. Websites and online materials can be out of date and the quality and reliability of content varies widely. Sometimes, you may not be able to find the information youre looking for. We recommend verifying any initial research findings. This may require commissioning a bespoke research brief from specialists, exploring what additional information you might need to make an effective entry into the market and how you can make the necessary contacts. UKTI can help by sharing our own knowledge and advising on specialists we work with. It is worth bearing in mind that the best information will be gained through visiting the market and meeting people face to face. can also help with useful advice and contacts. Responsible Investment The British Government encourages all British companies to invest responsibly wherever they are in the world, but Burmas recent history and ongoing reform process may mean that you wish to take additional precautions. When operating in zones that are subject to land dispute or conflict, it is important to be aware of your responsibilities and legal risks. Responsible business practices that factor in human rights due diligence help protect your reputation; attract and retain a good workforce; favour a better business environment in the long term; and have the potential to reduce conflict. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide a good guide to best practice ( and Red Flags is a useful guide to actions which may leave you legally liable ( If your company does not already have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy you may want to consider this as a form of mitigation against risks such as cost of litigation; cost of compensation or damage to reputation. UKTI cannot provide tailored legal advice or conduct due diligence for you, but we can put you in touch with local organisations and consultants who will be able to help see index of this guide for more information. The simplest thing you can do is consult with local communities before undertaking a project. Partnering with local NGOs can also be an effective way to engage. These precautions do take time but there is a strong desire in Burma for investment which benefits the local community, particularly if it helps to upskill the workforce and create jobs. The government has repeatedly spoken of the need for investment to benefit the people and many interpreted its decision to halt the Myitsone dam project, which threatened to displace thousands of villagers, as a demonstration of that commitment. British companies have a good reputation for responsible investment and you may find that this is a key selling point which works in your favour, particularly with local politicians eager to win favour with their constituents or with reformist national politicians. Key documents: UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,3355,en_2649_34889_1_1_1_1_1,00.html Market visits and trade missions Visiting Burma is obviously an invaluable part of the process of market entry. You will experience the marketplace first-hand, and make the contacts necessary to do business. This is essential, but will be much more effective with careful planning. You should plan to visit the market relatively regularly to build up local understanding and contacts; business is unlikely to be done during a first visit.

UK Trade and Investment (Burma/Myanmar) opened its office in July 2012 and is able to help UK companies seeking to do business through a range of services, including; providing briefing on the opportunities and challenges, identifying suitable contacts in market and arranging meetings and market research reports. We are also able to accompany to meetings where this is beneficial. UKTI does levy a small charge for its services and this is explained on the website You can also contact UKTI Rangoon by calling 0095-1-370 863/4/5/7 and by emailing Key organisations in Burma The Chamber of Commerce known as Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, or UMFCCI - is a national level non-governmental organization representing the interests of the private sector. It acts as a bridge between the state and private sector and it supports the principle of competition, the reduction of trade barriers and the facilitation of international trade. UMFCCI provides various services to foreign companies. UMFCCI is a member of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASEAN-CCI), the BIMST-EC, Greater Mekong Sub-region Business Forum (GMS-BF), and the Joint Economic Quadrangle Committee (JEQC). The Chairman is U Win Aung. At present there is no EU Chamber in Burma but we hope this will be the case by the end of 2013. There is a newly formed British Business Group which meets once a month for briefing and networking. Businesses interested in being part of the group should contact UKTI Rangoon for further information.

You can commission these services under which are chargeable and operated by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to assist British-based companies wishing to enter or expand their business in overseas markets. Under this service, the Embassy's Trade & Investment Advisers, who have wide local experience and knowledge, can identify business partners and provide the support and advice most relevant to your company's specific needs in the market.

To find out more about commissioning work, please contact your local UKTI office.

How to do business in Burma

Key Business Locations Burma is divided geographically into fourteen states and divisions. As well as being the countrys former capital city, Rangoon (Yangon) is Burmas main economic, educational and training, and cultural hub. With a population of 6.11 million (2011), including neighbouring areas, it is the principal commercial entry point into Burma for most international traders and investors. The seat of government is in the capital Naypyitaw (4.5 hours drive from Rangoon). See Getting to Burma and getting around for more on this. If you need to have discussions with the government you will need to visit Naypyitaw. Mandalay city, three hours drive from the capital Naypyitaw offers another possibility for future investments in trading, manufacturing, construction and heavy industry. It is also located in the crossroads of Burma, well positioned for access to the rest of the country, although infrastructure is still underdeveloped. Establishing a presence An in-country presence shows that companies are serious about the market and willing to provide local technical support to partners and customers. After pricing, technical support is the most important issue for prospective Burmese buyers. It is also an important way of building relationships and local knowledge; much of what you need to know is only found out from talking to people on the ground. Companies seeking to establish a permanent presence in Burma must set up operations as an appropriate legal entity. They must also be compliant with Burma legal and tax requirements. It is usually more difficult to alter a business structure once a legal entity has been incorporated or established, so it is vitally important to seek professional advice on your investment structure during the early stages of planning. There are a number of advisory firms who can assist with this - details can be found at the end of this guide. Representative offices are often the first step taken by foreign companies towards establishing a permanent presence in Burma. They provide a vehicle in which the foreign investor can engage in limited non-revenueearning activities, for example market research, due diligence and advertising. Agents and distributors An agent is a companys direct representative in a market and is paid commission, whereas a distributor buys products from the manufacturer and sells them on to customers. Entering a market by working with an agent or distributor can have several advantages. It reduces time and costs, and companies gain the local knowledge and networks of the agent. However, there are some drawbacks, too. Employing a third party results in an additional cost to your products and you may also lose some control and visibility over sales/marketing. It also has implications for intellectual property rights protection, increasing the risk of your product being copied or counterfeited. It is important to carry out the appropriate due diligence on any agent or distributor you decide to work with and sign a contract which protects your business appropriately. Market research and business consultants Market research companies can help you to find out more about the particular sector you are hoping to operate in. Business consultants can facilitate meetings and can help you to set up your operation. These industries are in their infancy in Burma but growing rapidly and there are now a number of firms who are able to deal with Western companies. See the index for details of these. Finding a partner Finding the right partner is particularly important in Burma, for two reasons. First, a number of the bigger companies may continue to be subject to US sanctions. In addition, understanding of issues like working conditions or dispute resolution is low .This may pose long-term risks and/or reputational risks for your company. See the sanctions section above or contact the British Embassy in Rangoon if you would like to discuss this further. Secondly, there are relatively few firms who have experience of dealing with Western companies. There are a small number of big conglomerates at the top of business, but very few of these have done business outside

Asia (several have been on the EU sanctions list). The SME sector is relatively small and relatively unused to outside contact. The best place to start looking for a partner is at the UMFCCI who should be able to provide you with a list of businesses operating in your sector. You may also want to attend one of the numerous trade shows and exhibitions that take place in Rangoon (Yangon) throughout the year these can be a good way to meet potential partners face to face. As in any country it is important to spend time getting to know a potential partner. You should do this over the course of a few visits to Burma and be aware that the Burmese are focused on respect and trust in their business relationships. Due Diligence Doing due diligence on any potential partner will be particularly important in Burma even if it may be challenging, given that there are very few firms in Burma specifically set up to do this. Different levels of due diligence are appropriate for different situations, but in Burma we would advise you to err on the side of caution. If your sole interest is in exporting, the best proof of a Burma companys ability to pay is whether it is able to raise a letter of credit from the bank (see Getting paid and financial issues).One other simple piece of due diligence is to get a copy of a companys business licence. This should tell you the following: the legal representative of your company; the name and address of the company; the amount of registered capital which is also its limited liability; the type of company; the business scope; and the date the company was established and the period covered by the licence. You should check that the information contained in the business licence matches what you already know, and if it doesnt find out why. You will have more security if you know who the legally responsible person is, so find out who you are dealing with. Although a thorough evaluation of your potential partner may be time-consuming and expensive, doing so will greatly reduce the risk of serious problems in the future. A certified public accountant (CPA) might be able to help you with more detailed financial checks. It is not enough to obtain a copy of a companys accounts as they may not be accurate. Accounts in Burma are unlikely to be audited to the standards routinely expected in the UK, and companies may have different sets of accounts for different audiences. But it is still worth asking to see any audit, to see if their registered capital has been certified by a third party. You should always try to verify this with information obtained elsewhere. The shareholders of the company are responsible for the amount of liability stated as registered capital on the business licence. There are a growing number of firms providing in the due diligence services - further details can be found at the end of this guide. Employing staff One of the challenges facing investors is the lack of trained labour. The absence of quality education and vocational training has led to a dearth of skilled workers in the country across almost all sectors. However the workforce is ambitious and willing so companies prepared to invest in training will see results. Under the new Foreign Investment Law, foreign firms cannot employ unskilled foreign workers and local citizens must make up an increasing percentage of the skilled workforce, reaching 75% within the first six years of operation. There are two main channels for recruiting staff in Burma: classified adverts, which can be placed in weekly newspapers such as the Myanmar Times, available in Burmese and English; and recruitment agencies - there are a small number of domestic recruitment firms operating in Burma. When you are recruiting in Burma, make sure that you carry out all the normal due diligence that you would if recruiting in the UK. Ensure that candidates technical and linguistic capabilities match their claims and that you hire staff at the right level for the role. A recent MBA graduate returning to Burma from overseas may not have the experience to navigate the complexities of setting up a company in Burma without seeking professional advice, and they may not have the

capabilities to develop business at a senior level. Many locally educated Burmese may not be adept or experienced in international business practices. Obviously you will want to conduct some market research to get a clear idea of appropriate salary levels and to make an offer that is in line with current market rates. Any kind of training is attractive to Burmese staff: in particular offering employees the opportunity to train overseas. Marketing The Burmese market for consumer products is not as brand conscious as other countries in the region, although Western brands in general are well received. However, you may need to adapt your product to meet Burmese preferences or requirements in order to be able to sell it. Companies that appoint local partners can usually be guided by them with regard to the type of advertising and sales promotion that would suit the launch of their products. Specialist consultancies can be appointed to develop a marketing strategy appropriate to your product and to the region of Burma where it will be sold. You will need to ensure that any sales literature is effective in English and, if possible, Burmese. Brochures and marketing campaigns should avoid religious symbols or satires of historically famous local figures, events or the local culture. Trade shows and exhibitions are obvious ways of reaching potential new customers. Companies that can afford it may well wish to consider TV advertising as it is the best way to reach to the mass market. Internet usage in Burma is increasing rapidly, although penetration is still modest. Internet advertising and the use of the internet for purchasing goods are still in their infancy. Getting paid and financial Issues The banking system in Burma is still fairly isolated from the international financial infrastructure. There have been longstanding US financial sanctions in place which prohibited opening and maintaining bank accounts and conducting a range of other financial and investment services, including the processing of US dollar payments involving certain Burmese entities and individuals. However the US recently eased sanctions of 4 of the major domestic banks. Effective February 22, 2013 all financial transactions involving Asia Green Development Bank, Ayeyarwady Bank, Myanma Economic Bank and Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank are authorized subject to some limitations. Whilst this has removed a number of the legal and regulatory constraints for international banks many may still be unwilling to process payments related to Burma due to perceived corruption and concerns over transparency. Standard Chartered recently opened a representative office in Rangoon, but they are not yet licensed to provide banking services. UK companies considering doing business in Cuba should approach their banks early on to discuss their requirements. This will enable UK banks to identify and seek to resolve any challenges presented by the proposed transactions. Burma are currently on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Public Statement due to deficiencies in their anti money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime (see HM Treasury advises firms to consider the countries on the Public Statement as high risk for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations (2007), and so advises firms to apply enhanced due diligence measures in accordance with the risks. The domestic banking network is underdeveloped, following a banking crisis in 2003 and the extremely strict banking regulation that ensued. We are only just seeing the first ATMs being reintroduced and an extremely low proportion of Burmese have personal banks accounts (approximately 10%). However, all medium to large businesses are likely to have company accounts. For all foreign payments both into and out of the country you will need to go through one of the two major state owned banks, the Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB) (branches in Rangoon and Mandalay), and the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) (only in Rangoon). Payments can be made either by a letter of credit or by a telex transfer. Bank working hours are 08.30-15.30 (Monday to Friday). Insurance The private sector in the UK provides credit insurance for exports of consumer products, raw materials and other similar goods. Speak to your banker or insurance broker for more information or contact the British Insurance Brokers Association for impartial advice.

UK Export Finance offers short-term cover for British exports to Burma. Applications for cover of periods up to two years are considered on a case-by-case basis. Exporters who want to know more should call the customer helpline on 020 7512 7887 or visit UKEFs website: Taxation Companies and individuals should consult legal experts to determine exactly what taxes they need to pay. The rates below may vary and are given as an indicative guide only. They are also some specific tax incentives for foreign investors which may apply. 1. Corporate Tax: Corporations incorporated in Myanmar are treated as resident and taxed at the rate of 25% on income accruing or arising in Myanmar and outside Myanmar. 2. Commercial Tax: Commercial tax is payable on goods, imported or produced in Myanmar, sales and services. It ranges from 0-200% 3. Withholding tax: Withholding tax rates are dependent on the types of payments and could range from 3.5%-15%. There is no withholding tax on dividends. 4. Personal Income Tax: A non-resident's salary is taxed at the rate of 35%. Other income is taxed at the minimum rate of 35% or at the resident rates, graduating from 3% to 50%. A foreigner staying in Myanmar for 183 days or more is considered a resident foreigner. Both resident foreigners and resident citizens are taxed on salaries based on progressive scale, starting at 3% and rising to a maximum rate of 30%. A non-resident foreigner is subject to tax on income derived from every source within Myanmar, at the flat rate of 35%, or at progressive rates ranging from 3% to 50%, whichever is greater.

Business Etiquette, Language and Culture

Language and interpretation
The official language is Burmese but there are thought to be over 100 different regional dialects. As foreigner, it is not easy to learn Burmese, but if you make an effort this will be hugely appreciated. The use of English is widespread among larger companies, but proficiency is low among SMEs and the lowertiered labour force. Business meetings are usually conducted in English; presentations, proposals and contracts can be produced in English, although it is important to use fairly simple and non-idiomatic language to avoid any misunderstandings. It is worth ensuring you have paper copies of presentations to hand to businesspeople and Government officials in meetings, following up by email is not always successful. If the standard of English in a Burmese partner company is not satisfactory, it is advisable to ask for parallel Burmese and English texts to ensure proper understanding. If you are going to sign anything as obvious as it sounds make sure you get it translated first, and by an independent translator. Do not rely on your suppliers translation and do not be pressured into signing anything that you do not fully understand. In some cases UKTI staff are able to help with interpretation in meetings and when this is not possible we can help organise interpreters. Working hours Working hours in Burma are: Normal office hours: 08.00-17.00 Government offices: 08.30-16.30 Normal lunch break: 12.00-13.00 Public holidays: numbers vary but in 2013 there are 13 national holidays. Annual leave: there is no minimum standard so company practice varies. Culture Burma society has traditionally been built on order, respect for elders and an overarching respect for the Buddhist religion and the monks who represent it. The people of Burma can be very friendly and helpful to visitors but they expect foreigners to adapt to their codes of conduct. Visitors should always be polite and respectful, and discussion of politics should be carefully approached. Greeting When introduced to people in Burma it is considered polite to refer to them by their full title and full name. Burmese names can be long but should never be shortened in address. There are many different honorific titles in the Burmese language, but the most commonly used among business associates are U which is the equivalent of Mr., and Daw, which can be interpreted as Mrs, Ms or Madam. Meeting It is a common practice for businessmen to greet each other with a handshake. If a businesswoman offers you her hand first it is acceptable to shake it, but a small bow would be the more commonly acceptable form of greeting. Business cards are used widely in Burma and should be exchanged upon greeting. Ensure you present your business card in a courteous way and take a few moments to read any business cards you are given. Do not immediately place the card in your pocket as this is also considered disrespectful. Negotiating Techniques Building good relationships is a vital part of the business and negotiation process in Burma. The Burmese place great importance on establishing the right chemistry with their business partners, and if this is achieved the subsequent relationship will benefit significantly. Getting business agreement can be a lengthy process. Burmese are not generally quick decision makers they prefer to consult with several people before making decisions. Do not expect to do business immediately or necessarily on the first visit. Signs of impatience should be avoided. Dress You should wear normal business attire. The Burmese tend to dress quite conservatively. Most business people in Burma will dress similarly when dealing with foreigners, but some may still wear the traditional longyi (a sarong-type garment) with a Burmese or Western shirt or blouse.

Entertainment Business lunches in Burma tend to be strictly work-related while dinners usually signify a more relaxed informal meeting between closer business acquaintances. Receiving an invitation to a dinner may indicate that your business relationship with the host is moving to a higher level. Business lunches and dinners almost always take place at a restaurant rather than in the home. The host should arrive earlier than the guest. The Burmese will expect you to be punctual being late is considered rude. A typical seating configuration usually features senior individuals at the head or centre (of long tables). Alternatively, if the seating does not make this obvious, higher-ranked staff should be able to choose their seat first. Other members of the team should be in close proximity to facilitate discussion. Junior staff may be seated at a different table. Drinking alcohol and cigarette smoking is a normal part of social activity for men but is still uncommon for women. Gifts It is common practice for the Burmese to give government officials and VIPs a gift if they are the guests of honour at an official event for example neckties, scarves, handkerchiefs, food/fruit baskets, books, moderately valued office items (pens, bags) carrying the company logo or lunch/fitness gift vouchers. Guest speakers at events almost always receive gifts, offering opportunities for the host and speaker to pose together for PR photos. Presentations Presentations are most effective when delivered formally and follow commonly accepted formats. However, more informal Q&A sessions will often encourage participation, as Burmese are normally not keen to exchange views in formal settings or large meetings where there is a mixture of differently ranked individuals. Always take plenty of business cards and corporate literature along. During a meeting or presentation it is normal behaviour for Burmese to speak to each other in their own Burmese language. This is not meant to be rude nor a sign that they are bored - it is usually an attempt to confirm that they have understood something correctly. Religion Burma is a predominantly Buddhist country. Burmese Buddhism is in the Theravada tradition, and is practiced by 89% of the country's population. Every Buddhist man should undergo one period in his life as a monk; and many Burmese spend spare income on building pagodas or giving alms. Among many ethnic groups in Burma, including the Bamar and Shan, Theravada Buddhism is practiced in conjunction with the animist Nat worship, which involves the placation of spirits who can intervene in worldly affairs. There are also significant numbers of both Muslims and Christians in Burma the latter are particularly found in the Karen and Kachin ethnic groups. Monks, collectively known as the Sangha, are the most venerated members of Burmese society. They have special areas reserved for them at airports and on buses and receive alms from the public as a sign of giving and devotion. In towns and villages the temple and a monastery is the heart of social and religious life. Visitors should dress neatly when visiting religious places. Women should not wear sleeveless tops and short trousers, sandals or other unsuitable attire. Never point at any image of the Buddha or sit in a position where your feet are stretched out in the direction of a Buddha image. Using your feet to point at anyone or anything is considered an insult.

What are the challenges?

Doing business in Burma is not without risks and we strongly encourage companies to approach the market with their eyes open. The reform process is in its early stages so there remains some degree of political risk. There remain concern about the independence of the judiciary and the effectiveness of the rule of law, and we do not yet have a clear sense of how impartially any commercial disputes with international firms would be resolved. The Burmese Government has recently agreed to sign the New York Convention which is certainly a step in the right direction and should offer international investors some comfort; however at present there is little detail on timescale. The recent Foreign Direct Investment Law devolves a substantial amount of decision making power to the Myanmar Investment Commission and we are yet to see how it will exercise this power in practice. The legal framework for investment is still being reviewed and formulated and there are several regulations left over from the socialist period which can be obstructive to foreign investment. The Government does seem to be tackling this but on a piecemeal basis. Corruption is endemic throughout Burma and business will need to be aware. As with the rest of the world it is important that all British Businesses operate in conjunction with the UK Bribery Act. Corruption can be avoided and there are many examples of foreign investors doing just that. Clean business can take longer but will almost certainly lead to better relationships in the long term. There is a notable lack of reliable data available in Burma; although an increasing number of companies are beginning to operate in the data sourcing and analysis space. It may take longer or cost more to get hold of the data you require and in some cases it will simply not be available. Finally, there is a lack of experience in dealing with Western companies, on both the part of local business and Government. British companies are encouraged to be sensitive to this; respect and patience are very useful traits for doing business in Burma.

How to Invest in Burma

Foreign Investment Law On 2nd November 2012 President Thein Sein signed the countrys new Foreign Investment Law (FIL); the subsequent Foreign Investment Rules (FIR) were issued on 31st January 2013 and which time the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) also issued details on restricted and prohibited investment activities. This law supersedes the 1988 Foreign Investment Law and is considered to be both more supportive of FDI but also more prescriptive. It is important to note that the FIL only applies those investors who wish to register through the MIC this would normally be firms who are looking to make substantial capital investments; manufacturing, construction, mining, hotels, extractives etc. Previously there was a minimum level of capital investment to qualify for this route, however this is no longer the case and the decision is at the discretion of the MIC. Investors can also operate under the Myanmar Companies Act (MCA) which does not offer the same incentives but is a much simpler registration process. British companies are advised to seek legal advice on the most appropriate route for investment and the subsequent process, a list of lawyers can be found at the end of this guide. Companies investing under the FIL can be granted a number of incentives and tax exemptions, which might include: Exemption from income tax for up to five years, which can be extended further if considered appropriate by the state (this is guaranteed by the MIC) Exemption from income tax on profits made if they are maintained in a reserve fund and reinvested within one year If goods produced are exported, relief from up to 50% of the profits accrued Exemptions from customs duty on machinery, spare parts and materials which are imported to be used during the period of construction Exemption from customs duty on raw materials used for the first three years of production Exemption from commercial tax on products manufactured for export There are other laws which may be relevant to investors, specifically the Special Economic Zone Law (SEZL) which offers specific incentives and exemptions to investors operating in one of Burmas 18 special economic zones (more on these zones later in the guide). The FIR stipulate that up to 100% foreign ownership is permitted with the exception of activity which falls into one of three categories. Category 1 covers activities in which foreign investment in restricted of prohibited entirely. On the face of it any foreign investment in this category is prohibited, however MIC may allow investment which is considered to be in the interest of the state. Some (but not all) of the sectors covered are; small scale agriculture, small scale mineral production, production of arms and explosives, exploration of jade and gemstones, certain publishing activities. Category 2 covers activities in which foreign investment is permitted but only through joint venture. Foreign capital must not exceed 80% of total investment. Some (but not all) of the sectors covered are; seasonal contract farming, production and distribution of most food products and some household items, distillation and distribution of alcohol products, large scale mining, development of transport infrastructure, development and sale of commercial and residential buildings and travel services. Category 3 covers activities in which foreign investment is only permitted on the recommendation of the relevant ministry. In practice this means that the relevant ministry can stipulate the terms and level of investment in these sectors. For example 100% foreign ownership is permitted in hotels above a 3 star rating but investment in hotels below a 3 star rating must be through a JV with a local company. Some (but not all) of the sectors covered are; mineral production, beverages, cigarettes, electricity, airport services, communications, commercial real estate, coal, hotels, retail and wholesaling. The FIR does not affect the requirements of the State Owned Enterprises Law (SOEEL) 1989 which covers state owned sectors such as banking and telecommunications. In the case of these sectors the relevant ministry may provide additional requirements for investors or exempt them from certain FIL or FIR provisions. Under the new FIL the government guarantees that companies operating with an MIC permit will not be nationalised during the period of the contract or terminated before the expiry of the permit (unless there is

sufficient cause to do so). The FIL also allows investors to transfer their profits abroad, however in practise this is still difficult because the restrictive nature of the banking system. Whilst the new FIL and subsequent FIR should be viewed as a positive development (they are notably more supportive of foreign investment that some regional neighbours equivalent) there is still a high level of uncertainty as to how they will work in practice. Both the law and the rules devolve much of the decision making and dispute resolution power to the MIC. Until this is tested it will be difficult to comment on their success. Any British Business considering investing in Burma should seek legal advice from qualified professionals. There is an increasing number of law firms building up a Burma specialism, many with a presence on the ground here. More details can be found at the end of this guide. Application Procedures for Foreign Investment The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) is responsible for issuing foreign investment permits, however as explained in the section above a permit is not essential to do business here, permits are normally only relevant for large scale capital investments. The MIC is made up of Government Ministers, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and senior businesspeople. In practice, we would recommend approaching the relevant Ministry beforehand to discuss your proposal, as they will undoubtedly be consulted. The British Embassy in Rangoon will assist in arranging meetings with government officials. When submitting the proposal to the MIC, the following must be attached: financial statements (audited final accounts of the most recent year of the person or the firm that intends to make investment); a detailed economic justification of the proposal indicating, inter alia, estimated annual net profit, estimated annual foreign exchange earnings or savings and foreign exchange requirement for the operation, recoupment period, estimated number of jobs created, prospective increase in national income, and local and foreign market conditions and the requirement, if any, for local consumption; if it is a hundred percent foreign investment, a draft contract to be executed with an organization determined by the Ministry concerned; if it is a joint venture, a draft contract to be entered into between the foreign investor and local counterpart; if it is a joint venture in the form of a limited company, a draft Memorandum and Articles of Association and also a draft contract between the foreign and local investors; any other related draft contracts; and the proposal may include an application for the exemptions and reliefs from taxes stated in the Foreign Investment Law. DICA is the secretariat that supports MIC and advises investors on the process for submitting their paperwork. They have recently opened a one stop shop in Rangoon, which means investors no longer have to travel to Naypyitaw to see them. Importing and Exporting Under the Foreign Investment Law, a business needs to register in order to export or import with the Export Import Registration Office under the Directorate of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce. Products made in Burma can be exported with an export license, with the exception of some selected items which are restricted. Most imports also require an import license; again, some imports are restricted. The Export Import Registration Office can advise on restrictions and on obtaining licenses. The licensing requirements are changing rapidly, with the Ministry of Commerce removing license requirements from various items, therefore it is advisable to check with a freight forwarder at an early stage. Special Economic Zones There are also three Special Economic Zones, guided by their own independent legislation, to encourage export-oriented investment. Though goods produced by foreign invested enterprises in the Special Economic Zones must be exported and sold on the international market (as opposed to the domestic market), the proceeds from those sales are completely tax-exempt for the initial eight years of operation, eligible for 50 percent of tax relief for years six through ten, and will continue to be eligible for 50 percent tax exemption for years 11 through 15 if the profits from exporting are reinvested domestically.

The Special Economic Zone Law also grants investors the ability to import machinery and raw materials duty free, as long as those materials and machinery are used for the production of export-oriented goods. Progress made at the three SEZs is mixed as developers struggle with opposition from local communities who will need to be re-located, and from the pressure to operate transparently following the reform process. British companies considering involvement in SEZs would do well to refer to the Responsible Investment guidance below. Burma also has eighteen industrial zones and twenty-four sub-industrial zones spread throughout the country. These do not fall under the Special Economic Zone law. Land law Restrictions on foreign land ownership have been eased. Previously foreigners could only lease land from the state. They still cannot own land outright, but since a new 2011 regulation, foreign investors can now lease land from private individuals as well as from the state. This has to be approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission. Leases are for 50 years, and are extendable by two periods of 10 years subject to the MICs approval which depends on the volume and category of business. Linked to the above information on SEZs, land rights are a key issue for local communities living and working in areas identified for development. British companies will want to follow due diligence in identifying suitable plots of land for acquisition.

If you have a specific export enquiry about the Burmese market which is not answered by the information on this report, you may contact: UK Trade & Investment Enquiry Service Tel: +44 (0)20 7215 5000 Fax: +44 (0)141 228 3693 Email: You will be signposted to the appropriate section on our website, or transferred at local call rate directly to the British Embassy in Lisbon. Otherwise contact the team in Burma directly: UK Trade & Investment Burma The British Embassy, 80 Strand Road, Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar) Tel: +95 (01) 370863 to 67, 256918, 256438 Fax: +95 (01) 370866 Email: Website: Office hours: Monday to Thursday 08.00-16.30, Friday 08.00 to 13.00 (GMT+6hrs 30min): External contacts NOTE: No responsibility is accepted by Her Majestys Consular Officers nor by Her Majestys Government for the competence or probity of any firms on this list nor for the consequence of any legal action initiated or advice given. List of Lawyers International Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co., Ltd 22nd Fl., Sidhorn Building Tower III 130-132 Wireless Road Lumpini Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Thailand Tel: 66 2 263 7600 Fax:66 2 263 7699 Email:; Contact: Simon Makinson, Partner (Bangkok); Kathryn Thornton, Senior Associate (based in Rangoon) Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 50 Raffles Place #24-01 Singapore Land Tower Singapore 048623 Tel: 65 6868 8000

Fax: 65 6868 8001 Email: or Website: Contact: Veronica OShea, Partner (Singapore) or Sally Austen, Senior Associate (based in Rangoon) Local U Kyi Win B.Sc, B.L. Branches in law in which he specialises: Criminal. Civil & Corporate Office: 50 Bank Road, E 9 2& 3 1/f, Kyauktada Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 273661/283973 U Nyein Kyaw B.Sc, Dip in Engineering/Registered Lawyer (Post Graduate)/Advocate of the Supreme Court Branches in law in which he specialises: Company, Commercial, Finance & Security, Property Office: Ground floor, Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 662866 Ext 1702/1703 Tel: 95 9 8614270 Mobile: 95 9 5000119 Email: U Ohn Maung B.Sc, B.L Branches in law in which he specialises: Commercial, Civil Law, Trade Mark Attorney Office: No 3, 34th Street, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 276984 Daw Tin Ohn Mar Tun Branches in law in which she specialises: Marine Law Res: 5A, Thukhawaddy Road, Yankin Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 723043 (Office)/ 95 1 578940 Fax: 95 1 248108 Email: Daw Khin Cho Kyi B.A., LLB., LLM Branches in law in which she specialises: General International Business Law Practises Office: International Business Centre, Suite 106, 88 Pyay Road, 6 miles Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 650740 Fax: 95 1 650466 Email:

Real Estate Service Scipio Services Co., Ltd. (Real Estate Advisory l Property Management l Facility Services) The Strand Mansion #24 1st Floor, 39th Street Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar, Myanmar Email: Tel (office): +95 1 386395 Tel (mobile): +95 (09) 42-5284-333 Colliers International 17/F Ploenchit Center 2 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey Bangkok 10110 Thailand Tel: + 66 2 656 7000 Fax: +66 2 656 7111 Email: Contact: Tony Picon, Associate Director Translation services Ah Lin Yaung (Eternal Light) Su Yee Win (Chief Editor) Email:; Tel: +95 09-450061545 Car Rental with English Speaking Driver Pronto Service Tel: 95 9 2050107 Email: Royal Joy Rental & Tour Guide Services Tel: 95 9 5018349, 95 9 73089997 Email: Engle Tours Co., Ltd. Tel: 95 1 558243/558276 List of Consulting Companies for Business Advisory Barber, Mullan & Associates Sdn Bhd Suite A-06-3, Plaza Mont Kiara 2 Jalan Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tel: 60 12 319 6754 Email:

Contact: Jack Mullan Exera

No.65/70, apt 1106, Thanthumar road, Tamwe Township, Yangon, Myanmar Mm (office): +95 1 430078/87 ext 1116 Mm (cell): +95 9401 5949 31 Email:
The Risk Advisory Group HK Ltd Level 15, Nexxus Building 41 Connaught Road Central Hong Kong Tel: 852 3757 9904 Fax: 852 3757 9902 Email: Website: Contact: Brendan McGloin, Senior Associate Kelvin Chia Yangon, Myanmar Ltd. #1509,15th Flr,Sakura Tower, No.339,Bogyoke Aung San Rd, , Kyauktada Tsp., Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 255411, 255399 Fax: 95 1 242 800 Email:, Contact: Cheah Swee Gim, Director VDB Loi #1704 Sakura Tower 339 Bogyoke Aung San Road Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar Email: Win Consulting Limited #2-D, Rose Condominium, No. 182/194, 1st Fl., Botataung Pagoda Road, Pazundaung Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 901034343, 245671 Fax: 95 1-371607 Email:, Contacts: U Win Thin (Chairman), U Win Aung (Vice Chairman), U Myo Min Htwe (Managing Director) PwCPricewaterhouseCoopers Myanmar Co., Ltd. Room 6A, 6th Floor, Centrepoint Towers, No. 65, Corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Road Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar Email:

Contact: Jasmin Thazin Aung, Director Advisory KPMG Advisory (Myanmar) Ltd No.32 Pyay Road First Floor, 6 1/2 Mile, Hlaing Township Yangon, Myanmar Email: Contact: Ola Nicolai Borge, Executive Director Thura Swiss Ltd. Shwe Hintar B 307 6 Miles Pyay Road 11 Qtr. Hlaing Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 654 730, 654 733 Email: Contact: Dr. Aung Thura Universal Link Service Co., Ltd Room (1004), 9th Floor, RUMFCCI Tower, No. 29, Min Ye Kyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon, Myanmar, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 218405 Fax: 95 1 218406 Email: / Contact: Ms. Thin Htut Thida, CEO Vriens and Partners 103 First Floor, Sule Pagoda Road, Kyauktada Township,Yangon Tel: +95973234240 Email: Republic of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry and affiliated business associations RUMFCCI No.29, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 214344-9, Fax: 95 1 214484 Email: Myanmar Rice Industry Association No.29, 8th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 214344-9, 218268 Fax: 95 1 214484 Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers Association B 81/82, GantGaw Road, Bayintnaung, Mayangon Township Yangon, Myanmar.

Tel: 95 1 680910 Fax: 95 1 683493 Email: Myanmar Forest Products and Timber Merchants Association No.29, 5th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214839, 214838, Fax: 95 1 214840 Email: Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association No.29, 4th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214828, 214836, Fax: 95 1 214828 Email: Myanmar Fisheries Federation Bayintnaung Road, Gyokgone, Insein Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 583652, 683657, Fax: 95 1 683662 Email: Myanmar Industries Association No.29, 4th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214830, 214831, 95 9 5013161,95 9 5011978, Fax: 95 1 214832 Email: Myanmar Printers and Publishers Association No.196, Ground Floor, 39 St, Kyauktada Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 373027, 95 9 5142564 Email: Myanmar Customs Brokers Association No.29, 4th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 214845, 95 9 5007693, 95 9 5006408 Email: Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs Association No.288/290, Shwedagon Pagoda Road, Dagon Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 254400, 254566, 254488, 246862, Fax: 95 1 254566 Email:

Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association No.243, 1st Floor, 39 Street, Kyauktada Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 245617, 254854, Fax: 95 1 240115, 254504,246673 Myanmar Computer Federation Myanmar ICT Park (Myanmar Info Tech), Hlaing Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 652307 Email: Myanmar Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Entrepreneurs Association No.29, 5th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214834, Fax: 95 1 214834 Email: Myanmar Livestock Federation Insein Road, Insein Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 644041, 640820, 643126, Fax; 95 1 225955, 225974 Email: Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association No.29, 3rd Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 214829, Fax: 95 1 214849 Email: Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association No.29, 4th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 214837 Myanmar International Freight Forwarders Association Room 10, 5th Floor, United Condo Tower (1) (39) Ahlanpya Pagoda Road, Dagon Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 380407, Fax: 95 1 380043 Email: Myanmar Palm Oil Producers Association No. (64), Wazayandar Road, South Okkalarpa Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 578438, 578437 Fax: 95 1 578823

Email: Myanmar Rubber Producers Association No.127, Ground Floor, 40 Street, Kyauktada Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 372399, 95 9 5011980, Fax: 95 1 372399 Myanmar Farm Crop Producers Association No.262/264 Pyay Road, Dagon Center, Sanchaung Township Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 503515, 227757, 227219, 516616 Myanmar Perennial Crop Producers Association Bogyoke Road, Lanmadaw Township, Shwe Pazun Bakery. Yangon, Myanmar, Tel: 95 1 547115, 572079,220025, 09-9922283 Myanmar Marine Engineer Association No.352-366, Rm (9), 2nd Floor, Mahabandula Road, Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 662631, 256645 Myanmar Plastic Industries Association No.29, 5th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 214835, Fax: 95 1 214835 Myanmar Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association No.262/264 Pyay Road, Dagon Center, Sanchaung Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 514226, , Fax: 95 1516616 Email: Myanmar Onion, Garlic and Culinary Crops Production and Exporters Association No.74, 2nd Floor, Wadan Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 9 5035741, Fax: 95 1 211821 Email: Myanmar Agro-based Food Processors and Exporters Association No.29, 5th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214846, Fax: 95 1 214846 Email:

Myanmar Sugar Cane and Sugar Related Products Merchants and Manufacturers Association Zaychotaw Bazzar (3rd Floor), 84 St, between 26&27 St, Chan Aye Thar Zan Township Mandalay, Myanmar Tel: 95 2 25274, 95 2 54456 Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association Than Thu Mar Road, Corner of Thuwanna Road, Thinqangyun Township, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 579547, 560725, Fax: 95 1 575947,560725 Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association No. 68, Gabaaye Pagoda Road, Mayangon Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 666720, 95 9 5023118, Fax: 95 1 666720 Email: Myanmar Hotelier Entrepreneurs Association No.(101), University Avenue Road, Bahan Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 554980, 554981, Fax: 95 1 554840 Email: Myanmar Travel Entrepreneurs Association No.29, 8th Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar. Tel: 95 1 214944, 214945 Email: Myanmar Petroleum Traders Association No.29, 2nd Floor, Minyekyawswar Road, Lanmadaw Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 214344, 214349 Ext-107, Fax: 95 1 214484 Email: List of Hotels (Many of which you can book through Downtown Parkroyal Hotel 33 Alan Pya Pagoda Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 250388 Traders Hotel 223 Sule Pagoda Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 242828

Strand Hotel 92 Strand Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 243377 Mid Town Summit Parkview Hotel 35 Ahlone Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 211888 Savoy Hotel 129 Damazedi Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 526289 Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake 40 Natmauk Road, Tarmwe Township Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 544500 Uptown Inya Lake Resort Hotel 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 662866 Sedona Hotel Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yangon, Myanmar Tel: 95 1 666900

Resources/Useful Links
Country Information: BBC Website

What is the UK Government doing in ?

Culture and communications

CILT National Centre for Languages - Regional Language Network in your area: Kwintessential culture guides:

Customs & Regulations

HM Revenue & Customs:

Export Control

Export Control Organisation:

Export Finance and Insurance:
UK Export Finance Intellectual Property Office:

Intellectual Property

Market Access

Market Access Database for Tariffs (for non-EU markets only):

Standard and Technical Regulations:

British Standards Institution (BSI): National Physical Laboratory:
Intellectual Property:

Trade Statistics

National Statistics Information: UK Trade Info:

Travel Advice
FCO Travel: NHS: Travel health: GOV.UK: International Trade

GOV.UKs International Trade pages provide an overview of export basics including licensing, customs procedures, classifying and movement of goods, other regulatory information and export paperwork issues. It also introduces exporters to the UK Trade Tariff.
Essential reading for exporters!

Find out more at:

Produced by the UKTI Team in Burma Contact: Lisa Weedon Email: Last Updated: 03 June 2013
Crown Copyright 2013 You may reuse this information (not including logos, images and case studies) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: This publication is also available from our website at or for more information please telephone +44 (0)20 7215 5000.