EU interest in Myanmar market tamed by Rakhine crisis

EU interest in Myanmar market tamed by Rakhine crisis

SAM Staff,
Delegates attend the EU-Myanmar Economic Forum in Nay Pyi Taw.

The EU is exercising more caution when making investment decisions involving Myanmar. This is due to recent instability at the country’s borders, including the ongoing refugee problems in Rakhine, members from the bloc said during the EU-Myanmar Economic Forum held in Nay Pyi Taw last week.

During the forum, vice president U Myint Swe urged more EU firms to invest in the country. Currently, there are over 300 EU firms which have invested a combined total of around $6.6 billion in Myanmar. Almost one third was pumped into the economy last year.

Since the crisis in Rakhine broke during the latter part of the year though, some firms have been hesitant about investing in Myanmar. “Although bilateral trade between Myanmar and the EU has risen, investors are turning more cautious as a result of the issues in Rakhine and other border areas,” said Miroslaw Zasada, Charge d’Affaires from the Poland embassy.

The EU views border stability and peace in Rakhine as necessary requirements before channeling investment funds into the country, said Kristian Schmidt, EU ambassador to Myanmar.