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China now largest foreign investor in Burma

New Delhi (Mizzima) – China has now surpassed Thailand to become the largest foreign investor in Burma, according to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

Burmese Senior General Than Shwe and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met in Naypyidaw in late 2010, where they signed a lucrative trade deal and loan package. Observers say Xi Jinping is in line to become the next president of China. Photo : MizzimaIn the past, China had invested about US$ 6.4 billion in Burma. In January, its investment reached $9.6 billion. Thailand’s Investment in Burma is $9.5 billion.

‘China has invested in 30 projects in Burma’, said Myo Win Tun, a spokesman for UMFCCI. ‘Most of the investments have gone into the oil and natural gas sector. The largest project is laying the oil pipeline between Kyaukphyu and Kunming’.

Until November 2010, Thailand had been the largest investor in Burma for the past seven year. China was the second largest. Thailand has heavily invested in Burma’s oil and natural gas sector since 2006.

According to the figures compiled by UMFCCI, the next highest investors are Hong Kong, South Korea, the UK and Singapore, respectively.

The website of the Weekly Eleven Journal in Rangoon said this week that in late January, China’s investment included more than $3 billion in the electrical power, oil and natural gas sectors.

Myo Win Tun said that 42 percent of all foreign investments had been invested in the oil and natural gas sector, 36 percent had been invested in the electrical power sector and eight percent had been invested in mining.

Since 1988, when Burma adopted an ‘open-door system’, many Asian countries including Thailand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea have invested in Burma.

The value of bilateral trade between Burma and China in 2009-10 fiscal year was more than 10 million kyat.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:01 )  
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Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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