Saturday, 25 January 2020

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Japan finally gets on the Myanmar wave

MZPlus-Issue8vol2Look, Listen, Learn and Leave. These are the four L’s of the traditional Japanese business philosophy, but in Myanmar’s case, Japan has plans – big infrastructure development plans – that will soon see its pockets do the talking.

Masaki Takahara, executive managing director of JETRO Yangon, the Japanese External Trade Organization, says crowds of Japanese businessmen – and women – have been touring Myanmar over the past year, averaging more than 500 each month.

“Among the newcomers, Japan is one of the leading countries and Japanese companies are the most active in Myanmar,” Mr Takahara told M-ZINE+.

But dilapidated infrastructure and a lack of electricity are proving major challenges to Japanese businesses hoping to set up sustainable business operations in post-regime controlled Myanmar.

The Japanese government sees infrastructure development as key to attracting much-needed Japanese investment, says Mr Ichiro Maruyama, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan.
Mr Maruyama is encouraging the habitually cautious Japanese private sector to capitalize on their long-standing good relationship with the Southeast Asian nation and take a leading role in assisting Myanmar’s economic development.

“Japanese companies are cautious because they consider risk to their business,” Mr Maruyama told M-ZINE+, explaining that this could be a reflection of Japan’s currently sluggish economic environment.

“They want to do business here after everything is set up - but I’ve told them that could be too late.”

“We should be a first-comer,” he said.

His wish is coming true—brand Japan is beginning to make its mark on post-sanction Myanmar.

For full article, get the February 21 edition of M-ZINE+.

M-ZINE+ is a business weekly available in print in Yangon through Innwa Bookstore and through online subscription at
The Kachin’s last stand
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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