Taiwanese Investors Look to Burma
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Taiwanese Investors Look to Burma


A 2011 view of Taipei's main business district. (PHOTO: Reuters)

As the country is opening up, now is the best time to invest in Burma, said Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce Chairman Norman Chang at a trade conference in Bangkok last week.

Chang, who is also the head of the Thai-Taiwan Business Association, said that Burma is the market that Thai-based Taiwanese investors are currently looking at, because of its proximity and an increase in wage levels in Thailand.

Another advantageous factor, he said on Thursday, was that Burma, officially known as Myanmar, already has many Chinese residents, lessening the costs related to a language barrier.

He said he hoped that the Taiwanese Business Association in Burma could be included in the network of the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce as an observer this year. A delegation is scheduled to visit Burma, he said.

Trade between Burma and Taiwan has recovered in 2011 after a gradual decline over the last decade.

Bilateral trade increased 21 percent from US $170.8 million to $207 million, compared to the previous year, according to figures released by the Taiwanese Bureau of Foreign Trade. Bilateral trade amounted to 3.5 percent of Taiwan’s total international trade.

Taiwan’s bilateral trade with member states of the Association of East Asian Nations (Asean) increased from $70.85 billion in 2010 to $84.36 billion last year, marking an increase of 19.1 percent.

He made his remarks at the 19th annual Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce meeting in Bangkok on March 1.

Three hundred Taiwanese business representatives from Asean member states, Hong Kong, Macao and Japan attended the conference. Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Taiwan's representative in Thailand were among them. Chiang is Taiwan's counterpart for talks with mainland China.

The annual conference, themed this year, "Asia heads off and leads the world" lasted from Feb. 28 to March 2.

The Thai-Taiwan Business Association plans a briefing on investing opportunities in Burma on March 9 in Bangkok. The Thai branch of the Singaporean consulting firm Kelvin Chia will host the briefing. The firm has a subsidiary in Rangoon since 1995, according to its website.

Burma, like all other Asean member states, considers Taiwan an integral part of China. The Taiwanese government has no representative office in Burma.

When Burmese authorities arrested four Taiwanese fishermen in late 2009, mainland Chinese authorities reportedly assisted in their release.

The Taiwanese Business Association in Thailand was established in 1993, while its counterpart in Burma was founded in 1997.

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Naw Wrote:
Oh yah, we must welcome all the investors including western countries which I hope still having money but their "demo". lol.........

tocharian Wrote:
Isn't the Tai Yi sweat shop factory, where the Burmese women workers are exploited owned by a Taiwanese?

tocharian Wrote:
Oh sure Pat!
Just let more greedy Chinese into Burma to exploit Burmese workers and suck up everything Burma has for the good of "Greater China". I don't care whether the Chinese are from Taiwan, or Hongkong, or Singapore or PRC or San Fransisco. A Chinaman is always loyal to his Chinese ancestry and looks down upon browner-skinned Burmese or Filipinos (you should know that living in HK, no?)

Bill Gov Wrote:
Taiwanese beware!

Burma is not like Taiwan. You don't speak and understand the language and more even so the business and investment climates beyond your common understanding.

Burma's potential seems promising but economic development in the country is indeed uphill challenging without a honest, clean and uncorrupted government.
While the Burmese government is ignorantly pushing ahead its poorly estimated economic development plans on overdrive, the EU, the international communities and savy foreign investments must be wary of false promises and hopes on their investment returns and can expect the economy to be stagnant and shrink due to over investments and over building.

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