Agriculture is a primary resource for Burma. Burma has almost 250 edible and life sustainable trees, but only 20 percent of them have been explored. Teak is an important resource for the country, and Burma plays an international role in the supply of this product. Burma is also rich in natural gas, mineral resources such as petroleum, rubies, and jade. The land holds copper, zinc, tin, limestone, marble, coal, antimony, tungsten, and lead. Despite all these natural and important resources which would attract investment, the government leadership structure makes it difficult to invest in the country.
Burma is an authoritarian country that is dominated by many current and former military [now civilians]members. The country is hoping and looking forward to a civilian president with two vice presidents to represent respective ethnic groups. Literally, Burma plans to adopt United States government model by wielding power amongst legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The Burmese military is an institution of its own due to its armed forces, which reserves the right to interfere and invoke powers and also the ability to abolish all parliamentary authority or suspend any civil liberties in the land.
There is no encouragement of international investment, and no interest for global engagement by the leadership. As a country rich in resources, Burma is suffering from pervasive leadership controls, corruption, rural poverty, and inefficient economic policies. The leadership mismanagement and misappropriation have caused the country’s socio-economic condition to deteriorate to a level where most of the citizens are in poverty. In the country side, ethnic minorities resist exploitation of resources due to issues on lack of clear sustainable development and no environmental protection.
Poor investment and environmental climate in Burma hinders the inflow of foreign investment. Foreign investors have moved away from nearly every sector except for timber, natural gas, mining, and hydroelectric [power]dam. The citizens do not benefit from the natural resources rather the military and their cronies corruptly share the revenue. Burma’s business climate is widely perceived as highly inefficient, corrupt, and dim.
United States of America along with the European Union, and Canada imposed economic and financial sanctions on Burma. This sanction prohibits most financial transactions with Burma and its entities. It also imposed bans on travel of senior Burmese civilian and military leaders including those connected to the ruling regime. United States has also banned imports of products from Burma. These sanctions affected Burmese garment industry, put at risk the struggling banking sector, and raised the costs of doing business in Burma, and Burmese companies, especially those companies that have ties to autocratic military and civilian leaders.
Suggestion for Viability:
Good political environment is required in order to promote global recognition, international involvement, and serious foreign investment. Burma needs to improve its business climate, make good on its economic relations, and create good economic governance to attract more investment since it has good economic relation with its neighbors. For international business advice contact: http://www.iba-pec.com to learn strategies to be ahead in global investment.
Dr. Sidney Okolo is a professor, mentor, consultant, strategist, and Speaker. He is affiliated to several universities, the Managing Director of International Business Associates, a management consulting firm, and President of Virtual Classrooms Institute, an online education institute. Among other things, he engages in all aspects of learning, knowledge, organization and human change. His focus is on leadership, management, entrepreneurship, profit engineering, human potential, excellence, achievement, business strategy, research and development. In addition to his work in the United States, his focus is also on developing countries in the continent of Africa, their leadership, culture, economic and market structure, community planning and development. He coined the phrase, “AFRICAN PIES”, which stands for: poverty, instability, ethnicity, and sectarianism in Africa.