Happy New Year! We are excited to see many positive developments moving business forward in Myanmar. 2020 looks to be a year of growth for many sectors in Myanmar. Many opportunities for entrepreneurs wait to mined. Laws meant to liberalize business initiated in the last 2 years are starting to show changes in the economy’s growth. Below I highlight 5 sectors to watch in 2020. We are happy to assist you in your entry or growth in Myanmar and hope you have a great year.
5 Sectors to Watch in 2020:
Its been a year since the Myanmar government gave permission for Foreign Banks to operate. Most of these banks in the last year have been assessing whether to open their own branches or do partnerships. Kasikorn Bank (Thailand) just offered a partnership with one of the smaller growing banks Ayawaddy Farmers Bank (A Bank). Look for more partnerships to be formed in the first half of 2020 and implementation happening the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. There should be a surge in business lending as well as real estate lending. This will open up more opportunities for multiple sectors to grow including private education institutions, ecommerce, manufacturing, and trade.
Food Delivery giants Food Panda and Grab have now entered Myanmar the second half of last year. Food Delivery is one sub segment of logistics that is taking off. E-commerce has grown significantly over the last 2 years and with-it logistics for delivery within larger cities as well as between cities. The sector is still fragmented and there is still room for a number of players to enter especially in niche delivery. Here’s some logistics needs in Myanmar that aren’t fully met yet; furniture delivery, agriculture products, chemicals, cold or frozen, and secure delivery of high value items. There is also need for more organized local and international courier services.
Alibaba made a big splash a year ago buying Shop.com. Since then e-commerce has heated up with investments in RGO 47 and others. There are 7-8 platforms that sell lots of items but nothing too niche. Facebook is still king and many sellers use it to sell their products. There are still opportunities for sellers to connect with Amazon and Shopify as well as niche platforms. Though delivery internationally is difficult at the moment, the international delivery opportunities should grow in the next year.
With the allowance of private universities to get license a little over a year ago, there has been a boom of international education institutions. Both certificate level, BA, Bachelor, and graduate level programs are needed for the local market. Myanmar people are willing to pay for education but often cannot tell the difference between institutions quality levels. There has been a growth of vocational training as well.
Myanmar is still a rural population that has it’s population pretty evenly dispersed around the country. Yangon at 6 million people and Mandalay at 1 million people are the largest cities in a country with 52 million. The heavy focus on Yangon leaves plenty of opportunities in the smaller cities. The market is far from being saturated and with many middle sized cities like Pathein, Mawlimyine, Bago, and Magway (to name a few); education franchising or multi-campus options are possible.
Franchises like Burger King, KFC, Krispy Crème, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Marry Brown, Tom Toms, Gloria Jeans, and Bread Talk have all entered Myanmar. While the franchise market has been heavily focused on food and drinks, there are opportunities for all kinds of franchises to come into Myanmar and to be developed from Myanmar companies. Franchises in laundry, car rental, gyms, and others are a good opportunity that if done right are a great way to enter Myanmar. KFC has exploded in Myanmar with over a dozen stores and plan to open at least 25 branches around the country.
If you are interested in launching any of these kinds of businesses or currently need help, please contact us for assistance. We focus on helping international startups in Myanmar with market research, translation, business matching, import/export services, and anything else that your company may need to be successful in business.
Cheers to a successful year!