The United States may increase its investments in energy, telecommunications, tourism, and natural gas production sectors following a discussion to cooperate in Myanmar beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, said U Maung Maung Lay, chair of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
The development comes after a delegation led by Mr Adam Boehler, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), met with Myanmar’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations on October 27. The IDFC has a mandate to invest more than US$60 billion in private development projects in lower and middle-income countries.
The US appears keen to accelerate its investments in Myanmar after the election and it could seek to offset some of China’s current projects in the country beyond COVID-19, said U Maung Maung Lay.
He said the US tends to pay attention to geopolitics and as Myanmar is of strategic importance to China, the US would be monitoring the situation in Myanmar and looking for opportunities to continue its investment activities in the country.
The US said it is keen to strengthen ties with Myanmar and is ready to support micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country with communications technology and encourage development of local human resources.
Just this month, US video conferencing app Zoom and local firm Global Technology Company (GlobalNet) announced that they will cooperate to provide communication services for business and education in Myanmar. GlobalNet is cooperating with Zoom to bring the latter’s suite of video conferencing products into the Myanmar market. GlobalNet partner companies in Myanmar will be able to access Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms and Zoom Webinars, including video-first unified communications solutions.
Separately, US software company VMware this month also announced its 5G Telco Cloud Platform in Myanmar, which will provide communications service providers in the country with high-performance cloud infrastructure to support 5G technology applications across the region.
Compared to China though, the US has invested smaller amounts in Myanmar, mainly in energy and production. It has so far channeled $575 million into the country, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
China is now Myanmar’s largest investor as well as biggest trade partner, with investments of more than $21.4 billion.