Exporting to Myanmar

Myanmar has been opening up and developing its economy during the last decade, and has a growing British business community.

Strategic location

Myanmar is strategically situated between China and India, which can make it an ideal location for businesses looking to grow their presence in the area.

Natural resources

The country’s many natural resources include oil and gas, minerals, precious stones and gems, timber and hydropower potential. For this reason, there are plenty of opportunities for UK businesses in the extractive industries.

Growing community of exporters

Myanmar’s similar legal system has helped a community of British companies establish themselves. For instance, companies like Shell, Unilever and big four accounting firms are already making significant investments.

Ease of doing business

165th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2019)

Currency

Kyat

Business language

Burmese, English

English is widely spoken in larger organisations

GDP per capita

$1,300

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

2.1%

(IMF, 2018)

Time zone

GMT +6:30

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Myanmar have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Myanmar

Preparing to export

The UK and Myanmar have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Myanmar, provided certain conditions are met.

There is no value added tax (VAT) in Myanmar. There is a commercial tax on most commercial transactions. This varies from 5% to 80%, but is normally 5%.

Import procedures

Only companies based in Myanmar and those registered with specific local authorities can import to the country.

For more information, take a look at the National Trade Portal.

Operating in Myanmar

Myanmar’s business environment is changing fast, thanks to new investment law, company law and reforms to the insurance market. In the event of a dispute, regional arbitration centres, such as Singapore, are familiar to those firms doing business with overseas partners.

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

Myanmar approved an Intellectual Property Law on 30th January 2019. It also enacted other laws such as Patent, Industrial Design, Trademark and Copyright laws during the first quarter of 2019.

Investment law

Myanmar’s new investment law significantly improves the situation for foreign investors and clarifies grey areas, creating a more level playing field between foreign and domestic investors.

This law introduced critical property rights protections, dispute resolution arrangements, and various incentives and procedures to make doing business easier.

Challenges

Corruption exists at all levels of Myanmar’s economy. You should undertake extensive due diligence checks on local partners and distributors when doing business in Myanmar.

You should ensure you take the necessary steps to comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.