SINGAPORE: Businesses in Singapore look set to benefit when visa requirements for travel to Myanmar are lifted on Dec 1.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced during his visit to Myanmar in June that citizens from both sides will not need visas to enter each other's country for visits of up to 30 days. Currently, Singaporeans have to apply and wait for a visa, which costs at least S$35, depending on the purpose of the visit.
ANZ Research economist Ng Weiwen said the new visa rules will allow Singapore businesses to tap on emerging opportunities in Myanmar, particularly the rise of the middle-class. “This is where Singapore businesses could come in to complement this new consumer space, as well as (provide) urban solutions, as Myanmar develops in the coming years," he added.
The visa-free initiative comes as the Myanmar government opens up the country to foreign investors.
A recent research report by OCBC economist Terence Wu noted that the manufacturing sector is receiving a greater share of foreign investments. As of September, total investment into the manufacturing sector made up 53.1 per cent of all investment since the new government took over, totalling US$686.9 million (S$981.8 million). This is significantly higher than the 14.1 per cent of all investment in FY2015/2016 under the previous government, he said.