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Much potential for Myanmar-Singapore economic ties to grow: Lim Hng Kiang

Urban infrastructure and environmental solutions like water, and waste management; transport and logistics; and financial services are areas of opportunities the Trade and Industry Minister (Trade) highlighted for Singapore firms.

SINGAPORE: Much potential exists for economic ties between Myanmar and Singapore to grow even stronger, said Trade and Industry Minister (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang on Wednesday (Nov 30). 

Mr Lim was speaking at a business dialogue with local companies and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in Singapore for a three-day visit.

He said there will be growing opportunities for Singapore firms to partner Myanmar in contributing to its economic development. Urban infrastructure and environmental solutions like water and waste management; transport and logistics; as well as financial services are areas of opportunities he highlighted for Singapore firms.

Mr Lim said the agreement to ease visa requirements between Myanmar and Singapore taking effect on Dec 1 will benefit the Singapore's business community and tourism sectors, and boost people-to-people exchanges.

"I also hope to see stronger air connectivity between Myanmar and Singapore which will further facilitate the flow of trade and investment," he said.

In 2015, bilateral trade stood at S$3.5 billion between both countries, and Singapore was Myanmar’s third largest trading partner. The city-state was also Myanmar’s top foreign investor in its last fiscal year, with investments amounting to US$4.3 billion (S$6.13 billion). 

Mr Lim noted that since taking office in March this year, the Myanmar government has moved decisively to improve its business environment - unveiling a 12-point economic plan, passing a revised Myanmar Investment Law, and working towards revising the Myanmar Companies Act.

"Amidst the uncertainties of today’s global environment, Myanmar is a bright and promising spot in a vibrant Southeast Asia. We want to work together to convert potential opportunities into tangible win-win partnerships. The business community has an important role to play in Myanmar’s growth story and in creating jobs for the people," he said.