Real estate enterprises in Vietnam have been speeding up investment in Myanmar as they have seen potentially large demand in that market. Office and serviced apartment rents have jumped by three times against 2012.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai Company is preparing to develop a realty complex in Yangon with a total investment of US$300 million while C.T Group is completing procedures to kick off two projects worth a combined US$150 million.

Tran Kim Chung, chairman of C.T Group, said that the company has established a solid distribution system in Myanmar as foreign goods is expected to flood the market soon.

C.T Group is the exclusive distributor of over 50 Vietnamese firms in Myanmar, saying that Vietnamese goods are selling well there.

Many experts expect that foreign investors will foray into Myanmar after the government approved the new foreign investment law. Vietnamese enterprises have organized many fact-finding trips to this market.

However, foreign investors will meet challenges due to lack of regulations, poor infrastructure and low preparedness of citizens and businesses in the country.

However, economist Pham Chi Lan said this would be a great chance for Vietnamese firms who are ready to take risks in a business environment where ad hoc policy change is still prevalent.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnamese firms invested around US$1.2 billion in foreign markets last year, of which Myanmar made up a fraction. However, the nation is expected to become an attractive destination for Vietnamese investors this year.

Some experts and businesses said that Vietnamese firms will enjoy advantages of similar cultural features, convenient location and good relationship between the two peoples. Therefore, Vietnamese firms will be able to compete with international companies in the fields of consumer goods, equipment, building materials, farm produce and construction.

By Hoang Phi - The Saigon Times Daily - February 21,2013