Investors, looking for sure bets, can stop reading right now.
For those seeking overlooked energy "final frontiers," well, there’s now – Burma.
According to the secretary of Burma's largest business federation, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), Myo Thet, he has been meeting with companies "every day for a year" even though "there is still rather low interest from the West. There have been some bank owners from the west and also Australia but it’s still low compared to Asian countries. We wish to see more (investment) not only from the East but also the West... because the West, in terms of technology and finance, is stronger."
Burmese Industry Minister U Soe Thein, who attended last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos stated that companies are "rushing" to Burma, and claimed his appearance at the Forum, a first for a Burmese government official, was proof of Burma's growing status as a strategically key market for the west.
Why the turnaround?
The government is opening up the country’s previously tightly state-controlled economy and is accelerating reforms. The biggest external event however is some Western-imposed sanctions are getting lifted, causing Western business executives and government officials to pack flights to the capital Naypyidaw.
The European Union has already dropped a longstanding visa ban on some Burmese ministers and on 6 February the U.S. relaxed…