As Myanmar’s economy steadily grows, a higher percentage of Yangon’s population are finding themselves with more cash to spend. The Asia Development Bank estimates that Myanmar’s income per capita could increase six fold by 2030. Two years ago, imported products from Thailand and Hong Kong would have been impossible to see displayed in downtown shopping malls. However, big international brands are now moving in to take advantage of the world’s last frontier markets.
A lot of Burmese people, who used to live in exile, are returning home as the city is changing dramatically with foreign investors pouring money into local industries and infrastructure projects. Even, wages are higher than in the past. An increase in investment, improved business confidence, commodity exports, and a rise in tourism contributed to this growth. Economic advisor to the government, MaungAung, believes Myanmar’s economy will continue to grow over the coming years. “Now our economy does not only depend on Asian markets, but also European markets. We expect to enter the US market soon. So now we are trading globally. We have lots of opportunity to grow in our economy,” he said. Myanmar’s international investment profile was raised last year by several major factors, including the award of telecommunications licenses, airport construction bids, hosting the World Economic Forum on East Asia and staging the Southeast Asian Games. The higher profile has been helped with a broad array of reforms, unifying the exchange rate, improving monetary policy, increasing tax collection, reorienting public expenditure toward social and physical infrastructure and liberalizing agriculture and trade.