MAPCO courts investment for agri-industry park

Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation (MAPCO) is building the first of several planned agricultural industrial parks in Ayeyarwady Region aimed at attracting foreign and local investment into agriculture and agri-business.

U Ye Min Aung, MAPCO’s managing director said the Myaungmya township-based project is small-scale but innovative. Basic infrastructure including roads, a jetty and an electricity supply are already in place, he added.

 Construction of the park is expected to be fully finished by November 2018, he said, and is one of several planned.

“MAPCO has a plan to build small and medium-scale agri-industrial parks in areas where agriculture is very much specialised,” he said. “The intention is to support and revitalise agribusiness activities and to promote domestic production of value-added products.”

MAPCO plans to investment US$12 million in Myaungmya township park, and international investors are already interest in putting their own money to work.

“Investors from Japan, Thailand, China and Taiwan have investors proposed investing in the industrial park so far,” he said. Prospective investors are showing interest in setting up milling operations for things such as rice, animal feed, oil and other agri-food industries, he added.

Data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration showed that as of December there had been no approved foreign investment in the agriculture sector for the 2016-17 financial year.

U Than Aung Kyaw, DICA deputy general, told The Myanmar Times the main reason for the lack of foreign investment is strict rules over foreign ownership of land. There are also few areas of agricultural investment where full foreign ownership is permitted.

But the Myanmar Investment Commission has been slowly reducing the list of enterprises where a local partner is required. In March 2016, it allowed full foreign ownership for the production and distribution of hybrid seeds, production and propagation of high-yield and local seed.

U Than Aung Kyaw said that the MIC, of which DICA acts as the secretary, was likely to continue to relax restrictions on foreign investment in agriculture.

 Source: Myanmar Times

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