The country's reforms could open it, but weak infrastructure and Chinese competition will challenge Western investors.
A man steps out from a money changer in Yangon / Reuters
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With the upgrading of American diplomatic relations with Myanmar, and a wave of political reform in the country over the past year, many businesses have begun eying the Southeast Asian nation, which has a population of over 50 million people and has been essentially isolated from Western companies by U.S., Japanese, and EU sanctions. A delegation of Japanese business leaders recently visited the country, as did an American delegation. Business magnate and philanthropist George Soros also visited recently (of course, the U.S. would have to drop sanctions for investment to happen, but that is looking more likely). Asia Sentinel has provided an update on all the corporate interest in Myanmar.
I have personally heard from a number of Western businesspeople who see great potential in Myanmar - they see the sizable population, the history of British law, and the significant natural resources including offshore petroleum, and compare Myanmar today to Vietnam in the early 1990s, when that country began to seriously open up to Western investment.