Thai and Burmese officials signed together a total of 16 bilateral business memoranda of understanding (MoUs) last February 2 in Burma. The event was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Somkid Jatusripitak.
The MoUs covered six business sectors including the finance sector, the agricultural sector, and the infrastructure development sector. According to the vice president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), U Ye Min Aung, the collaboration between the two countries is expected to foster better relations between their respective local businesses namely Burma government ministries, Thai companies, and the UMFCCI itself.
U Ye Min Aung commented about the event saying, “These are big agreements that the NLD government is signing with Thailand. Thailand is among the top foreign investors here, and these agreements will foster more economic cooperation.
“These agreements are made from government to government, and from government to business too. Every industry has signed an MOU here today.”
Investment in Burma is an act shared by many other countries, only three of which, surpasses the amount that Thailand has allocated to Burma. These countries are Singapore who has a $2.6 billion investment, China who put in $447 million, and Hong Kong who allotted $187 million in the country. Thailand had $106 million invested during the 2016-17 fiscal year according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
One of the businesses has signed an agreement with Thailand is the Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank, one of the five major banks in Burma. The deal between the two entities involve the use of the Thai government’s remittance services.
Meanwhile, the Burmese bank has already branched out to Thailand, opening an office and introducing a remittance service that can be utilized by workers from Thailand and Burma.
U Nyo Mint, a senior official in the KBZ Group expressed their intentions on the agreement with Thailand saying, “Many Burmese workers are working in Thailand. So that’s why remittance services should be more active. We have been working with Thai banks already, and today we signed an agreement in front of the Thai government that will strengthen that level of cooperation.
“Thai investors are near the top among foreign direct investment in Burma. And our economic cooperation will grow bigger in the future.”