Tobacco brands slip into Myanmar without fanfare
YANGON (AP) - As some of the world's biggest companies trumpet their arrival in Asia's hottest frontier market, the tobacco industry has a different strategy: It's slipping into Myanmar without fanfare.
The impoverished nation of 60 million people emerged from a half-century of isolation and brutal military rule two years ago. With most international sanctions against the country lifted or suspended, foreign businesses from Coca-Cola and Unilever to Suzuki Motors have scrambled to get in.
So too has Big Tobacco but without the ribbon cuttings or grandly worded press announcements.
British American Tobacco, the world's second largest cigarette manufacturer, shepherded a select audience of government officials to a low key ceremony last month where it formalised a US$50 million (S$63.2 million) investment over five years to produce, market and sell its brands in Myanmar. Its factory, to be built on the outskirts of Yangon, will create about 400 jobs.