Singapore was Myanmar's top foreign investor in 2014: DPM Teo

DPM Teo (centre) with dignitaries from the Singapore and Myanmar governments, and senior representatives from OCBC Bank at the official opening of OCBC Yangon Branch in Myanmar.
DPM Teo (centre) with dignitaries from the Singapore and Myanmar governments, and senior representatives from OCBC Bank at the official opening of OCBC Yangon Branch in Myanmar. PHOTO: OCBC BANK
DPM Teo (centre, back) and officials during the signing of MOUs at the opening of OCBC Yangon Branch.
DPM Teo (centre, back) and officials during the signing of MOUs at the opening of OCBC Yangon Branch.PHOTO: OCBC BANK
DPM Teo (centre, back) and officials during the signing of MOUs at the opening of OCBC Yangon Branch.
DPM Teo (centre, back) and officials during the signing of MOUs at the opening of OCBC Yangon Branch.PHOTO: OCBC BANK

SINGAPORE - Singapore was Myanmar's top overseas investor in 2014, accounting for more than half of the over US$8 billion in total inflow, which had doubled from US$4 billion in 2013.

Disclosing this, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean added that trade links between the two countries are also "stronger than ever". Singapore is Myanmar's third largest trading partner after China and Thailand, with bilateral trade amounting to US$2.42 billion, he said.

Mr Teo was speaking at the official opening of OCBC's Yangon branch on Thursday (July 2). OCBC also signed a memorandum of understanding with ten domestic banks to collaborate in training and capability building.

Mr Teo said Singapore has consistently supported Myanmar's development over the years by sharing our development experiences and providing technical assistance.

Reflecting these efforts, the Singapore Cooperation Programme has trained over 11,700 Myanmar officials in economic and human resource development as well as public administration, Mr Teo noted.

As Myanmar focuses on infrastructural development, foreign banks such as those from Singapore can play a role in providing financing on this front, he said.

Two Singapore banks - OCBC and United Overseas Bank - were granted licenses last year to operate as institutional and corporate banks in Myanmar.

OCBC said its partnership with 10 Myanmar banks will boost their capabilities in cash management, trade finance and treasury solutions. Analysts said institutional demand for financing looks set to boom as more capital arrives to tap the country's frontier market potential.

Said OCBC chairman Ooi Sang Kuang at the signing ceremony: "We believe these efforts will significantly contribute to a stronger financial sector that will underpin the growth and development of the Myanmar economy."

Mr Teo commended Singapore banks' active role in supporting the development of Myanmar, which is key for regional prospects.

"Singapore's vision is for a peaceful, stable, prosperous and integrated Asean community, where all countries including Myanmar can flourish. We are glad that our banks and companies can contribute towards Myanmar's creation of an open and conducive environment for business to flourish."