Project Summary

The objective of the project is to support Myanmarese SMEs in the agro-industry and mining sector, through investment promotion activities and technology transfer, with the aim of supporting sustainable development, local job creation and fostering international partnerships.

To pursue this goal UNIDO ITPO Italy, in synergy with the Italian Ministry for Economic Development and on the basis of its previous successful experience concerning this Country, will favor the creation of international partnerships in the agro-industry and mining sector.

Within this framework, ad-hoc trainings in the above mentioned sectors will be organized, in order to improve the local SMEs competitiveness, as well as to allow their technology upgrade. Particular attention will be paid to the food processing, the agricultural machineries, packaging and cold chain.  

Local companies will also have the occasion to participate in incoming missions in Italy, in order to meet the Italian and international best players in the agro-industry and mining sector, as well as to get involved in trade fairs, BtoB meetings and professional tours.

UNIDO ITPO Italy will act as an honest broker in supporting the creation of commercial or investment partnerships between local companies and Italian ones. Moreover, the existing opportunities will be promoted in the international business community in order to support new investments in the country and open opportunities for technological upgrading of the local companies in the above mentioned sectors.

Agro-industry and mining sector

The potential of agro-industry for economic growth in developing countries, such as Myanmar, is linked to the relative plenty of agricultural raw materials and low-cost labor. Agro-industry’s impact is crucial in several areas: contribution to a nation’s GDP, employment creation and generation of income, promotion of socio-economic development, regional stabilization and sustainability, integration into global markets and the improvement of food self – sufficiency.

Agro-industry is one sub-system of agribusiness and it is vital for development in Myanmar. In fact, Myanmar remained for decades on the margins of the South East Asia region development and now it intends to firmly pave the way of growth and progress.

Myanmar has an area of 678,500 square kilometers and its population is over 51,000,000. The Country counts on abundant natural resources and the mining industry continues to play a primary role in the economy, having big quantity of raw material such as white marble and black granite, gold and coal and other mineral resources. Despite the country’s potential, Myanmar is a resource – rich country that suffers from rural poverty.

As reported by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), Myanmar’s agricultural industry is modernizing and continuing to play a major role in economic growth. Myanmar has worked with international developing partners to improve agriculture sector that generated 30% of GDP. In the same way, the country has made considerable progress towards the development of a sustainable industrial processes. Its key manufacturing sectors including garments, shoes, electronic parts, food products and construction materials have attracted growing investments. Nonetheless, Myanmar is still an agro - based economy. Most of GDP comes from agricultural industry. The country needs to work on a right combination of national resources, human resources and an efficient government system in order to be productive and competitive globally.


Concerning the mining industry, it holds enormous mineral potential which will make mining a significant driver of the country’s economic development.  The territory hosts at least three mineral deposits of global significance: Bawdin (lead, zinc, silver), Monywa (copper) and Mawchi (tin, tungsten). The new mining law of Myanmar hopefully will bring greater fairness, transparency and efficiency to mining business. For many years due to sanctions imposed by the US and European countries, China has been the principal investor in the minerals sector but the Government expressed its interest in expanding and searching investments and technology in this field.

The Government aims to meet with the International Standard of the world leading mining countries, to invite foreign investors and to continue to develop  the mining sector; but, aside from legal matters, Myanmar, as many developing countries, faces other several challenges, especially environmental and infrastructure difficulties, such as monsoonal flooding and road and air access to remote areas.

Myanmar is in a position to invite investors with advanced technology and reliable investment from any Country. Although exploration activities will have many challenges, the mining industry has the possibility to drive economic growth, while fostering foreign investments. It was a Country with a closed and isolated economy and it is becoming a global focal point for investments and businesses. The Government is looking for foreign capitals and they launched an economic policy with the scope of attracting investments.

Foreign investments in Myanmar increased enormously in three years, passing from 1,9 billion dollars in year 2011-2012 to 8,1 billion dollars in 2014-2015, up to over 9 billion achieved in the year 2015-2016. According to the latest data of the International Monetary Fund, Myanmar is a fast – growing economy with GDP growth at 7,3% in recent years, higher than in any other economy of the South East Asia. Moreover, considering the World Bank economic monitor on Myanmar, the country’s economic prospects remain resilient. The Asian Development Bank expects that the Myanmar’s GDP will pick up 8,3% in 2017.

In addition, by stimulating investments and technology transfer, the project will contribute in achieving goals 8 (promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all) and 9 (promotion of sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).