In just a few short years, Myanmar has gone from Southeast Asia’s pariah state to the new darling of investors looking for the next emerging market.
The free(er) press, burgoening civil society and release of dissidents like Aung San Suu Kyi are rightfully getting all the media attention. But Myanmar’s developing market means that auto sales will inevitably expand, and Hyundai is the latest automaker to set up shop in the country.
So far, only government-approved agencies can import cars, and Hyundai has apparently approached local distributor Diamond Star to help them out, in lieu of establishing a wholly owned subsidiary there. Diamond Star has its hands in a number of ventures, including the distribution of Pepsi products, but not much is known about its auto retail business. According to Just-Auto, Myanmar has the potential to rival Thailand as a major auto market in the region. Hard to imagine that once upon a time, U2 was writing protest songs about the country.