Myanmar was once a pariah state known for its brutal military government and mistreatment of human rights activists like Aung San Suu Kyi. But democratic reforms and an easing of trade sanctions by Western governments means that doing business in Myanmar is now feasible – and GM is the latest automaker looking to establish a footing in the Asian country.
GM will be heading to Myanmar as part of an American trade delegation that includes companies like Target, General Electric, eBay and Honeywell, under the auspices of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
As a resource-rich nation in Southeast Asia with a population of nearly 50 million people, Myanmar is a potentially lucrative market for auto makers. Some observers have likened Myanmar to Thailand, another auto sales and manufacturing standout in the region. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn once dubbed Myanmar a “star” and Hyundai is already setting up shop in the country.