In Myanmar, people prefer having tea or coffee for breakfast. Only 5% respondents in an interview said they hang out at nightclubs sometimes and another 95% said they have never been there. Some drinks that they prefer to consume once or twice a week are soya milk (16.5%), vegetable/fruit juice (24.
8%), soft drinks with gas (28.5%), soft drinks without gas (23.3%), and energy drinks (17.7%). Burmese also live a fairly healthy lifestyle with low rate of alcohol consumption and smoking. Young people used to gather at temples but now they prefer shopping malls and coffee shops where they could find their first time job and create a first time jobbers’ group. 99% respondents watch TV regularly or sometimes and 65% of them like watching sports instead of playing sports.
After a long time under military control and the US’s sanction program, Myanmar is now actively open to foreign businesses. The passing of the new Myanmar Investment Law, effect on April 1, 2017, has attracted more investment from both foreign and domestic businesses. However, there has been no formal advertising law issued so far. Generally, marketing activities must comply with both the Consumer Protection Law and the Competition Law.
These laws control both the substance and form of business advertising and marketing. Myanmar’s long-term political risk scores at 42.9 out of 100, ranking it 177th out of 204 countries globally. Its low score is a result of persistent ethnic tensions as well as the dominant position the military will continue to hold as Myanmar slowly transitions towards a democracy. The United States is discussing Myanmar’s mistreatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority and may put into effect a range of further actions, including targeted sanctions under its Global Magnitsky law.
Myanmar frequently experiences power shortages, unstable telecoms services and limited transport coverage. Foreign businesses may have to prepare their own investments in order to ensure smooth daily operations. The country’s transportation infrastructure has not caught up with the market growth yet. Only 30 percent of the country’s population has access to electricity. However, they still have to deal with frequent outages. During summer, businesses in Myanmar usually experience electricity cut, reportedly there hours of electricity a day, which negatively affects their production.
Myanmar’s roads are the most underdeveloped compared to those of Southeast Asian countries. Only 39% of the network is paved and 61% is unpaved, with the secondary and local road network generally in poor condition and not passable during the monsoon season. Consumer buying power will continue to be centered in Yangon and Mandalay.The retail sector ratio is 90:10 where 90% accounts for traditional trade. However, modern trade channels such as modern retail outles are increasing rapidly according to the Myanmar Retail Association.
As a rule, 90% of the households still go to traditional markets to buy fresh meat and vegetables. However, as lifestyles and trends are changing, consumers choose to visit traditional markets less frequently and instead, spend time at supermarkets and convenience stores especially during weekends. Top-end office rents in Yangon used to go for about $90 per square meter, more than rents in Bangkok, Singapore and even parts of New York, according to the Bangkok Post. The high price of real estate resulted from a shortage of modern office and buildings in Yangon to serve waves of international businesses and investors.
However, rental prices have fallen for the second year in a row and are expected to keep drop¬ping in 2017, according to a new market snapshot by real estate firm Colliers International. More than 95,000 square meters of leasable space are expected to become avail¬able this year and businesses now pay an average of $46 per square meter.According to a government’s report, there are more than 200 weekly news journals are licensed in Burma, as well as more than 200 magazines whose majority are entertainment or sports oriented. Most television channels in the country are broadcast from Yangon.
TV Myanmar and Myawaddy TV are the two main channels, providing Burmese-language programming in news and entertainment. MRTV-4 focuses on non-formal education programs and movies. The broadcasting hours also have increased to 18 hours from 10 hours previously. There are 7 radio channels in broadcasting in English and Burmese. Given the population of Burma, impact from radio and television has not been significant with only 10% reach due to poor living conditions and power shortage. At the same time print media are becoming more dynamic and attractive to readers, generating better response and better value to advertisers despite the low purchasing power of most residents and inefficient distribution networks.
Digital access does have an important role in the country’s media landscape. Myanmar now has at least 33 million mobile users according to recent surveys, which is around 50 percent of the population, and smartphone use is at around 80 percent of those 33 million users. Internet penetration has rocketed mainly through mobile Internet service.Five years ago, Facebook was still blocked in Myanmar. Since this restriction was lifted, social media use has soared to the extent that Facebook now records 14 million users in the country. Half of Facebook users live in Yangon and almost 40% are in Mandalay region. CPM is still under $0.
01 compared to $1.61 of Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries. For now, the competition in online marketing just begins in Myanmar so that cost rates for international ads are still low accordinglyAccording to the recent census data, 65 percent of Myanmar’s population is of productive age and about 28.6 percent is under 15 years of age. Despite having a big workforce, firms in Myanmar are currently facing shortages of skilled workers.
Myanmar Business Survey 2014 cited lack of skilled labor in Myanmar as one of the biggest obstacles to start a business here. Furthermore 70% to 80% of Myanmar’s workforce is employed in the agriculture sector, which still engages in traditional farming techniques. Meanwhile, many of the young people in Myanmar lack formal education and English language proficiency that make them unqualified for many jobs.