Burma (Myanmar) Franchising
Experienced Burmese franchisees aim to partner with new American franchise brands when the military regime restores the democratically elected government.
Burma’s growing middle class with increasing consumer activity is an attractive market for international franchise brands. The market had little exposure to most foreign brands until 2013. Since then, the country has experienced an influx of foreign franchises, especially in the food and beverage sector from both western and Asian countries.
Within the past seven years until January 2021, food, and beverage franchise chains from Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan made inroads in Burma. Among ASEAN countries, Singapore has a strong interest in Burma’s franchise sector. The country now has more than 95 Asian franchises.
In addition to the Asian franchise food chains, U.S. franchises have successfully entered the country, starting in 2015. Currently, Burma has four major U.S. franchises, and they tend to dominate all other local and foreign food and beverage brands. The brands include:
1. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
3. Krispy Kreme
4. Pizza Hut
Currently, there is no legal framework governing franchise activities and relationships. However, franchise relations are subject to relevant provisions under other laws such as the Competition Law 2015, the Consumer Protection Law 2019, the Contract Act 1872, the Myanmar Companies Law 2017, and the Trademark Law 2019. These laws apply to in-country general business contracts and operations. In 2019, the then Parliament passed four intellectual property laws – the Trademark Law, Industrial Design Law, Patent Law, and Copyright Law.
The sectors with the best prospects for franchise opportunities are quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, vocational and executive-level education, car hire and taxi services, retail and convenience stores, health, and beauty and wellness.
Before doing business in Burma, visit www.trade.gov/burma for the latest updates on sanctions, export controls and the investment climate for Burma.
To connect with potential local partners and distributors, please contact Ummay Aiman, Commercial Service Specialist for franchising.