After years of international isolation, Myanmar is liberalizing its economy and seeking to attract foreign investment. But while foreign investment can play an important role in developing the country’s agriculture sector, in the current environment of limited transparency and accountability, an increase in agribusiness investments poses serious risks to the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and others dependent on land.
This paper looks at the level and types of agribusiness investment in Myanmar. It outlines potential risks to communities posed by these investments, and explores state regulation of outbound investments as a way to promote responsible business practices in the sector. The paper makes recommendations to the Government of Myanmar and to investors on improving the scrutiny and monitoring of investments, tackling land rights abuses and ensuring that companies honour their responsibilities to respect human rights.