Part of Panalpina’s global strategy is to enter into developing countries. As of August, the Swiss forwarder has opened an office in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. Panalpina’s team in Yangon will be handling air and ocean freight shipments for import and export.
Myanmar was cut off from international trade for several decades until a civilian government was formed in 2011. With economic sanctions lifting, international trade is a reality again, but most of the business is in imports until the country develops a viable manufacturing sector. Most of the imported goods are arriving from other Asian countries and Europe. Additionally, new shipping services have been launched from Shanghai and Yangon.
The lack of infrastructure is a challenge in Myanmar. Panalpina sees the biggest opportunity for growth in telecommunications, manufacturing, oil and gas and capital projects. In addition to roads, power plants, refineries and gas terminals need to be built. “We expect our energy solutions team to be heavily involved, as the country develops in the coming years,” said Thorsten Harenberg, Panalpina’s country manager for Myanmar.