Following Myanmar’s 2010 government elections – its first national elections since 1990 – the country has seen a steady easing of economic and military sanctions. In particular, the US loosened restrictions on foreign aid to Myanmar in November 2011 and announced the resumption of diplomatic relations in January 2012, which culminated in the president, Barack Obama, visiting the country in November 2012. The UK also called for economic sanctions on Myanmar to be suspended after the 2012 elections.

This improvement in international relations seems to have increased the country's attractiveness to foreign investors. Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets has recorded a sharp increase in the number of FDI projects recorded in 2012, compared to previous years. In the first 10 months of 2012, Myanmar has recorded 33 projects, compared to 12 in the whole of 2011 and five in 2010.


The majority of the investments made in 2012 have been in the financial services sector. FDI was previously limited to low value projects in the country's natural resource extraction sector.