Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) plans to return to Myanmar for the first time in more than 60 years, leaving Cuba and North Korea as the only nations where the maker of the world's most popular soft drink doesn't do business.
The company will start operating in Myanmar as soon as the U.S. government issues a license allowing investments in the Southeast Asian country, a move that may be "imminent," the Atlanta-based company said in a statement distributed by Businesswire yesterday.
In of itself this is not a big economic deal for Mynamar. However in my view it is a very symbolic or attitudal type event that suggests that the reforms and changes that are occurring in Myanmar are real and will be long lasting.
The CEO of oil giant Total was also in Mynamar recently.
The CEO of French supermajor Total met with leaders in Myanmar during the weekend, including Nobel Peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Leading a delegation of top energy executives, Christophe de Margerie said his country was delighted in the political reforms under way in Myanmar. Since general elections in 2010, the country seems ripe for international investment. Against the backdrop, however, comes a series of alarms from human rights officials expressing concern about ethnic violence gripping the west of the country. With political development comes economic development. But the visit, and others like it, raises questions about the responsibilities inherent with that development
My thesis on these type of markets is marginal political or economic change can have very profound knock on effects on economic growth and prosperity.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.