How should businesses respond to Myanmar Coup? Notes from Nikkei Asia Webinar 18 March 2021

Posted byNatee Jarayabhand Posted onMarch 19, 2021 Comments0

How should businesses respond to Myanmar Coup?

Today is 19th March 2021. Our team has taken short notes from this webinar and we hope that it might be useful for you. If you have any comments or anything to share, let us know via

You can start to watching the webinar at 6:00 min. in this link


Things businesses in Myanmar are worried about now?
  1. Daily operation.
  2. Employee safety.
  3. Employee compensation
The problems that Myanmar people are facing
  1. The deadly violence from the coup.
  2. Hit by economics.
  3. Violence that may be worse and continued  until “Armed Forces day” on 27th March 2021.
The problems for financial institution in Myanmar
  1. Pressure to re-open or force to give money to the military.
  2. Forced to hand over accounts of NGOs to the military government.
  3. Civil Disobedience Movement makes it more difficult for banks to operate.

The main problems of all factories (Garment)
  1. The business can’t afford to pay their employees.
  2. Facing anti-Chinese sentiment.
  3. Some factories have been burnt down.
What the International Community asks….?
  1. Is sanctioning the way to deal with the situation?
  2. How about military intervention?
The US worries about China…
  1. More sanctions will put Myanmar to have a closer relationship with China.
  2. Both sides are ready to go all in, which is extremely dangerous.
  3. Is the military government ready to transform into a North Korea-like state?
  4. Parallel government?  From 17 NLDs. (CRPH, very messy)
  5. Oil and gas makes the most money. As CRPH invites businesses not to pay tax to the military government.
Burmese perspective
  1. Economy is the People.
  2. Sanctions don’t work.
  3. In the past, people went on the street because they didn’t have anything to eat. Now, people are stronger. They are proud of young people.
  4. Small businesses try to help people.
  5. Myanmar used to be one of the poorest countries in the world.
  6. Now, Burmese people don’t have much mobile internet to communicate with the outside world..
  7. How long can the people hold out?

Notes from Q&A session
  1. Is democracy counter productive? > Democracy is definitely not counter productive. But the expectation was too high.
  2. What type of democracy should Myanmar have? Did NLD push the military too hard?
  3. Businesses still have to follow local law.
  4. U.S. sanction makes it a lot more difficult.
  5. Kirin x Military = Myanmar Beer > more than 500million dollars > Kirin want to exit but who will buy?
  6. Banks take zero risk. Banks will be very careful as they will have to pay the fine too if they violate local or international law.
  7. State own business under the military is still strong.
  8. Can we freeze foreign assets owned by the Myanmar military?
  9. How about sanctions from Asia countries?
  10. There are around 350,000 soldiers. And there is no sign of counter-coup action.
Our Advice for business
  1. The demand for buying from Myanmar people will drop dramatically but if you sell essential retail products for daily uses, your business can still go on. For example, rice, oil, and food.
  2. If your competitor is Chinese, then now it is your time because Burmese people will boycott Chinese brands.
  3. Border logistics is still in open but in some cases with a lower regulation (
  4. If you are in the financial sector, you are in trouble. You can diversify your portfolio, for example you can invest in cryptocurrency. It can be a solution to a failed state and may have dramatic upside benefits.
  5. There are opportunities for tech startups that solve the problem that Myanmar people are facing right now.
These are some of the product categories that we think can still go on doing business in Myanmar in this situation.
  1. Rice.
  2. Oil.
  3. Dry food.
  4. Canned food.
  5. Medicine and first aid kits.
  6. Sanitary pad for women.
How can Happio help your business?
  1. We can be your business consultant and your partner.
  2. We can help you target the Myanmar people who are currently living in Thailand.
  3. We can help you expand your market to Cambodia and other neighboring countries.
How can Happio help Myanmar people?
  1. We foresee that the Myanmar people in Myanmar will have trouble finding jobs, money and basic needs. Since we know that English is the key to learn new skills of the future to get a job anywhere in the world online. We will set a team to teach English language for free. So that they can find ways to earn income online.
  2. We will translate Thai sustainable farming knowledge to help teach Myanmar farmers grow their own food, so that they can have enough food to eat and share around for the people without a job.

Thank you for reading. If you have any comments, please send to

Author: Mr. Natee Jarayabhand

P.S. Thank you Nikkei for this Webinar.

Facebook Comments