It is different to make use of Business opportunity in Myanmar as a result of the isolation that the country has had for a long time. Being a Southeast Asian country, Myanmar has a large number of ethnic groups most of who are Buddhists.
However the influence of the colonialists on the country has allowed for some recognizable customs and the speaking of English as well.
You will be better advised to learn some of the business etiquette in Myanmar as this will spare you a lot of trouble. For instance, when offered a business card you need to take some time to read it after accepting it with your two hands which bespeaks respect. Remember not to offer a woman your hand as a small bow is in order unless she offers you a hand herself. This speaks of the limit in contact that should be seen in public between a man and a woman. For you to live and do business in Myanmar these practices that are of importance to the cultural blend in the country should be observed closely to avoid any conflict of behavior.
Use the first few meeting as a chance to know each other better as business here is not rushed and any attempt to do so could afford you frustration and even bring about offense. Be patient on getting to the serious matters concerning business in regard to the culture of the people there. Appearing indecisive, the people usually are in agreement to any ideas and you might need to ascertain their commitment from having several encounters with them. Seemingly small matters such as paper work and even big business issues could take some time to conclude although this is not always the case.
The people of Myanmar take hospitality to a whole new level since it is normal for one to stay on with relatives when visiting a different part of the country for as long as they like. Even the idea of staying in a hotel is only just getting accepted here. Gifts are a big factor in the culture here and you will be well advised to take note of their importance here. When offered one remember that you are expected to return the favor at a later date.
It helps for you to have connections so as to allow networking since one who is known and trusted here will be able to link you up for any deals in business. Leisure activities such as golf serve as a means for people to be able to establish a network as well.
Myanmar has lagged behind in some of the most basic things such as electricity and internet connection which is not even established in most of the banks here. The infrastructure is not very conducive for business at the transport system is not constant and the mobile phone services for international level remain wanting in most parts. The banks are only just beginning to accept foreign credit cards and allow for the transfer of money to accounts other than those in Myanmar.
With a view to improving education standards in the country which have been affected by poverty and the ruling junta to keep a check on students the current agenda of reform hopes to address this. Most of the workforce does not possess the necessary skills to work as a result of these unfortunate circumstances.
The issue of corruption is being handled under the government reforms to allow for more open dealings as well as to lower corruption levels in the end. The issue of entrenched interest is slowly fading away in Myanmar after the previous regime.
English is the widely used language for business meetings despite the fact that Burmese is the main language here. You might need to have a basic grip on Burmese for social needs too. The official wear is shirts for men that have no collar and the women a display of the shoulders and legs is a no-no. Business is usually conducted by men here even though an increase in the number of women coming aboard is now being witnessed across the whole country. Elders are held in deep regard and the necessary respect accorded to them on encounter.