Nippon Express Co., Japan’s largest international freight forwarder, said on Friday that it has set up a representative office in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, with an eye on upgrading the new business foothold to a local subsidiary sometime in the future.
The Tokyo-based company’s move comes as the U.S. and the European Union have eased their economic sanctions against Myanmar recently in recognition of significant progress made there toward democratization.
The representative office in Myanmar is located in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. Yangon is the largest city and former capital of the Southeast Asian country.
Nippon Express said that it will study the logistics market in Myanmar through the representative office to identify local needs. “With an eye on establishing a local subsidiary sometime in the future, we will strive to make ourselves fully prepared to offer high-quality logistics services in Myanmar,” the firm said in a press release.
According to Nippon Express, Myanmar is now aggressively wooing foreign investors in its manufacturing sector. Thanks to its cheap labor, Myanmar is attracting growing attention, especially from foreign companies that are reviewing their production strategies in Asia.
Myanmar is rich in natural resources and has a relatively large population of more than 60 million. “Myanmar has the potential to become a big consumer market in the future if its economy develops smoothly and its people’s income grows,” Nippon Express said.
Nippon Express boasts one of the world’s largest global logistics networks.
The company’s group revenue totaled about $20.4 billion in fiscal 2011, which ended on March 31, 2012, up 0.7 percent from the previous fiscal year. Its group net profit surged a whopping 215.5 percent in fiscal 2011 from a year earlier to about $336.9 million.