September 10 - Panalpina has opened an office in Yangon, Myanmar.

"Panalpina has worked with customers in Myanmar for many years through dedicated agents," said Thorsten Harenberg, country manager for Panalpina Myanmar. "We have been grateful for their support, but having our own team on the ground here in Yangon will allow us to work more closely with and better meet the needs of our customers during this exciting time of investment and development."

Myanmar has seen a period of rapid growth in international trade after the relaxation of economic sanctions. The country's trade with China is growing, with new direct shipping services launched between Shanghai and Yangon, commented Panalpina.

In the south, Myanmar plans to develop Dawei into a deepsea port and special economic zone, which Panalpina says could establish an attractive multimodal trade corridor between Southeast Asia and India, combined with new overland links into Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Panalpina sees the biggest opportunities for growth in the telecommunications, manufacturing and oil and gas industries, as well as capital projects. Aside from transport infrastructure, power plants refineries and gas terminals need to be built, said the international logistics provider, adding that Myanmar has vast offshore natural gas reserves and oil deposits, as well as natural resources.

"We expect our Energy Solutions team to be heavily involved, as the country develops in the coming years," says Harenberg. "In the short term, both air and ocean imports will be driving the business. Exports will be limited until the country develops a viable manufacturing industry. Further down the road we also intend to offer value-added logistics services."