Understanding Myanmar: Digital and marketing insights

Low Lai Chow

After half a century of isolation under military rule, Myanmar is re-emerging onto the international stage, both as a nation and as a viable market for brands.

Companies including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Suzuki have all made moves to enter the country. And while internet penetration among its 60 million citizens remains tiny, it is expected to rise rapidly as prior restrictions are lifted. SQUAR, the first social network available in the local language, is hoping to benefit from this trend.

"You are going to get masses of people getting online who have never touched the internet before, or have never read a blog – they just don't know what it is," Rita Nguyen, SQUAR's co-founder/ceo, told delegates at the Festival of Media 2014. At present, however, only around 2% of the population can access the web. "If you go to Myanmar right now, you'd know there are 1.4 million people online."