As Myanmar attempts to shed it authoritarian past and opens again to the world, global companies are moving into its market.
On Monday, Ford (NYSE:F) said that it will open a showroom and begin auto sales in the Southeast Asian country. Among the first Ford vehicles for sale in Myanmar will be its F-Series pickups and Ford Rangers, imported from its manufacturing plants in Thailand and North America, CNN notes.
Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar spent more than half a century under restrictive military rule. During that time the country cut off relations with most of the world. However, after a referendum in 2008, the country has taken steps toward democracy.
Myanmar has a population of about 60 million, but new vehicles are rare due to the country’s prolonged isolation.
Global consumer products makers have taken notice. Last year, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) announced that it would return to the country.
Other major manufacturers, including Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) are also moving to expand operations in Myanmar.
Shares of Ford fell almost 1% in Wednesday morning trading.