A German wholesaler will follow other foreign firms to quit Myanmar when it ends operations in October.
Metro, a wholesale supplier supplying the nation from its Yangon headquarters since 2019, announced Thursday that it would pull out, citing operational difficulties in the post-coup environment.
“We have carefully considered what can be done under various circumstances, but the current situation has made it difficult for it to operate in accordance with METRO’s standards,” the company said in a statement announcing the news.
Metro had invested about US$20 million (MMK33 billion) to build and operate a high-end warehouse in Yangon’s Thilawa Industrial Zone in 2018. From there, it supplied the country with imported Western products and provided services that included deliveries and supplying the hotel and tourism sector.
It’s bad news for those who will lose their jobs and customers who had come to rely on Metro.
“It was doing well even in the first wave and second wave of COVID-19. Yet, after the coup, most of the imported meats like smoked duck and salmon were not available anymore and they offered big promotions,” said Shwe Yee, a 25-year-old Metro regular.
It joins foreign firms such as Auntie Anne’s, Little Sheep, and Taiwanese bubble chain Koi Thé who have closed shop or curtailed investment in the country as a result of the Feb. 1 coup.
One of the nation’s largest telecom providers, Telenor Group, pulled the plug and controversially sold its operations to a Lebanese firm with ties to the ruling junta.
Metro said it would provide assistance to its staff during the transition period. Yangon foodies and restaurant owners will have to find another way to get their seafood or meats once it’s departed.
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