Incoming ruling party National League for Democracy’s (NLD) almost clean sweep of Myanmar’s parliamentary polls has taken the country by storm.
Led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD secured more than 80 per cent of valid votes, giving it the mandate to form the new government and elect the next president. The resounding success has infused many Myanmar citizens with renewed optimism for a more promising future.

Twenty-five-year-old Htet Myet Oo moved out of Myanmar with his parents when he was four years old. Having lived in the UK for 18 years, he has decided to return to Yangon to set up his own restaurant.

He believes the change in government will attract more people like him to head back.

“I think this will stoke up a lot of fires for a lot of people living abroad, people who have always wanted to come back, which the majority of people from Myanmar always have,” said Htet Myet Oo, who is the managing director of the Rangoon Tea House.

“I think it’s very exciting. You look at people like my parents who have waited a very long time, they’ve waited 20 years to move back. You’ll have this little window in the next one year, year and a half where you’re going to see a sudden influx of people,” he added.

Htet Myet Oo said he would advise many people his age, be it young professionals or those who have just left university, to return to Myanmar.

“This is somewhere, where for now maybe you won’t make as much money as you do abroad, but the amount you can give back to society, the amount you can make a difference here is huge,” he said.

For Myanmar’s business community, they are more than eager at the thought of having more skilled workers return to contribute to the economy. International companies, from telecommunications to banking, have already set up shop in Myanmar.

Many believe the new administration will initiate changes that will attract a tide of investments from overseas.

“They feel like more opportunities will come because the last time, as everybody knows, we (were) still sanctioned by the US and Europe,” said Htun Htun Naing, CEC member of the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs Association and managing director of Blue Ocean Operating Management.

“So (when the) NLD becomes the government, more foreign investment will come and (we will have) a lot of job opportunities created in Myanmar. So they will need a lot of local people.”

Many citizens around the world are still toying with the idea of relocating to Myanmar for good.

According to some local business owners, some Myanmar citizens who came back to vote have also sussed out potential economic opportunities. But citizens have been advised against making a hasty decision. As Myanmar goes through its transitional phase, they have been advised to wait a year before making a firm commitment.