Saturday, 19 January 2013

Deloitte announces Burma venture

London-based Deloitte, the largest of the “Big Four” professional services firms—ahead of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG—has announced that it too will venture into the Burmese financial market.

The firm’s announcement on Thursday follows hot on the heels of rival KPMG which launched its entry late last year into Burma, officially known as Myanmar.

Rice husks to create electric power in Japanese scheme

Japan has given US $1.5 million towards the research of converting rice husk gas into electricity in a deal signed last week.

Chairman Tin Win of the Myanmar Rice Millers’ Association said that Japan Biofuel Co., Myanmar Biotech Co., and the Tokyo Electric Power Company will work together on the project.

Chances high of Japanese investment in Dawei: minister

Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt expressed confidence yesterday that Japan was highly likely to invest in Myanmar's Dawei Port project, and expected the project's shareholding structure and other details would be finalised in March.  
After attending a workshop titled "Dawei Project's Role with Thailand's Competitive Advantages" yesterday, Chadchart said Japan had expressed interest in a joint investment in the Dawei deep-sea port and industrial estate since early this year, adding that a detailed investment plan is under review.

New border-trade system reveals import influx

Almost two months after the Border Trade Department began issuing Individual Trade Cards (ITC) to merchants at three key border towns; the department has released official data showing that imports at these sites are 10 times higher than exports.

Combined trade by registered merchants at the three towns totaled nearly US$130,000, with imports comprising the lion’s share: $117,647.

Thai prawns, sugar and spice slipping through border, official says

Despite import bans on sugar, dried chili, eggs, chicken and prawns they are still entering the country illegally from Thailand at the Myawady border trade point, an official at the site said.

The Border Trade Department began issuing Individual Trading Cards (ITC) to merchants at the border town on December 1 to curb illegal border trade and protect consumers.

Myanmar aims to improve lives, modernise with new reforms

(Reuters) - Myanmar's government will unveil a slew of new reforms to donor countries and international organisations this weekend, aiming to consolidate achievements since the end of military rule in 2011 but also quickly improve the lives of its citizens.
In opening remarks to donors on Saturday, President Thein Sein said the government wanted "a modern, industrialised country" but also stressed the need to develop the agricultural sector and narrow development gaps between the regions.

New Light of Myanmar (19 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

The Mirror Daily (19 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (19 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Golden Myanmar takes off

YANGON, 18 January 2013: A new low-cost carrier Golden Myanmar Airlines commenced its first scheduled service yesterday on the Yangon-Mandalay route.

The airline flew the Yangon-Mandalay-Yangon route first on 11 January to comply with conditions to obtain a final air operators’ certificate (AOC).

Japan 'very interested' in Dawei Port project

Japan sought to strengthen its strategic partnership with Thailand yesterday by expressing an interest in taking part in the project to develop Dawei Port in Myanmar and other infrastructure development projects in Thailand.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Thailand for an official visit, yesterday held discussions on these and a range of other issues with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Low-cost housing projects ‘too pricey’

Two low-cost housing projects proposed for Yangon may be too expensive for the people they are intended for as the 17,000 units will cost about 20 million kyats (about US$24,000) apiece, critics of the projects and Yangon residents say.

Government officials, however, continue to tout their merits. “The projects will have no land cost as they will be constructed on 200 acres of state-owned land,” the deputy director of the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development said.

Myanmar requests IMF monitored prgm: IMF documents

WASHINGTON - Myanmar has requested a one-year IMF-monitored programme to help it pursue economic reforms and clear its debt arrears, according to IMF documents published on Thursday.

The IMF said the country asked for the staff-monitored programme in December to help "achieve sustainable and equitable growth, reintegrate Myanmar with the global economy and reduce poverty."

EFG Raises Over 1 Million Francs From Myanmar-Tied Certificates

EFG Financial Products AG, the Zurich-based structured products distributor, has raised more than 1 million Swiss francs ($1.1 million) selling certificates linked to a gauge of companies with business tied to Myanmar.

Myanmar invites bids for 18 onshore oil blocks

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Myanmar's Ministry of Energy has invited sealed bids for oil exploration licences at 18 onshore blocks in various parts of the country, state media and officials said on Friday, in a step designed to draw investment into the poverty-stricken nation.

New Light of Myanmar (18 Jan 2013 - Friday)

The Mirror Daily (18 Jan 2013 - Friday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (18 Jan 2013 - Friday)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sergei Lavrov: End Myanmar sanctions

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Economic sanctions are no longer needed against Myanmar, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

Lavrov met with Wunna Maung Lwin, his Myanmar counterpart, in Naypyitaw, the new capital of the country formerly known as Burma, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Responsible business can help Burma's democratic transition

Burma is once again opening up for business and a new guide and business-led corporate coalitions could pave way for international standards and good practice.

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, British foreign secretary William Hague, US secretary of state Hilary Clinton and most recently American president Barack Obama have all visited Burma in recent months.

Marrybrown expands in Myanmar

Local fast food franchise Marrybrown Sdn Bhd plans to open 20 restaurants in Myanmar in the next five years.

Group managing director Nancy Liew said an agreement has been signed with a local company that has been appointed as a master franchisee in Myanmar.

Myanmar announces second bidding round for oil, gas blocks

The Ministry of Energy has announced the second bidding round for onshore oil and gas blocks.

The announcement, printed by state-run media on January 17, said that bids would be accepted for 18 onshore blocks. Bids must be delivered no later than March 17 to the director general of the Energy Planning Department in Nay Pyi Taw.

Experts study power project for Ayeyawady

Experts from Belgium are reviewing research conducted by government experts on the feasibility of generating power by constructing sluice gates on the Ayeyawady River to begin generating power in 2015, Tun Lwin Oo, director general of Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems, said earlier this week.
The statement follows an announcement last month in the capital that consultants from the Belgian firm SBE Co. Ltd. would begin studying the feasibility of the project at a site along the river near Yandapo village in Mandalay Region.

New Light of Myanmar (17 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

The Mirror Daily (17 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (17 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

Myanmar targets foreign appetite for green produce

An Inle organisation will grow fruit and vegetables with reduced use of chemicals, mainly for foreign consumers.

ISDA – the Inle Special Development Association – will grow the produce in 65 floating garden beds on the east side of the lake, starting in February.

The US$24,000 (K20 million) project is being funded by the Norwegian government, and Israeli technicians will provide advice.

Singapore's Sphere Conferences finds second Myanmar partner

Singapore-based Sphere Conferences will jointly organise a series of industry-specific investment conferences with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), following the signing of a cooperation agreement on January 11.

The events include a Myanmar Urban Development Conference and a Myanmar Banking and Finance Conference in May, and a Myanmar Logistics and Supply Chain Conference in September.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Thai oil company to work Burmese rigs

PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) will be allowed to work on offshore projects in the Tenasserim region following a meeting with the Union of Myanmar Investment Commission last week.

“PTTEP was granted permission to work on two offshore blocks, MD-7 and MD-8,” said a spokesperson after the second meeting held by the Commission this year.

Singapore investors build hopes of entering Burma’s construction market

Several Singaporean companies have indicated an interest in investing in the high-end construction business and other industries in Burma, a notable advancement from previous Singapore firms which chose mostly to steer toward the construction of hotels.
That was the message conveyed when a group of the island state’s business representatives led by Wilmar Investment Holding Pte Vice- Chairman George Yeo met Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) Chairperson Soe Thein on January 11.

China Unicom to invest $40million in new Internet cable

Mizzima has learned of a deal that will see US $40 million invested in a fiber optic cable that will help to improve Burma's Internet connection. The agreement was signed at the end of 2012 between Burma’s Ministry of Communications and China Unicom.

“The current SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable will be upgraded and connected with the SEA-ME-WE-5 submarine cable system," said Htay Win, the chief engineer at Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications Enterprise.

Singapore group to organise conference to aid JVs in Myanmar

Singapore's Centre for Management Technology will soon hold its 10th conference in Yangon since March with the focus on boosting joint ventures under Myanmar's newly revised Foreign Investment Law.  
From January 28-29, the New Myanmar Investment Summit 2013 will unravel the complexities of the new law as well as profit-repatriation mechanisms, land leasing and technical-staff availability.

Myanmar telecoms: boom times ahead?

Myanmar’s government on Tuesday took its first big step towards promised liberalisation of the country’s long closed telecommunications market, with a surprise announcement inviting foreign tenders for two national telecoms service licenses.

This is the first big public tender open to international companies under a relatively new reformist government. But it is also the first big test of the government’s resolve – and ability – to conduct a fair bidding process by international standards. The result could significantly affect foreign investor sentiment towards Myanmar which, despite the gushing rhetoric at investment conferences around the world, has yet to earn investor trust and attract big money.

1m tourists visit Myanmar

YANGON - A record one million foreign visitors surged into Myanmar last year, official figures showed Tuesday, as dramatic reforms lured travellers to the long-isolated nation as it opens to the world.

The Tourism Ministry reported an almost 30% rise in arrivals in 2012 to 1,060,000, from around 800,000 the year before, as tourists and business travellers flocked in.

New Light of Myanmar (16 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

The Mirror Daily (16 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (16 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Media Release On Myanmar Series Event 2013

A press conference was held in Yangon, 11 January 2013, between Sphere Conferences and the Republic of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry (UMFCCI)

Private business sector in Myanmar taking the leading role in the country’s development of urban development, banking and finance, as well as logistics and supply chain sectors 

Four Int’l Business Conferences Planned in Rangoon

RANGOON—A Singaporean company signed an agreement with Burma’s national chamber of commerce to organize four conferences this year on tourism, real estate, banking and finance, and transport. The events will offer local and international businessmen the chance to meet key Burmese government officials and international business executives active in these sectors.

MPC announces $58 million investment plan

Myeik Public Corporation has announced plans for seven construction projects, including an economic zone, near the border with Thailand in the southern region of Taninthayi, MPC director Myo Aung told Eleven Media.

The 350-hectare Maunttaung Region Economic Zone in Taninthayi Division’s Myeik District will be the most ambitious of the projects, which combined will cost 50 billion kyats (about US$58 million) to build, Myo Aung said.

Myanmar's marine export earns over 470 mln USD in 9 months

YANGON, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's marine export reached 477. 23 million U.S.dollars in the first nine months (April-December) of the fiscal year 2012-13, local media reported Monday.
Of the total export, 281.221 million dollars were fetched from normal trade and 196.007 million dollars from border trade, said the Weekly Eleven News.

Myanmar to award 2 nationwide telco services licences in H1, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The Myanmar government has invited companies to submit bids for two nationwide telecommunications service licences, which will be issued by the first half of 2013.

Its government said on Tuesday the issuance of the licences was part of its policy framework to develop its telecommunications and ICT industry by facilitating competition of local and international operators in the sector.

New Light of Myanmar (15 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

The Mirror Daily (15 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (15 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

Monday, 14 January 2013

HTC seeks Myanmar edge with local font phones

(Reuters) - Peter Chou, CEO of Taiwan smartphone company HTC Corp, will on Monday launch what he hopes will be a major boost to both a backward tech sector in Myanmar, his country of birth, and to his company's share of one of the few untapped mobile markets: a phone that locals can use out of the box.

Taiwan's HTC tests Myanmar smartphone market

Taiwan's HTC Corp. is taking its smartphones to Myanmar, joining an expanding list of foreign companies seeking a foothold in one of Asia's last investment frontiers.

HTC is looking to tap new markets in the face of heavy competition from rival handset makers Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc. and low-cost Chinese manufacturers ZTE Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Its foray into Myanmar could help drive the company's growth in the medium term. Companies like Coca-Cola Co., MasterCard Inc., and General Electric Co. have already expressed interest in the country as it continues to open up its economy.

High-powered committee to boost SMEs formed

The Small Medium Enterprises Development Central and Work Committee has been formed to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to the Presidential Office.

As SMEs are facing a hard landing in this economy, the government has set up the committee to give them a boost.

Marine product exporters to form public company

Encountering low supply of marine products from the seas, members of Myanmar Fisheries Products Processor and Exporters Association (MFPPEA) are discussing to establish a public company as a bid to extend their farming.

Han Tun, vice chairperson of Myanmar Fisheries Federation, said, “MFPPEA is thinking to form a public  company where attempts will be made to process marine products in the best ways gaining international export quality.”

Tun Foundation Bank to expand branches

Tun Foundation Bank, a private bank, is planning to open 25 more branches around the country this year, bank chairman Thein Tun said last week.

Dawei could give Thai economy a lift when it starts: group

Bangkok needs project more than Myanmar, analysts say

The Dawei mega industrial project in Myanmar could boost Thailand's economy by 1.9 per cent and upgrade it from labour-intensive to value-added, according to the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia.

Crab exports set to exceed FY target

Crab exports are on track to exceed their target of US$38 million for this fiscal year, April 2012 to March 2013, with more than $30 worth of crab exported in the first three quarters, according to Myanmar Crab Producers Association.

Some industrial zone land prices among highest in the world

The government will not control some industrial zone land prices despite their rising to the highest in the world, Deputy Minister Hset Aung of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development said.
He was speaking at a workshop on the Thilawa Special Economic Zone held on January 9.

Government counts on big loans from China, India and Japan

The government is planning to borrow slightly more than US$900 million during the next fiscal year to fund infrastructure construction projects, including two dams and a new highway connecting the capital to Mandalay, according to a draft plan for national investment.
Most of the $900.39 in planned loans will be borrowed from China, Japan and India, with China pegged to lend the lion’s share, according to the document obtained by Eleven Media Group. China is expected to lend more than $527 million to the Union government for infrastructure construction in the fiscal year beginning April 1.

3G SIMs out this month in Myanmar

While Myanma Post and Telecommunications has confirmed that a reduced-price 3G SIM card will be available for sale this month, officials have reported mixed launch dates and prices.

U Htay Win, chief engineer for MPT’s mobile department, said the price of the new SIMs will be set at K150,000. MPT will sell the new SIMs at this cheaper-than-ever price in the middle of January, he told The Myanmar Times.

First domestic GMA flights scheduled

New low-cost carrier Golden Myanmar Airlines is expected to begin flights between Yangon and Mandalay this week following a recent test flight, an official said.

The airline flew the Yangon-Mandalay-Yangon route on January 11 to get its air operator certificate (AOC) and expects to conduct its first flight for paying passengers on January 17, said U Win Kyaw Moe, the airline’s assistant general manager.

Japanese ODA to fund Myanmar’s infrastructure

The Japanese government will lend official development assistance (ODA) to Myanmar, implement a plan to cancel national debt and help complete the Thilawa special economic zone, Japanese officials announced in Yangon last week.

On January 3, Japan’s former prime minister and recently appointed finance minister, Taro Aso, met with President U Thein Sein and senior government officials in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss bilateral economic relations.

Multinationals aim for sweet success in Myanmar

Multinational confectionary companies are looking to satisfy Myanmar’s sweet tooth as retail growth rates in developing countries are forecast to greatly outpace developed markets.

The Dutch-Italian merger Perfetti Van Melle announced on November 20 that it would enter Myanmar with the help of market expansion services group DKSH.

Myanmar bank gets China UnionPay

China UnionPay card holders can withdraw cash from Co-operative Bank ATMs in Myanmar following the launch of the new service on January 1.

UnionPay card holders are able to access their accounts on 50 ATMs in eight major cities throughout the country, including Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Mawlamyine, Bago, Taungoo, Pyinmana and Pyin Oo Lwin, U Pe Myint, managing director of CB, told The Myanmar Times on January 10.

Western Union expands network in Myanmar

Seven domestic banks cemented ties with leading global money transfer service Western Union on January 12 during a launch at Parkroyal Hotel in Yangon.

Myanmar nationals and permanent residents will be able to receive cash from 200 countries and territories within minutes for the first time, following the easing of sanctions last year, Western Union said in a press release.

Myanmar signs off on new industrial park

The Mandalay Industry Development Authority, appointed by the Mandalay Regional Government, and the Royal Hi-Tech Group Company signed a contract to build the Mandalay-Myotha Industry Park project on January 9.

Coca-Cola denies done deal on Myanmar plants

Beverage giant Coca-Cola is moving closer to establishing bottling facilities in Myanmar but said reports the company had been given approval to set up factories were premature.

Myanmar-language news journal The Yangon Times reported on January 7 that Coca-Cola had been given the green light on December 28 by the Myanmar Investment Commission to set up four bottling plants in Myanmar.

US senator pushes Myanmar's oil and gas sector with Thein Sein

United States oil and gas companies are ready to begin making investments in Myanmar, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe declared last week following a meeting with President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw.

Senator Inhofe, a ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, met the president on January 9.

The Myanmar Times (Jan 7 - 13 2013)

New Light of Myanmar (14 Jan 2013 - Monday)

The Mirror Daily (14 Jan 2013 - Monday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (14 Jan 2013 - Monday)

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Myanmar puts emphasis on development of SMEs

YANGON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar government is putting emphasis on development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and has recently formed a central committee for further development of the SMEs, pivotal for national economic development and promotion of social-economic status of people.

The 27-member Central Committee for SME Development is chaired by President U Thein Sein with two vice presidents Dr. Sa Mauk Kham and U Nyan Tun being the vice chairman.The committee also has 20 ministers as members.

PRICE WATCH Myanmar Property Hits The Roof

Investors are closely looking at property prices in Myanmar with a mix of interest and amazement.

Too far, too fast is often expressed in a market which has seen office rentals in Yangon skyrocket to over USD150 per square meter, or nearly tripling in a year.

President sees possible increment of govt employees’ salaries

President Thein Sein said the salaries of civil employees are possible to increase gradually in 2013-2014 fiscal years.
In his 2013 New Year message to the parliament on 1 January, Thein Sein said his administration will develop better management.

Japan to loan Myanmar for infrastructures around Thilawa SEZ

Japan will provide loan if Myanmar wants to establish necessary infrastructures outside Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Set Aung, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development said.
Acting as the chairman of the Management Committee of the Thilawa SEZ, he discussed the issue at the workshop between the two countries at the headquarters of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries on January 9.

MPT invites telecommunication services tender

Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication will invite tender to local and overseas companies for telecommunication services providers in the third week of January.
MPT assigned RB Consultancy Company from Ireland to consult for the tender. The company and the tender scrutinizing committee under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology signed a contract in Nay Pyi Taw on January 8, 2013 to invite tender for the communication sector.

$150,000 remitted to Myanmar via Western Union

The US$150,000 has been transferred to Myanmar through Western Union's international money transfer service, according to Co-operative Bank.
Pe Myint, managing director of CB Bank said that 145 people have used the money transfer service since it was launched last month.

First private official exchange counter opened in Myawaddy

First private exchange counter, Today Top Star Exchange Counter is opened in Myawaddy near the Friendship Bridge at Myanmar-Thailand border in 9, January, according to sources.
Myawaddy trade market, money market and retail and whole sales centers are being depended on illegal small scales exchange counters to do business, and the new exchange counter is the first and official.

New Light of Myanmar (13 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (13 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (13 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Myanmar to upgrade old industrial zones

The Myanmar government will be prioritising the development of existing industrial zones before building new ones.

“If it becomes necessary for us to establish new industrial zones when foreign investments arrive, we'll establish new zones in areas like Mingalardon and Htaukkyant," said Aye Aye Myint, the deputy director of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

Myanmar: A place lost in time

BAGAN, Myanmar — The rising sun streaked a light blanket of fog with pink and yellow. Suddenly, pagodas popped out from the mist, some grand and intricate, others squat and modest, some crumbling, others glinting with gold — a carousel of Buddhist temples amid fields of sesame, tamarind and scrub.

If not for a monolithic red brick silo in the middle of this scene, you could almost imagine yourself in the 11th century, when the ancient city of Bagan was home to the first kingdom of Burma.

New Light of Myanmar (12 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

The Mirror Daily (12 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

Myanmar govt to work with parliament in reform: president

Myanmar President U Thein Sein has sent a new year message to the ongoing session of the parliament in Nay Pyi Taw, saying that his government will work in consultation with the parliament regularly in undertaking political, economic and social reforms.

In his message published Friday, U Thein Sein voiced recognition of the important role played by the parliament in the process.

Myanma Alinn Daily (12 Jan 2013 - Saturday)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Senator: U.S. energy ready for Myanmar

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told Myanmar President Thein Sein that U.S. oil and natural gas companies were ready to invest in the country's economy.

Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he met with Thein Sein to discuss investment opportunities.

Tiger Balm going back to Myanmar

Famed for its soothing menthol smell and muscle pain-relieving properties, Tiger Balm is sold in more than 100 countries – but now the leaping tiger, based in Singapore for nearly a century, is returning to the country where it was invented.

Tiger Balm was created by the Aw brothers in what was Burma in the late 19th century. The Chinese businessmen made their fortune by selling the ointment from a shop in Rangoon (Yangon), before moving the business to Singapore in 1926.

Japan's reset with Myanmar By PAVIN CHACHAVALPONGPUN

KYOTO — Japan has embarked on adjusting its foreign policy following the electoral victory of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which brought Shinzo Abe back to the premiership for the second time.

After the Cabinet was formed on Dec. 26, Abe sent his deputy, Taro Aso, a former prime minister now in charge of the finance ministry, to Myanmar.

New Light of Myanmar (11 Jan 2013 - Firday)

The Mirror Daily (11 Jan 2013 - Friday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (11 Jan 2013 - Friday)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Myanmar govt to buy rice for state reserve

The National Rice Reserves Supervisory Committee of Myanmar will buy rice for state reserve in January.
According to an announcement by the committee, the export-quality Emahta rice [25 per cent broking] has been named to stock pile on tender basis in Yangon region.
Having invited rice traders to submit their tenders before January 10, the committee has set certain terms and conditions in its announcement.

Japanese agency plays middleman for Central Bank of Myanmar

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) plays a middleman to seek Japanese companies to work with the Central Bank of Myanmar, deputy director Aung Kyaw Than of the bank said.
To develop Myanmar banking system, JICA is assisting the Central Bank of Myanmar to create a cloud computing system [a system where data is stored and offered over a network].

KPMG aims to develop Burmese banking

The first wave of international investment will focus on infrastructure projects and developing Burma’s banking system, which has long remained off-limits to foreign investors, says KPMG Global Chairman Michael Andrew.

Speaking to Mizzima’s sister publication MZINE+ on the sidelines of KPMG’s official opening reception in Rangoon recently, the senior executive spoke about his firm’s vision for Burma.

Second Embraer-190 debuts for Myanmar Airways

A second Embraer-190 aircraft leased from GE Capital Aviation Services to Myanmar Airways will make its debut flight for the airline, flying Rangoon-Mandalay-Rangoon, on January 11.

“Myanmar Airways has leased a new Embraer-190 aircraft,” the company’s general manager Than Htut told Mizzima. “The first leased airplane arrived in Burma on December 12 [2012] and the second one arrived on January 6 [2013].

Burmese mining federation wants to tap into ASEAN

A Myanmar Federation of Mining will be founded on January 15 in a bid to qualify for the ASEAN Federation of Mining Association.

“Mining enterprises, mining refineries, traders, companies related to mining businesses, and expert associations will be involved in this federation,” said committee member Soe Moe.

KBank spreads ASEAN wings further with rep office in Myanmar

Kasikornbank yesterday opened a representative office in Myanmar as part of a plan to become an Asian bank by making its presence felt in all 10 Asean countries.

KBank senior executive vice president Somkiat Sirichatchai said the Yangon office would enable the bank to get to know the people and the market before expanding the operation into a branch.

SET helps Myanmar establish stock exchange

The Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Central Bank of Myanmar have signed the memorandum, whereby the Thai exchange will support the establishment of the Myanmar Stock Exchange.  
Under the MoU, both would also promote investment in the capital market. This is the second MoU, after the one with Laos.

NESDB puts Dawei project investment cost at Bt350 billion

The combined Dawei deep-sea port and industrial-estate project will require an investment of Bt350 billion, according to an estimate by the National Economic and Social Development Board.

This is far higher than the earlier estimate of Bt200 billion from Italian-Thai Development, which has won the concession from the Myanmar authorities to develop the facilities.

Energy firms keen to feed Myanmar's power needs

Thai energy companies are hungry for investment opportunities in power-poor Myanmar.

Wandee Khunchornyakong, chairwoman of solar producer SPCG, said yesterday that Myanmar had only 2.5 gigawatts of capacity to serve more than 56 million people, while Thailand had 32GW for 67 million.

Energy demand has spiked after the isolated country opened up last year and foreign businesses began pouring in, she said.

Myanmar, US to cooperate in wide range of sectors

Myanmar and the United States will cooperate in a wide range of sectors as their bilateral relations improved, official media reported Thursday.

It was touched upon when Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with visiting US Senator James Mountain Inhofe in Nay Pyi Taw Wednesday, said the New Light of Myanmar.

New Light of Myanmar (10 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

The Mirror Daily (10 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (10 Jan 2013 - Thursday)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Myanmar's parliament begins 6th session in Nay Pyi Taw

Myanmar's parliament began its 6th sessions in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday, more than one month after the end of the 5th session of the two houses.

In his opening address to the Lower House session, attended by 397 MPs out of 429, Speaker of the House of Representatives USwe Mann called for joint efforts in implementing the rule of law and peace.

He tasked the parliament members with responsibility to help settle difficulties and challenges the country is faced with.

PG wings to Mandalay

BANGKOK, 8  January 2013: Bangkok Airways will launch flights to Mandalay,  the  second largest city in Myanmar  by late September.

Scheduled for launch, 26 September, Bangkok Airways will offer four flights a week using an Airbus A319. The flight will depart Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1200 and return from Mandalay at 1410. Flight time is one hour and 50 minutes.

Govt Plans to Open Gem Industry Hub

RANGOON—The Burmese government plans to establish a jade and gemstone center in the capital Naypyidaw, where it hopes traders and investors will open stores and processing industries for the precious stones, a government official said on Monday.

Thein Swe, managing director of Myanmar Gems Enterprise of the Ministry of Mines, said it would invite businessmen to settle at the planned “Jade stores, Jade Industry and Gem Market” in order to create a business hub for Burma’s gem industry in Naypyidaw.

Debts Pressure Rice Farmers to Sell at Low Prices

RANGOON — Farmers in Pegu Division and parts of the Irrawaddy Delta are being forced to sell their rice crops at low prices to pay off high-interest loans incurred as a result of flooding during last year’s growing season, according to sources in the area known as Burma’s rice bowl.

Burma beefs up cattle inspections

Beginning this month, veterinary experts will routinely inspect cattle at ranches across Burma to ensure their meat is disease-free and meets standards for export.

“The cattle must be bred systematically,” said Dr. Aung Gyi, the deputy director of the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department. “Health checks on the cattle must be performed.”

Burmese public company to run Thilawa industrial zone

A public company needs to be formed to run the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, said the National Planning and Economic Development Deputy Minister Set Aung.

“We aim to form a public company so that any Burmese citizen can invest in Thilawa and to avoid a situation where a monopoly can occur,” said Set Aung. “We will limit the number of shares that a person or a company can buy.”

Thai-Burmese border trade up 25%

Cross-border trading—which accounts for 85% of Burma-Thailand total bilateral trade—increased by 25% last year, according to an official from the Burmese Ministry of Commerce.

“In 2011, Thai-Myanmar bilateral trade stood at US $6.1 billion,” he said. “Some 85% of that is cross-border trade.”

Go to Myanmar, HK firms by Thomas Chan

It may not be such a wild idea for Hong Kong to set up an offshore industrial park in a promising and favorable neighboring country. With the increase of production costs and the scarcity of land and labor in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, it should be the time for Hong Kong, its government, trade associations and firms, to consider building new offshore industrial parks to replace the old and declining ones in the neighboring cities in Guangdong.

Mudajaya ventures into power plants business in Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: Mudajaya Group Bhd is making its foray into the independent power business in Myanmar. Mudajaya said on Wednesday its unit had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Mandalay and IJM Corp Bhd co-founder Datuk Koon Yew Yin for the proposed IPPs.

Myanmar sets up anti-graft panel

YANGON - Myanmar President Thein Sein set up his country's first anti-corruption committee to promote "clean government," state media reported Wednesday.
"As part of efforts for the emergence of good governance and clean government after the new government took office, an action committee against corruption is formed to fight the corruption and bribery in governmental organizations," The New Light of Myanmar quoted a statement by the president's office as saying.

Vietnamese developer turns his eye to Yangon

While the real estate market in Vietnam is in a dismal state, the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group has announced an investment in a US$300 million "mega-complex" building in Yangon this year. The group said it expected to reap large profits from the project within five years, the group's director Doan Nguyen Duc was quoted as saying on the online site VNExpress.  

Myanmar establishes anti-corruption committee

Yangon - Myanmar President Thein Sein set up his country's first anti-corruption committee to promote "clean government," state media reported Wednesday.  

Eel exports to China highest in 7 years

Eel export to China from 2011 to 2012 posted the highest in seven years, according to a news release from the Myanmar Eel Entrepreneurs Association.
"The eel exports in 2012 were higher than the imposed target. Most of the eels have been exported to China via the border gates such as Muse, Chin Shwe Haw," said Ba Thaw, chairman of the association.

Foreign companies to invest in waste to energy project

About 60 foreign companies are interested in investing in a waste to energy project in Yangon.
The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) said most of the companies are from Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Republic of Korea.

Foreign businessmen set to attend Yangon trade fair

Myanmar is set to hold another trade fair this month, this time gathering business delegations from more than 17 countries.
The International Trade Fair 2013 will be held from January 16-18 at the Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall in Yangon.

Myanmar to host investment conference in February

Yangon will host a conference focusing on the trade and investment relations between the US and Myanmar on February 25, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) said in a statement.
Among those expected to attend are members of the Washington-based American Trade Association and the representatives from famous US companies such as Asia Global Xpress, Cargill, Chevron, eBay, EMC Corporation, ConocoPhilips, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Myanmar to hold investment summit

Myanmar Investment Summit 2013 will be held at Sedona Hotel, Yangon from January 28 to 29, according to the Republic of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
The two-day summit, organised by the Centre of Management, will mainly discuss Myanmar’s new Foreign Investment Law that was enacted in November.

Myanmar market filled with illegal shrimp imports

Illegal prawn imports enter Myanmar market every day due to the decline of local production, according to a report by Myanmar Shrimp Association.
In 2012, there are 15 public shrimp hatcheries in freshwater shrimp production sector producing 150 million of shrimp larvae, but the local production could not meet domestic demand and the freshwater shrimp from overseas enter Myanmar market illegally through many ways, according to the report.

New Light of Myanmar (9 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

The Mirror Daily (9 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (9 Jan 2013 - Wednesday)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Light of Myanmar (8 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

The Mirror Daily (8 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (8 Jan 2013 - Tuesday)

Japan's brewery company may enter Myanmar's beer market

Kirin Holdings Co., Japan-based brewer, is considering entering the beer market in Myanmar, initially aiming to sell its main Ichiban Shibori brand beer there, it has been learned.
With Myanmar's economy growing with its democratisation, beer consumption is also expected to expand. Kirin sees Myanmar as a priority market, according to sources.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Burma’s Banks Prepare Phone Apps for Easy Money Transfers

Just more than a year after Burma installed its first ATM, local banks are preparing a new system that would allow people to transfer money through mobile phone applications.

Leading local banks are expected to launch the new mobile phone services early this year, a banking official said on Thursday.

The Myanmar Times (31 Dec 2012 - 6 Jan 2013)

New Light of Myanmar (7 Jan 2013 - Monday)

The Mirror Daily (7 Jan 2013 - Monday)

Myanmar HTC phones to go on sale

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC will begin shipping handsets equipped with a Myanmar-language operating system later this month, a source in the industry said.

The phones will be available from showrooms in Mandalay and Yangon from the third week of January, said U Tun Myint, owner of Min Computer, which produced the San Myanmar font used in the operating system software, known as Myanmar OS. Min Computer will also partner with HTC to sell the phones in Mandalay.

Myanma Alinn Daily (7 Jan 2012 - Monday)

Government awaits permission to import gas turbines, engines

Myanmar government has postponed its plan to import gas turbines and gas engines from five foreign countries, still waiting for permission from Myanmar Investment Commission and concerned ministries, an official from Yangon Electricity Supply Board (YESB) said.

The imported machines from Spain, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia will be used in handling power rationing issues in the upcoming summer and placed at the factories in Hlawg, Ywama, Thakayta, and Ahlon in Yangon Region.

Ministries to review foreign investment bylaws

Parliament has asked ministries to review the draft bylaws for the Foreign Investment Act before passing legislation, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) said.

The draft has been sent for review to the 22 ministries including the Attorney General Office and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry since January 2.

Myanmar to host trade conference with US

The Republic of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry will organize the ‘US-Myanmar Trade and Investment Relations: The Path Forward’ on February 25, according to the statement of RUMFCCI.

The event will be held on February 25  and will be attended by the members of Washington D.C. based The United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC), and representatives from some well-known business companies such as Asia Global Xpress, Cargill, Chevron, eBay, EMC, Conocophilips, Gibson Dunn & Crutcherlip and Honeywell.

Myanmar bank not the problem, says Visa

Following reports of customer complaints over faulty Visa card transactions at ATMs from Co-operative Bank, Visa Inc told The Myanmar Times that the blame lay not with Visa or CB but instead with the cardholders and issuing banks.

“Most of the issues with transaction declines were done by the issuing banks for reasons such as ‘insufficient funds,’ ‘incorrect PIN’ or simply ‘do not honour’,” Erin Steinhauer, Visa’s head of corporate relations for Southeast Asia, said on January 4.

BTMU bolsters Japanese enterprises in Myanmar with CB deal

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Japan’s largest bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with domestic Co-Operative Bank amid widespread interest for investment in Myanmar, according to BTMU’s president.

BTMU is aiming to support Japanese companies soon to enter Myanmar and act as a technical adviser to CB Bank, announced BTMU president Nobuyuki Hirano during a signing ceremony held at the Sedona Hotel in Yangon on December 27.

Myanmar study aims for sugar output

The Myanmar Sugarcane Dealers Association is planning soon to study sugarcane plantations and sugar production in Thailand, an official from the association said last week.

“[The study] will probably be during the end of January. Our plans were submitted to the ministry concerned. The study group will have more than 30 members. Officials from sugar mills, farmers and members of small, medium and large industries will be included in the group,” U Soe Lin, chairman of the Myanmar Sugarcane Dealers Association told The Myanmar Times.

The Myanmar Times sits down with Maybank’s John Wong

John Wong currently holds the position of managing director, head of transaction banking, global wholesale banking at Malaysia’s Maybank. Mr Wong is responsible for both the domestic as well as regional transaction banking business, with a strong focus on ASEAN and Greater China. He oversees cash management, trade finance, financial institutions, custody services, trustees and factoring solutions.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Coca-Cola to set up factory in Myanmar

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) on December 28 gave Coca-Cola Company permission to construct a factory in the country.

The American multinational beverage corporation will operate its business under the registered name Cola Pinya Beverages Myanmar Ltd as a joint venture with the local Pinya Manufacturing Co Ltd.

New Light of Myanmar (6 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (6 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (6 Jan 2013 - Sunday)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Myanmar trip launches Abe drive

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso's trip to Myanmar marked the start of an economic diplomacy drive by the newly inaugurated administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"Myanmar was chosen for the first overseas trip by a member of the Abe Cabinet," Aso, who concurrently serves as finance minister, told a news conference after meeting with President Thein Sein, stressing the emerging economy's importance to Japan.

Myanmar exports over 1 mln tons of rice in first nine months of FY 2012-13

YANGON, Jan.5 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar exported 1.01 million tons of rice and rice products in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2012-13, official daily New Light of Myanmar reported Saturday.

The record will be put on exceeding that of 1995-96 and 2001- 2002 fiscal years if the export of rice continues in remaining three months (Jan-March) of the fiscal year 2012-13, and it will be the largest volume of rice export in 46 years, according to Commerce Minister U Win Myint at the meeting to purchase reserve rice and rice market development in Nay Pyi Taw.

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