Wednesday, 27 February 2013

New Light of Myanmar (27 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanmar: Making the Reforms Count

Myanmar is rapidly emerging from half a century of isolation. Over the last two years, the government has made great strides in political and economic reforms and in improving its diplomatic relationship with the international community. Despite these changes, Myanmar faces many challenges in sustaining the momentum of reform and transformation. In addition, the international community has not developed a strategy for working together to assist the country's progress.

Malaysians invest RM6b in O&G, hospitality sectors in Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: Myanmar is rife with business opportunities in the resource and non resource-based industries as well as domestic markets, according to speakers at seminar here.

China, Singapore, Malaysia: largest importers of Myanmar rubber

China, Singapore and Malaysia are the largest importers of Myanmar’s rubber, according to rubber exporters in Myanmar.

“Other countries that are importing Myanmar’s rubber include Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, India and Thailand,” said Khine Myint, the secretary of Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association.

Meralco mulls Myanmar, Thailand ventures

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has identified more countries in the ASEAN region for possible investments.

Meralco Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said they are looking to put up power plants in Myanmar and Thailand, “but nothing specific, definite at this stage.”

The Mirror Daily (27 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Ford picks well-connected tycoon as representative in Myanmar

Capital Automotive Ltd., a unit of tycoon Ko Ko Gyi’s growing empire, has been chosen as the representative for Ford Motor Company in Myanmar and it will open the first Ford showroom here at Yangon in April, its director Khin Tun said.

Myanma Alinn Daily (27 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Telecom startup sends another price-cutting signal

The company that tried but failed to break the state monopoly on SIM cards in Myanmar last year now plans to make cell phones here through a joint venture with an unnamed foreign partner, a spokesman for the company told Eleven Media.
Shwe Pyi Tagon Company also registered itself as a public company on January 8 and will start selling shares to the public at an undisclosed date in the future, spokesman Lwin Naing Oo said.

Crown Advance snaps up auto centre despite protest

Despite the ongoing protest at Hanthawady auto brokerage centre, the Yangon City Development Committee last week gave Crown Advance Construction approval to build a modern auto sale and service plaza on the 3.4 hectares of land in Kamayut township.

The YCDC and the construction company plan to build "Yangon Car Plaza", which will combine auto centres and high-standard public housing.

Central Bank paves the way for rapid branch expansion

The Central Bank is making it easier for banks to open more branches by allowing them to open branches in shopping malls and other rented spaces starting in April, a director of Asian Green Development Banks said.

New Light of Myanmar (26 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

Ministry calls for swifter hotel construction to cope with tourist surge in Yangon

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has told companies with hotels and serviced apartments under construction in Yangon to finish them before the end of this year to help offset the shortage of rooms for tourists, ministry director Hlaing Oo said.

“The ministry urged the companies to finish before the end of this year because tourist arrivals are increasing every year,” he said.

Commission told to rethink $900 million duty-free decision for tycoon, sources say

The finance ministry has asked the Myanmar Investment Commission to reconsider its decision to allow Myanmar Annawa Swan Arshin Group to import US$900 million worth of goods without having to pay import taxes, sources at the ministry and commission said.

The Mirror Daily (26 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

AGD Bank to sell shares within six months, chairman says

Asia Green Development Bank will begin selling shares to the public within six months, AGD chairman Than Yi said yesterday.

Myanmar’s beer and cigarette investment boom raises alarm

As Myanmar continues to open its domestic market to investors from around the globe, concerns are rising about the damage that will be caused by the flood of investment into the making and promotion of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

The government is shortchanging its people by encouraging investment in the making, distribution, sale and promotion of products that can kill, analysts say.

Myanma Alinn Daily (26 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanmar hit by severe hotel shortage

Myanmar might be on the hot list of places to visit, but visitors should be wary of touching down in Yangon without a hotel reservation.

The surge in visitor numbers in the last few years has vastly outstripped hotel room supply, and the city is struggling to meet demand.

US asks for support in sanctions era shift

Jose Fernandez, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, said that American companies in Myanmar need to be vocal about road bumps as Myanmar shifts from the sanctions era, during the United States-Myanmar Trade and Investment Conference on February 25.

China Union Pay services start in Myanmar

China Union Pay and Myanmar Payment Union began offering payment services to foreign nationals on February 23, government officials announced at a press conference at Sedona Hotel on the same day, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed on November 24.

ANDRITZ HYDRO opens representative office in Yangon

ANDRITZ HYDRO, part of the international technology group ANDRITZ, has opened a representative office in Yangon.

“We have followed the dynamic opening and transition process in Myanmar over the past few years and are happy to announce they now have a representative office in this dynamic market,” said Josef Ullmer, president of ANDRITZ HYDRO Southeast Asia, during the office’s opening ceremony on February 1.

Carlsberg, ThaiBev eye Myanmar's growing beer market

While tea shops remain Myanmar’s venue of choice for leisure, international brewers are hoping that the country’s consumers will soon be reaching for beer mugs instead as they expand their Southeast Asian presence.

Yangon's local clothing sales surge

Clothing makers in Yangon say the rising demand for clothing made from imported raw material and cotton, combined with a spike in local retailers, has lead to fiercer market competition throughout February.

Japan may top China in foreign investment to Myanmar: UMFCCI

About 50 delegates representing large Japanese firms met Myanmar businesspeople to discuss cooperation in infrastructure development, manufacturing and human resources at a business matching session in Yangon on February 19.

Long-term strategy needed for Myanmar's hotel industry

The boom in tourism has been excellent news for hotels. The surge in tourism arrivals and a limited number of rooms have enabled hotels to triple revenues over a few years ago.

Myanmar’s undeniable attraction as a tourist destination is also luring foreign companies keen to invest in new hotels. The long-term outlook for the sector is bright.

US caught in awkward embrace of Myanmar 'crony'

YANGON, Myanmar — The image was meant to convey growing friendship between the United States and Myanmar, the world's hottest frontier market. Flanked by national flags, Win Aung, the president of Myanmar's main business association, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez shook hands in Yangon and agreed to deepen business ties between their countries.

Myanmar allows license-free imports, exports

The Ministry of Commerce has eased laws for local businesspeople by passing a bill that will allow all imports and exports to proceed without licenses as from April 1.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Myanmar Times (Feb 18 -24 2013)

New Light of Myanmar (25 Feb 2013 - Monday)

The Mirror Daily (25 Feb 2013 - Monday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (25 Feb 2013 - Monday)

Foreign companies showing greater interest in Myanmar aggriculture sector

Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese companies will invest in Myanmar’s agricultural sector, according to Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation Limited (MAPCO).

Myanmar remains to settle debts to ADB & WB

Although Myanmar has settled some debts to Asia Development Bank (ADB ) and the World Bank (WB ), the country still owed a combined sum of US$1,500 billion to these two institutions, Minister Win Shein of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue said at the Union Assembly on February 19.

China Union Pay card launched in Myanmar

YANGON, Feb. 23 -- China Union Pay (CUP) card services was launched in cooperation with Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) card in Myanmar's Yangon Saturday, signifying the formal introduction of services of the CUP in the Southeast Asian nation. 

Myanmar, the land of the golden pagodas

Myanmar is a beautiful country of 55 million people, bordered by India, China and Thailand. It had a strict military government for years but is gradually moving toward a more open and free society.

New Light of Myanmar (24 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (24 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (24 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

New Light of Myanmar (23 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

The Mirror Daily (23 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

Mandalay adds to visa on arrival list

MANDALAY, 20 February 2013: Citizens of another 22 countries are now eligible for a visa on arrival at Mandalay International Airport, Myanmar Times reported Monday.

US chain enters Myanmar

PHNOM PENH, 19 February 2013: Best Western International says it will open its first property in Myanmar later this year, claiming the move was possible in light of new investment rules and an acute shortage of hotel rooms.

Best Western Asia Pacific vice president, Glenn de Souza, said that Myanmar represents huge opportunities in the hotel sector especially in the mid-scale segment where it was severely under-supplied.

Airlines add capacity to Myanmar

MANDALAY, 20 February 2013: Myanmar Airways International will launch daily flights between Mandalay and Bangkok 31 March and plans to add further services out of Mandalay to other regional destinations.

MAI marketing executive, Daw Aye Mra Tha, said the airline will start its Mandalay-Bangkok daily flights, 31 March, with a proposed roundtrip fare of US$250 that still needs approval.

United States eases sanctions on Myanmar banks

(Reuters) - The United States relaxed sanctions on four large banks in Myanmar on Friday, allowing them access to the U.S. financial system as a reward for the country's political reforms.

Myanma Alinn Daily (23 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

U.S. business group heading to Myanmar to explore opportunities

(Reuters) - Fifty U.S. business executives will visit Myanmar next week to explore trade and investment opportunities in the resource-rich nation now that the United States has eased sanctions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on Friday.

More than 90 firms lining up for telecom licenses, sources say

A tender for two telecom licenses announced in mid January has drawn expressions of interest from 91 companies, officials at the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Telegraphs said.

The ministry has not listed the companies by name but has said they come from nearly every region in the world.

AGD Bank gets approval to register as a public company

Asia Green Development Bank, one of Myanmar's largest privately owned banks, received approval on Monday from the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration to become a public company, the officials said.
AGD announced late last month that it planned to turn itself into a public company and sell shares to the public.

Individual traders import goods worth 400m kyats

Individual Myanmar merchants have imported more than 400 million kyats (Bt14 million) worth of goods via three border towns – Myanmar-India, Myanmar-China and Myanmar-Thailand, as of February 15.
Among the three towns, merchants from Tamu, using the Individual Trade Card system (ITC), have imported the most.

Government aims to diversify industrial zones

The government is planning to open more industrial zones and business centers outside major urban centres as its economic reforms gain speed, officials said.

They said that the industrial-diversification plan would also reduce the threat of environmental degradation that could result from clustering all business zones and industrial parks in one or two areas.

Friday, 22 February 2013

New Light of Myanmar (22 Feb 2013 - Friday)

The Mirror Daily (22 Feb 2013 - Friday)

Late payments surge over $116 million as Myanmar's privatisation woes continue, sources say

Many of those who won controversial auctions to buy or lease state property, factories and businesses have yet to fully pay for them, sources familiar with the government's financial accounts said.
At least 13 ministries still need to collect more than 100 billion kyats (about US$116 million) from the winning bidders of the auctions that began in 2008.

Yangon developmental plan due next month

The report on the first phase of the developmental plan for Yangon will be completed next month, according to the planning committee.

Toe Aung, director of the Yangon City Development Committee’s city planning and land administration department, said the report on the first phase will be released after the committee holds its fourth meeting next month.

Myanmar’s small-enterprise lender seeks big loan from government

The government should lend the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank 30 million kyats for the next fiscal year, which begins in April, to speed up development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, a senior adviser to the bank, San Thein, said.

The amount is six times what the government provided the bank for this fiscal year, which ends in March.

Myanma Alinn Daily (22 Feb 2013 - Friday)

New Light of Myanmar (21 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

Britain invites Myanmar to join Open Government Partnership

Britain has invited Myanmar to join the Open Government Partnership, a group of countries that promote transparency, participation and responsiveness in budgetary matters.

The invitation was delivered by Mr Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, who spoke to reporters on February 21 at the British Embassy in Yangon.

The Mirror Daily (21 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

Investors warned on Myanmar land

Thai businesses were warned yesterday to exercise extreme caution before buying or renting property in Myanmar, as land disputes are intensifying.

Many state authorities are in conflict with local residents, farmers and landowners over the utilisation of land for new investment.

Myanma Alinn Daily (21 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Myanmar’s Developmental Catch-22

What a difference a year makes.  

A functioning ATM at Yangon International Airport; a reporter from Myanmar International Television on prime time; a brand new KIA showroom sparkling with chrome and glass; Italian gelato counters serving raspberry and lime sorbet alongside a sumptuous buffet of Burmese cuisine.

New Light of Myanmar (20 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

MOFA eyes Myanmar, Brunei as priorities for trade opportunities

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that it will continue to help small and medium-sized businesses to tap into emerging markets, with Myanmar and Brunei two of the priority countries this year.

Stephen Tai, deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs, said Myanmar has rich resources that have attracted the attention of the international community.

The Mirror Daily (20 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (20 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

New Light of Myanmar (19 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

The Mirror Daily (19 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (19 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Myanmar grants visa-on-arrival for visitors from 22 more countries

YANGON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Myanmar authorities have extended granting of visa-on-arrival at Mandalay International Airport for visitors from 22 more countries mostly from Europe starting this month, local media reported Monday.

The move has brought the total number of countries that are eligible for visa-on-arrival in Myanmar to 48.

Myanmar Telecom Frontier Draw May Make It Costly: Southeast Asia

Myanmar’s promise as a rare opportunity to tap an undeveloped telecommunications market may prove to be a costly affair for the license winners.

“It is one of the few markets left in the world with significant untapped voice and data potential,” said Sachin Gupta, a Singapore-based senior analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. “The opportunity is tremendous, but not without risks either.”

Myanmar’s transition provides fresh opportunities for Chinese enterprises

The dramatic changes in Myanmar nowadays present China with some problems.

Some China-invested projects in Myanmar have been protested against and even suspended. China is failing to prevent Myanmar from hurting its interests in such cases.

Chinese firm to open auto plant in Yangon Region

The Myanmar Investment Commission has given permission to a local company to open an automobile factory with a Chinese partner, the Directorate of Myanmar Investment and Companies Registration said last week.

Asia World gets green light for toll ways

The Myanmar Investment Commission has given Asia World Group permission to start charging tolls on its newly built road in Yangon.

The 8km-long road parallel to Strand Road along the Yangon River opened last month. It is also called New Strand Road and is intended to make the port area more accessible for containers and heavy trucks.

MOECO to invest in Myanmar oil and gas

Mitsui Oil Exploration Company Limited, Japan-based international oil and gas exploration and extraction company has been in talks with Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) for investment potential in Myanmar.

Eleven Media seeks green light to go daily

Eleven Media Group has applied to the Ministry of Information for permission to print daily, joining seven other companies that have applied to do the same.

Last Friday’s application follows a government announcement in December that – for the first time in almost half a century – privately owned companies would be allowed to publish daily newspapers starting in April.

Private investment up K133 bn in crucial sectors within January

In a country where most investments go to lucrative mining, hydropower and oil and gas, private investment worth 133 billion kyats (US$156.5m) has been put into transportation, manufacturing, farming and others within a month.

Myanmar timbers to be exported to EU earliest June

Timber from Myanmar will be exported to the European Union (EU) starting from June when EU delegates who will visit Myanmar next month may finish observing current timber extraction and set up a frame work for legal trade.
Timber needs to be certified before export to the European Union (EU) that it has been legally produced according to the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

Sing Tel company arranges to invest in Myanmar

Singapore Telecommunications ltd ( Sing Tel ), the largest telecommunications company in South-East Asia, is making arrangement to invest in Myanmar, according to local media.

Singapore Telecommunications (Sing Tel ) is a group with businesses in telecommunications, data and internet services, info-communications technology and pay TV. The largest public –listed company in Singapore by market capitalization. Sing Tel also derives over 70 percent of its revenues from international investments and operations as of the last year.

Accor lines up Max Myanmar hotel deal

French hotel chain Accor is negotiating to partner with Max Myanmar to open a Novotel Hotel in Yangon, a spokesperson for the Myanmar conglomerate said last week.

The proposed hotel would be established in a Max Myanmar property known as Pyay Tower on Pyay Road. Max Myanmar Hotel Group project manager U Bo Chan Tun said the proposed hotel will have 366 rooms, including 159 rooms in 14-storey Tower A and 207 rooms in 16-storey Tower B.

Shangri-La targets Q3 for Yangon serviced apartments

Shangri-la Residences Yangon, a twin tower project beside Kandawgyi Lake, is on target to be ready by the third quarter of this year, a company official said last week.

Shangri-La Residences includes two 21-storey towers of 120 apartments each. The apartments are surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped gardens and will offer a range of recreational facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, tennis courts and a mini mart, the developer says.

Yangon's condominiums in hot demand

Last year saw unprecedented rental demand for condominiums in Yangon and real estate agents say they are expecting an even better result in 2013.

U Sai Khung Noung, the managing director of Sai Khung Noung Real Estate and Law Firm in Tarmwe township, said the huge influx of foreigners during 2012 was the key factor driving condo demand.

The Myanmar Times (Feb 11 - 17 2013)

Malaysia issues invite for halal showcase

The Malaysian government is inviting Myanmar companies to participate in a trade fair for halal goods. The exhibition, which takes place in Kuala Lumpur, from April 1 to 4, will showcase foodstuffs and food ingredients, as well as cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

CIF changes put small cars back in charge

Demand for small-engine passenger cars is running strong in the wake of changes in December to the cost, insurance and freight valuations used to tax imported vehicles.

Consumers are instead looking to cars with sub-1350 cubic centimetre engines made from 2007 onward that do not require an import permit, use less fuel and are cheaper to buy, say car traders.

Myanmar's phone sales decline as SIMs dry up

Mobile phone sales are down as the supply of SIM cards has dried up following the shock resignation of the former minister for telecommunications on January 16, shop owners in Yangon said last week.

“Most of our customers buy a handset and SIM card together but there are no SIMs available, so people are buying fewer phones,” said Ko Maung Maung, owner of ALIF phone shop in Yangon’s Pabedan township.

Foreign auto investments announced in Myanmar

Japanese car maker Suzuki’s decision to resume vehicle production in Myanmar in May is just one of the changes spurred by the enactment of laws and regulations governing foreign investment on January 31, industry sources say.

Following the opening of its auto spares showroom on Pyay Road on February 2, Nissan is also thought likely to set up an assembly factory in Myanmar.

New Light of Myanmar (18 Feb 2013 - Monday)

The Mirror Daily (18 Feb 2013 - Monday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (18 Feb 2013 - Monday)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Standard Chartered Bank not to joint venture in Myanmar

UK-based Standard Chartered Bank, which has recently been granted by Central Bank of Myanmar to open its representative office in the country, will not venture any joint, Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, said.
“Our bank will follow the guidelines of Central Bank (in which services to offer here), rather than make a joint venture with a local partner (to open a branch office),” he said.

Mitsubishi and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. sign MoU

Japanese car company Mitsubishi Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. (YSH) to open after sales service centers in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, according to its yesterday announcement.

Myanmar president stresses investment in education sector

YANGON, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Thein Sein has stressed investment in education sector development in the country, saying that education is the most profitable investment for the nation, official daily New Light of Myanmar reported Saturday.

New Light of Myanmar (17 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (17 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (17 Feb 2013 - Sunday)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Entrepreneurs Cash in on Jungles, Balloons, Tents and Grapes

Wine making, a tent hotel to beat room shortages, luxury-priced jungle trekking and exotic hot air balloon tours: Burma’s economic revival is spawning some unusual businesses by entrepreneurs willing to tread where no-one has gone before.

BIZ BRIEF: Mitsubishi to establish after-sales car service in Myanmar

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. and First Myanmar Investment Co. announced Feb. 15 that they have signed an agreement to establish an after-sales service network for Mitsubishi vehicles in Myanmar.

Traveling like the Lady: Suu Kyi’s election to parliament has prompted Burma to open up

         “Rudyard Kipling’s words in ‘Letters From the East’ still resonate:                                   
‘This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about.’ ”


World Bank eyes Myanmar electricity sector as ties expand

Feb 15 (Reuters) - The World Bank is discussing plans to add 120 MW of electricity in Myanmar - enough to provide power to five million people - in support of the Southeast Asian country's reforms after debt arrears were cleared, a senior bank official said on Friday.

New Light of Myanmar (16 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

The Mirror Daily (16 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (16 Feb 2013 - Saturday)

Govt. buys rice for state reserve in Rakhine

Government has begun to buy 3,000 tones of rice for reserve in Rakhine State above market price to help ease financal burden on local farmers, according to informed sources.

The state already bought about 2,000 bags of Emahta and Ngesein and the government expected to buy about 60,000 bags of rice from the rice miller associations from respective townships between February-March 2013.

SingTel Prefers Mobile in Seeking Myanmar Access: Southeast Asia

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest phone company, wants to focus on wireless services in Myanmar as it vies for the right to operate in one of the world’s last untapped mobile markets.

New Light of Myanmar (15 Feb 2013 - Friday)

The Mirror Daily (15 Feb 2013 - Friday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (15 Feb 2013 - Friday)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Land prices soaring around Dawei SEZ

A local real estate agent has told Mizzima that the price of land in the villages surrounding Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is increasingly rapidly.

Mitsui sails into Myanmar

Shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) became the latest Japanese multinational to announce a presence in Myanmar when it confirmed on February 14 that the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) had approved its application for a business license on February 14.

Energy Ministry revokes Myanmar oil company’s license

The Energy Ministry announced on February 13 that it had revoked the license of Shweyathi Petroleum Co that permits it to produce oil at Padaukpin Village in Magwe Region.

Myanmar, India to speed up construction projects

YANGON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar and India will speed up implementation of some construction projects, the official daily New Light of Myanmar reported Thursday.

It was discussed when Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with Lok Sabha Speaker of India Smt. Meira Kumar in Nay Pyi Taw Wednesday.

IBM puts focus on four business areas

IBM (Thailand) this year will focus on four business areas and look for a partner to expand to Myanmar.

"I think that today business is entering a new era of computing that utilises platforms to enter new markets," general manager Parnsiree Amatayakul said yesterday.

Myanmar to explore more natural gas and resources

Myanmar is planning to step up its exploration effort by 25 percent for natural gas, 7 percent more of jade and 10 percent more of gems in the coming fiscal year of 2013-14, according to the National Planning Bill.

The country's focus at expansion of its crude oil and natural gas exploration is not only for local consumption security but also for export. In this situation, Myanmar expects to explore 16.7 percent more of crude oil and 25.8 percent more of natural gas in the cooperative sector.

Myanmar rice export hits record high

The Commerce Ministry expects the volume of rice export will hit the highest in 60 years with metric tonnes of 1.5 million for this year.

Myanmar rice has been exported over 1.2 million metric tonnes within ten months of this fiscal year 2012-13. The ministry hopes to export another 300,000 metric tonnes before the closing of this fiscal. Myanmar measures April 1 to March 31 as the country fiscal year.

Japanese loans for improving Myanmar’s infrastructures

Japan will soon provide loans to Myanmar to prepare preliminary tasks for the basic infrastructures in line with suggestions coming from top Japanese companies’ discussion about the needs for strengthening of infrastructures.   

The suggestions came from the gathering of the Myanmar-Japan Business Forum attended by more than 100 Japanese companies and Keidanren, the largest business group based in Tokyo, focusing on requirements for foreign investment to be made in Myanmar.

Privatization of state-owned enterprises

Some state-owned enterprises will be changed into corporation and some into private sector with the aim of boosting the private sector, according to a presidential strategy outlined in the basic principle of economic and social reform.

Myanmar expects to earn almost US$1 billion from beans and pulses export

Myanmar is expected to earn up to US$1 billion from exports of beans for this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The country has so far generated US$800 million from bean export, the ministry said.

Myanmar attained over US$ 2 billion from the agricultural products export, said an official from the ministry, who requested not to be named.

Despite Myanmar has earned over US$800 million from beans and pulses export, if we calculate the profits from February and March, the export volume can reach nearly US$1 billion, the official of the ministry added.

Myanmar plans to increase exports to US and EU

Myanmar government is preparing to increase export volume of its products to Western countries , including the US, after lifting the sanctions.

Myanmar Timber Merchants Association (MTMA) and the European Timber Trade Federation (ETF) held a workshop with a purpose to sign a MOU between Myanmar and Europe timber trading at the head office of Myanmar Timber Enterprise in Yangon on February 11.

Myanmar to train migrate workers about their rights

Myanmar will educate workers going abroad to learn to complain if they faced difficulty in job via international non-governmental organisations (INGO), the media and embassy, Myint Thein, Deputy Minister for Labor, Employment and Social Security said.

The Deputy Minister answered the question of Eleven Media Group in labor law affairs meeting held by Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security and International Labor Organization on February 11 at Kandawkyi Palace Hotel, Yangon.

Myanmar in negotiation with S. Korea to send female workers

Myanmar is negotiating with South Korea about sending female workers under the Employment Permit System (EPS).

Once finalized the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security will pen agreement and send the female workers during fifth time recruitment, Thet Naing Oo, Deputy Director General of the Ministry said.

Shangri-La Residence to open soon in Yangon

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Group will open Shangri-La Residence in Yangon in the third quarter of 2013, according to sources.

The residence located near Kandawgyi Lake, one of two major lakes in Yangon, will consist of two towers with 240 flats in total.

Myanmar Offers 3-Month Visas to Journalists

Foreign journalists reporting on Myanmar are now entitled to three-month visas into the country – effectively allowing them unhindered, longer-term access to all of the country, including its conflict zones. It’s part of a move towards liberalization of the press in the once-isolated country, where journalists felt compelled to write under pseudonyms or masquerade as tourists.

Singha eyes brewery in Myanmar after alliance

Singha Corporation plans to set up a brewery in Myanmar as part of its new strategic alliance with Carlsberg.

Piti Bhirombhakdi, regional marketing director, said yesterday that Singha was fully committed to making Carlsberg the No 1 premium beer in Thailand and its own Singha beer a top-three brand in Asia within five years. Currently it ranks fifth or sixth in the region.

New Light of Myanmar (14 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

The Mirror Daily (14 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (14 Feb 2013 - Thursday)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New Light of Myanmar (13 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

The Mirror Daily (13 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (13 Feb 2013 - Wednesday)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Gold rush to Mandalay

MANDALAY, 11 February 2013: Myanmar’s government has allocated land for foreign investors to build 100 hotels and for local investors to build 192 hotels at the new Tada-U Hotel Zone near Mandalay.

The hotels will be part of a massive industrial park and business district that will be built from scratch. Foreign investors will be encouraged to build factories to tap low labour costs. Mandalay is the nearest gateway city to Bagan famous for its ancient temples and chedis.

Thai agency to review Myanmar Dawei investment

The Thai Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) is to review the estimated investment for the Dawei project in Myanmar following a discrepancy over project information, the concern being a potential miscalculation of the return on investment.

The office is expected to reach a preliminary conclusion on the matter on February 18, Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said yesterday.

Myanmar foreign investment almost $800m in 9 months

Myanmar received US$794 million in foreign investment over nine months of the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to an announcement from the Myanmar Investment Commission.

Upwards, not sideways, for Myanmar crabs

Buyers from Malaysia, Singapore and China are now the major importers of Myanmar’s soft-shell crabs, according to the Myanmar Crab Entrepreneurs Association.

“Our entrepreneurs are also exporting crabs to other countries on a trial basis because they are looking at entering new markets,” said Hnin Oo, the association chairman.

What’s really happening in the struggle for The Myanmar Times

Almost 13 years ago the first edition of The Myanmar Times came off the presses. Founded by Ross Dunkley and U Myat Swe (Sonny Swe) it quickly found favour with readers who were looking for fresh alternatives. A year later its Myanmar edition caught the market by storm. In a short amount of time both became dominant and superior newspapers in Myanmar and the benchmark for the press. Turbulence has followed the fortunes of the papers since then and the latest episode involving two of the partners in the business is no exception. The struggle for ownership of the papers now appears to be in its last throes. In this exclusive interview Managing Director of MCM Ltd and Editor in Chief Ross Dunkley bares all and paints a picture of the tightrope the organisation is now walking on.

Air Force boss to take over telecoms

President U Thein Sein has nominated the head of the Air Force to lead the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology following the resignation of U Thein Tun last month.

Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Myat Hein will be responsible for overseeing a ministry that is simultaneously conducting a closely watched tender for telecommunications licences and the subject of a large corruption investigation that has already seen eight people arrested.

Chickpea stands out in B&P crops

Chickpea is unusual among Myanmar’s beans and pulses crops because a fair portion of the crop is consumed locally, where most of the rest are grown for export purposes.

Domestically called ka-la-be, chickpea is used in a variety of dishes and is processed in different ways depending on the intended usage.

Lawyers disect ‘foreigner friendly’ FIL rules

A window of opportunity has been created by the enactment of the Foreign Investment Law and, on January 31, the rules determining investments, a foreign law firm working in Myanmar said last week.

The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development released the 100-page document, which details prohibited and restricted sectors, as well as the exemptions different ministries may grant, on January 31.

No loans for farmers with debts: minister

Farmers who owe debts to the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank or specialist rice companies will be ineligible for long-term loans the government plans to make available, the Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation said last month.

Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation U Myint Hlaing said farmers with unpaid debts cannot register for the loans, which might not have to be repaid for 15 years and will carry low interest rates. The ministry’s Settlement and Land Records Department commenced a land survey to determine tenures on January 1 ahead of the distribution of loans, he said.

MCDC to prosecute illegal waste dumpers

Mandalay’s great clean-up has begun. More than 90 factories around the city that produce liquid waste have been told the government is ready to take action against them unless they clean up their act.

Unless disposal of liquid waste from industrial zones in Mandalay is done systematically, legal proceedings will be launched against factories, said U Tun Kyi, a member of the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC).

Traffic hits bottom line for dance troupes

The curse of traffic congestion is hurting a number of dragon dance troupes as Chinese New Year approaches.

“It takes so much time to get to each show, we couldn’t play as many shows this year as we have done in previous years,” said Ko Mg Toe, leader of the Sky Dragon kung-fu and dance club. “Last year, we could play about eight shows a day, but now we can only play five.”

Delta fisheries dispute continues

A dispute over fishing rights could cost the owners of private fish ponds in Maubin township, Ayeyarwady Region, their entire investment this year, the owners say.

But local fishermen insist on the right to fish freely in the pools, despite the owners’ claims.

Mae Sot SEZ could benefit local workers

The decision by the Thai government to declare a special economic zone at the border town of Mae Sot could bring benefits for local Myanmar workers.

And another SEZ could be set up on the Myanmar side of the border, at Myawaddy, to help boost the national and local economy, say business leaders.

Shan State tea farmers struggle against imports, loss of workers

China’s hunger for women is at least partly to blame for a reduction in Myanmar’s dried tealeaf production, the spokesperson for an industry association said last week.

Most of Myanmar’s tea is grown in Shan State but demand for brides in China is drawing away many of the workers needed to cultivate the crop, farmers from the Palaung Tea Growers and Sellers Association, which is not officially recognised as yet, told a meeting at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry on February 6.

World Bank to support electricity access

Power to the people: that’s the goal of a World Bank team that visited Myanmar last week. The team said energy infrastructure development would be at the core of its program to expand the country’s economy, create jobs and reduce poverty through accelerated reforms.

“Connecting people and businesses to a reliable electricity grid is critical for Myanmar to realise its enormous social and economic potential,” Mr Jin-Yong Cai, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), told a press conference in Yangon on February 5.

Standard Chartered opens Yangon representative office

Standard Chartered executives held a press confrence at Strand Hotel on February 5 to mark the re-opening of a representative office in Yangon.

Chief executive officer Peter Sands said the opening is planned to “help Myanmar with its reintegration back into the International community”.

The Myanmar Times (Feb 4 - 10 2013)

Dentsu Asia opens branch in Myanmar

Dentsu Asia Pte. Ltd., the wholly-owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. that oversees operations in the Asean and Oceania region, announced that it established a branch office in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb. 6.

Dentsu considers Myanmar, which has a population of 62 million, as one of the new growth markets in Asia.

Human skill development Myanmar

Asian Development Bank (ADB) planned to provide US$50 million to Myanmar for developing education, rural and urban development, tourism, non-government organization, business projects and technical assistance, according to Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President of ADB and the Chairperson of ADB's Board of Directors.

It is the first time for the president of ADB to visit Myanmar after the bank establish working relations with the current administration. The bank chairperson met with Thein Sein and the senior government officials during his visit.

EU to boost trade with Myanmar

European Union (EU) is in ongoing discussion with Myanmar to form a  chamber of commerce to boost trade, according to officials.

European delegation met on February 4 with Myanmar officials at the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, and discussed the legal framework for the formation of Myanmar-EU Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Housing project near Yagon downtown to go ahead in spite locals’ objection

A medium-scale public housing project has been planned at 51st street downtown Yangon, the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) recently announced.

Old buildings at the site will be reconstructed, and the project, whose deadline is before end of 2015, will create more apartments. It will also include two 100-room hotels and a large parking for 300 cars, according to the announcement.

Investment in infrastructure sector paves the way for manufacturing

Japanese companies will have to invest in Myanmar’s weak infrastructure sector at first, Mr Yoshio Nakamura, the vice chairman for Keidanren told Eleven Media Group lately.

 “We are worried much about the infrastructure. We need more stable status of power supply in the country. Myanmar has a lot of human resources. So we need to invest in the sector firstly. Investments in manufacturing will be ready to enter only after the investments come first in the sectors such as power supply, roads, railways and water supply,” he said.

Singpaore vehicle maintainence opens in Myanmar

On February 6,  Myanmar Investment Commission has allowed to open a vehicle maintainence service centre jointly organized by a Singapore company and Myanmar company in Yangon according to the Foreign Investment Law.

The service centre was jointly cooperated by Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd Singapore and Automobile Century Co; Ltd Myanmar. Jardine Cycle and Carriage Limited (SGX: C07, OTC Pink: JCYGY) was renamed from Cycle and Carriage following the integration into the Jardine Matheson Group in 2004.

S. Korea to recruit more workers from Myanmar

South Korea will recruit around 5,000 workers from Myanmar for its labour requirement in manufacturing during this year, director Choi Jung In from EPS Center said.

Choi expects his country’s manufacturing alone may require 4,900 Myanmar workers. Workers will have to work under Employment Permit System (EPS), he said.

MPT introduces one-day services

Myanmar Post and Telecommunication has initiated one-day service programs for restoring or replacing sim cards and opening mobile phones internet access during this month.

"We are offering faster services for customers," an official of MPT said.

New Light of Myanmar (12 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

The Mirror Daily (12 Feb 2013 - Tuesday)

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