Saturday, 31 August 2013

Citizen investment reaches over K 3069 billion

Local investment has reached over 3069 billion Kyat after the Myanmar Investment Commission gave permits to another nine citizen-owned businesses, according officials.

Myanmar nationals have opened 11 enterprises in the country this year according to the report of the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA).

Coca-Cola aims to improve economic lives of Myanmar women

Global soft-drink maker Coca-Cola is launching a corporate social responsibility program in Myanmar to help women, according to company executive.

The Coca-Cola Foundation and Pact are expanding a program to help Myanmar women gain access to business skills and financial services.

"The program will allow any woman to join without restrictions. Our capacity-building team will provide the member groups in respective towns with training programs such as how to start up a small business and management skills," said an executive from Coca-Cola Myanmar.

Japanese firm to invest in Myanmar agribusiness

Japan-based Megumi No Sato will join hands with Myanmar's City Mart Holding Company, to produce and sell vegetables and fruits, according to a company announcement.

Megumi No Sato is a popular company back in Japan and is part of the G-7 Group which specialises in selling quality vegetables from select farmers. The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has granted a joint-venture permission to City Mart Holding according to the Citizen Investment Law.

The company will carry out cultivation of vegetables and fruits in Pyin Oo Lwin Township of Mandalay region, central Myanmar.

Myanmar to sell Thai slimming coffee

Thailand-made Fatis Slimming Coffee will begin selling its products in Myanmar targeting coffee lovers with interest in beauty and health, according to a local distributor.

Myanmar’s Food and Drug Administration recently approved Fatis Slimming Coffee which claims to reduce cholesterol and sugar levels in the blood and help lose the body weight. The coffee is said to be suitable for those with diabetes and heart disease.

Japan's ANA to acquire 49 percent of Myanmar's AWA

TOKYO, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- ANA Holdings Inc., parent of Japan's All Nippon Airways, announced Tuesday it will acquire a 49 percent stake in Myanmar's Asian Wings Airways.

The company on its web site said it will invest $25 million (2.5 billion yen) in Asian Wings as part of a strategy to expand into new international markets.

Under the deal, ANA said it will work with AWA to improve its operational and on-time performance and support its expansion into markets outside Myanmar, formerly Burma.

Myanmar to use Indian bank loans for development

Myanmar will implement several projects with loans from the Export-Import Bank of India according to a government report.

The Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) has provided loans of up to US$ 500 million which will be used on infrastructure projects including communications and transport. Details were released in the Myanmar government’s 2013-2014 fiscal year report. 

Some of the projects include the construction of a microwave station linking the southern and northern parts of Chin State, as well as the building of power stations, constructing dams and irrigation systems and improving basic infrastructure. 

Asia World Company to provide electricity for Bago region

Myanmar's Asia World Company has recently been granted permission to distribute electricity to 37 townships in Eastern Bago Region.

Asia World Group is Myanmar’s largest and most diversified conglomerate, which interests in industrial development, construction, transportation, import-export, and a local supermarket chain.

About half of Singapore’s investment in Myanmar comes through Asia World affiliates.

Mercedes Benz sales centre to open in Yangon next year

Germany-based Mercedes Benz is planning to open a sales centre on Pyay Road, Yangon in January next year, according to local distributors.

"The showroom is constructed near Konemyint Thar on Pyay Road. It will be ready on January next year," said Aye Win Tun, Sales Manager of Cycle & Carriage Automobile Myanmar Co. Ltd.

Demand for Myanmar rice still strong in China

China continues to purchase Myanmar rice despite dwindling exports during the month of July, according to traders.
Rice exports decreased 6 fold during the month of July. Currently Myanmar competes with Vietnam to export rice to China which is also buying Vietnamese rice because it is cheaper.

Gender inequality may impact Myanmar's economic development - experts

Experts from various fields told an audience on Thursday that Myanmar may face delays in its development if it did not improve the social and economic conditions of women.

Many challenges still exist for women in Myanmar due to over a half a century of gender inequality under the military regime, experts say.

Government to upgrade MPT with World Bank loan

The state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) will be transformed into a public corporation with World Bank loans, according to a deputy minister.

The government plans to use a US$261.1 million loan from the World bank to transform MPT into a corporation which can fulfil fundamental communication services, according to Deputy Minister Thaung Tin.

"The ministry will receive US$31.5 million under the programme 'International Development Association' from World Bank and will implement a Telecommunications Sector Reform Project using the loan," he said.

Permission still required for tourists to visit Myeik Archipelago

Foreign tourists seeking to visit the pristine Myeik Archipelago in Southern Myanmar still need to submit permission from the authorities, according to officials.
"It has been specified that tourists are only allowed to travel in the towns in Kawthaung, Boat Pyin, Kha Mauk Kyi, Pyi Gyi Manai, Tayatchaung, Pu Law, and Kyunsu townships and they need prior permissions if they want to travel to nearby areas. As it is a journey by sea route, the specification has been set up due to weather and transportation conditions," said an official from the Myeik district immigration department.
The border gates in Tanintharyi Region's Kawthaung and Hteekham will be opened to tourists starting on August 28 and the tourists are expected to visit theislands in the Myeik Archipelago.
"When the tourists arrive, we still need places for them to visit. We need infrastructures for lodging and transportation, and security when travelling to far away islands. Now tour companies are travelling to [the islands] after drawing up tour programs. Depending on the tour program, the tourists can travel to the islands that are on the allowed list," said an official from the Myeik district administrative ward.
Pristine white beaches, uninhabited islands and the elusive Salon people (Sea Gypsies) are the main attractions for tourists but the archipelago lacks in infrastructure and transportation.
"The southern area of the Myeik Archipelago and some islands in Kyunsu township are uninhabited so there aren't any shuttle services to those places. The tour companies have to make arrangements for the tourists," said a person who has studying the tourism industry in the Myeik Archipelago.
"Even though Pahtaw Pahtet Island is opposite Myeik, a special permission is needed to visit the island," he said.
Besides the border gates in Kawthaung and Hteekham, Mawtaung border gate is also expected to be open for tourists within this year so Thai tour companies have been making inquires to work together with local tour companies, he added.

source: Eleven Myanmar

Mitsubishi to start upgrading Mandalay airport

Japan's Mitsubishi-Jalux Inc. has started work upgrading the Mandalay International Airport to become air freight logistics hub, according to officials.
A team of technicians started the inspection on August 23 and 24. Another technician team came yesterday and will continue to work until September 2.

Asia Wings to enter joint partnership with Japan's ANA

Local carrier Asia Wings Airways is expected to sign a joint venture with Japan's All Nippon Airways this year, according to company director.

Asia Wings executive director Lwin Moe, told the reporters on Wednesday that the airline will buy 10 more airbuses and will continue to operate under its own name, launching international flights by October 2014.

Myanmar housing development bank to open next month

The Construction and Housing Development Bank Limited (CHDB) will open its first branch within a month, according to their managing director.

The bank was licensed on July 15 and aims to provide cheap housing through installment plans for low-income families, pensioners and government workers.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Ford Motor to launch auto show room in Yangon

The Ford Motor Company will launch an auto show room, spare parts and services centre in Yangon in September, according to company officials.

The centre will be located in Hlaing Township, in Yangon, displaying a variety of the latest Ford cars being sold around the world.

Four Thai-Myanmar border crossings to be opened on August 28

Myanmar and Thai citizens, as well as foreign tourists, will be allowed to pass through four Thai-Myanmar border checkpoints, including Myawady, starting from August 28, an official said.

"We have received instructions to allow Thai citizens and foreign tourists to pass through all four border checkpoints on August 28. The remarkable thing is that Myanmar citizens with visas and passports will also be allowed to visit [Thailand] through the border crossings," said an official from the Immigration and National Registration Department of Myawady District.

Myanmar Times’ Future Uncertain After Shareholders Call for Its Dissolution

RANGOON — An internal dispute between the owners of The Myanmar Times is threatening the survival of the English-language newspaper, after the company’s majority shareholders asked a court earlier this month to dissolve the firm and immediately suspend publication.

The Myanmar Times is privately owned by Myanmar Consolidated Media Co. Ltd. (MCM) and 51 percent of MCM’s shares are in the hands of Dr Tin Tun Oo and his wife Khin Moe Moe. Tin Tun Oo is also listed as the paper’s publisher.

Damco offers access to Burma

Maersk-owned supply chain specialist Damco offers clients access to emerging market of Burma after being granted a permanent license in July to operate under its own legal entity in the country.

One of the world’s leading providers of freight forwarding and supply chain management services, Damco, is working with clients to open their supply chains up to the frontier market of Burma.

Japan’s ANA to buy 49pc stake in Myanmar airline: report

TOKYO: Japan's ANA Holdings will acquire a 49 percent stake in a Myanmar airline, the latest foray into a potentially lucrative market that is rapidly opening up, reports said Tuesday.

ANA Holdings intends to obtain the maximum portion allowed under local law as part of a plan to expand its network in Southeast Asia by using Myanmar as a hub, the Nikkei business daily said.

Myanmar growing at breakneck speed

When Singapore lawyer Chester Toh starting working in Yangon, Myanmar's commercial centre, 18 months ago, his commute to the centre took 15 minutes; now it's a 45-minute slog through increasingly clogged streets.

Call it the price of progress, or reform to be more exact.

Deep-sea port to dock 300,000 tonne oil tankers on Madae Island

China has finished constructing a deep-sea port on Madae Island in Rakhine State, according to officials from the ports authority.

The port will dock 300,000 tonne oil tankers as part of the Myanmar-China crude oil pipeline which is still under construction. The port was built in joint venture between China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the Ministry of Energy. 

MIC allows more foreign companies to invest in garment sector in Myanmar

Myanmar Investment Commission has granted permission to companies from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to do business in local CMP garment industry with 100% foreign investments, according to official data.

A Hong Kong-based company and local B&N Garment Myanmar Company have been permitted to do their garment businesses in Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone (2) in Yangon Region. Taiwan-based companies such as Melody Global and Sunny Shoes Inc are allowed to do manufacturing of footwear and outdoor sports products in Bago Industrial Zone in Bago Region. And China-based SDI Manufacturing was allowed to do its garment business in Ngwe Pinlel Industrial Zone in Yangon.

Myanmar plans to implement two new deep seaport projects

Myanmar is planning to construct another two new deep seaports in the Tanintaryi coast and Ayeyarwady region, according to Myanmar Port Authority (MPA).

Thailand is interested to construct Kalargote deep seaport project located between Mawlamyaing and Yay in Tanintaryi coast. Singapore is also interested to invest at Ngayokekaung deep seaport located at Ngayokekaung Bay in Ayayarwady region.

Environmental impacts of Thilawa project informed to locals

Thilawa SEZ Management Committee organized a meeting on August 23 to inform the local residents about possible consequences of the first phase of Thilawa Special Economic Zone Project.

Located in Thanlyin Township of Yangon suburb, Thilawa Special Economic Zone Project is a joint venture between Myanmar and Japanese governments.

Rising land prices to be controlled with tax regulation

Effectively regulating tax is vital to controlling rising land prices in Myanmar, finance deputy minister said at a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw on August 23.

“Actually, land prices increase because people buy and sell lands as if they are gambling. Myanmar has just started to develop and so people want to do some gambling. That gambling spirit cannot be easily stopped. We are trying to give a vent for the gambling spirit, and that is to establish the stock exchange. The stock exchange is a decent place for people,” said Mr Maung Maung Thein, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Thai companies urged to invest in Myanmar 'or miss out'

THAI enterprises should not delay when considering business and trade opportunities with Myanmar, otherwise they may lose out to other foreign investors, said Aung Than, vice chairman to the Mandalay Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar.

With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) scheduled to commence in 2015, Aung Than said many foreign investors, particularly those from China, were already in Myanmar looking to reap benefits from the country's new openness. 

Hotel charges vary according to each status during SEA Games

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has made changes in hotel charges to media, observer and sports fan for foreigners depending on the region during the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

The media permitted by the Olympic Committee need to send their lists to Myanmar Olympic Committee and the Myanmar Olympic Committee will carry out according to the list, expressed in the release of the Ministry of Sports.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Burmese teens cook up business ideas

With the help of a grant from Good Food Battle Creek, the Generation E Institute was able to approach the city’s Burmese community in a way that not only taught American culture, but gave the teenagers a way to express their Burmese upbringing.

On Thursday, April Jones, coordinator of the Generation E Institute, sat at a table at the Springfield Farmer’s Market intently listening to a group of teenagers talk about their business plans. After a successful food stand at the International Summer Fest And Black Arts Festival and five summer sessions of cooking, the group was given the task to write a proposal for a food business.

Myanmar prepares new hotels ahead of SEA Games

53 hotels with 4286 hotel will be available for guests and sports fans during 27th South East Asian (SEA) Games to be hosted in Myanmar in December.

The new hotels are under construction in Nay Pyi Taw, the official capital of the country, according to Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Sagaing airports to be upgraded to encourage investment

Regional authorities plan to upgrade Kalay and Kathar Airports in Sagaing Region, upper Myanmar, to encourage economic development and accommodate more tourists.

Sagaing Region has been mainly an agricultural and timber producing area although mining companies are starting to take interest with foreign firms invested in the Kyayesintaung , Letpadaungtaung and Hteechaink areas.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Myanmar poised for six-fold rise in multi-millionaires - report

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The ranks of Myanmar’s super rich will increase at least six-fold in the coming decade as one of East Asia’s poorest countries emerges from military dictatorship and embraces a market-oriented economy, according to a new report.

Wealth-X, a firm which gathers intelligence on wealth, estimates in its World Ultra Wealth Report that there are 40 individuals in Myanmar currently who have assets worth $30 million or more. It sees that number growing by 687 percent to 307 by 2022, the fastest pace of growth anywhere in the world.

Reconstructing higher education in Myanmar

The last time the world took notice of higher education in Myanmar, it was in the aftermath of the brutally repressed student uprising of August 1988, which resulted in thousands of deaths and arrests and stronger sanctions from the international community.

The political transition that started in 2011 has triggered the resumption of international collaboration in the higher education sector and the launch of a comprehensive education sector review led by the government of Myanmar with strong support from development partners.

Traveling In Myanmar: 4 Beautiful Beaches You Can Lounge On After Exploring The Exotic Nation

Myanmar may be one of the poorest and least developed countries in Southeast Asia, but it has quickly become a sought after tourism destination -- especially since everyone is curious to find out firsthand what the formerly closed-off nation looks like. With the government pledging $500 million to develop tourism in the next few years, Myanmar could very well become the next traveling hot spot.

Myanmar’s Energy Potential: Opportunities And Challenges For Neighbouring India – Analysis

The Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline (Myanmar section) commenced delivery of natural gas to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) after it was inaugurated by Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun at Mandalay on July 28. The pipeline is part of the Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipeline project, which also includes a crude oil pipeline.

Starting from Kuaykphyu on Myanmar’s Arakan coast, it passes through the Rakhine state, Magway and Mandalay regions and Shan state and enters the PRC at Ruili, Yunnan province through Namhkan on the Myanmar border. It took three years to construct the Myanmar section of the pipeline, which underwent a test run on May 30.

Exim Bank to open Myanmar office in September

The Export Import Bank of India will open its eighth overseas office in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, next month, a senior official said on Friday. 

This is being done as a follow up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to the neighbouring nation during which the two sides had signed MoUs worth $500 million for various projects. 

Ooredoo is ready to compete with Telenor or MPT

Qatar-based Ooredoo, recently chosen to operate private telecom service in Myanmar, said yesterday the company is ready to compete with another telecom service tender winner Norway-based Telenor and Myanmar Post and Telecommunication.

Ross Cormack, the senior representative for Ooredoo Myanmar told the Eleven Media at the press conference held in Yangon, “We promise that we will be providing the best services for Myanmar people and that will win the market.”

MTN and Singapore-based MTH to build mobile towers

Myanmar Telecommunication Network (MTN) and Singapore-based Myanmar Towers Holdings (MTH) have signed MoU to construct communication towers.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the Park Royal Hotel in Yangon and the two companies plan to establish a joint venture to construct mobile towers and wireless communication services.

Nippon Foundation provides $11m assistance to build schools in Myanmar

The Nippon Foundation, a Japanese non-profit organization, has provided $11 million in financial assistance to build schools in Rakhine State and Shan State, according to Border Affairs Minister Thet Naing Win.

Under a government education scheme to bring peace and development to the state, first phase and second phase projects were launched in 2012 to build new schools and repair old ones in Shan State, Lieutenant General Thet Naing Win said lately. The scheme has been named as "Education for Development".

Itochu Corporation to build Yangon-Thilawa Bridge

Japanese-based Itochu Corporation will build a Yangon-Thilawa bridge as part of the Thilawa special economic zone project, according to the Ministry of Construction.

A Japanese delegation, led by Koji Umemoto from Itochu Corporation, met with construction minister Kyaw Lwin to discuss matters relating on implementation of construction project in Nay Pyi Taw on August 15.

SEAGP to provide for local needs along Myanmar-China gas pipeline

Southeast Asia Gas Pipeline Company Limited (SEAGP) and Southeast Asia Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited (SEAOP) will carry out the needs of locals living along Myanmar-China gas pipeline, according to SEAGP and SEAOP.

The Myanmar-China oil and gas pipelines run parallel to the coastal township of Kyaukphyu through Magway, Mandalay, and finally Shan State before entering China's Yunnan Province through the border town of Ruili.

Thai-Myanmar business matching takes off

G Business Link, Krungthep Turakij join hands to help patch up differences in practices

The match-making business for prospective traders and investors in Thailand and Myanmar is booming, prompting Krungthep Turakij newspaper and G Business Link to work together to promote a new era of bilateral business ties.

Select few reap benefits from boom at top Burma pilgrimage site

The Golden Rock pagoda is one of Burma’s most emblematic tourist destinations. Yet despite a huge spike in the number of tourists, most locals aren’t reaping the profits. A street vendor tells us that while a handful of businessmen are making good money, her living conditions haven’t improved one bit.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Myanmar to spend US$77.5 million on rural development

Myanmar government has allocated over 75 billion Kyats (US$77.5 million) to be spent on rural development programmes across the country between 2013-14, according to the Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Minister Ohn Myint delivered a speech during a meeting with government bodies, international organisations and local NGO's on August 17 at the Myanmar Peace Centre in Yangon.

Myanmar’s once restricted sites attract foreign tourists

Myanmar’s once-restricted tourist sites are becoming places of interest among the foreign visitors, according to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.

Many famous sites such as Mogok city in Mandalay Region and Mrauk Oo in Rakhine State were once barred to foreign visitors. Although many are now open, some still requite special permits.

Damco starts work in Myanmar

Damco has been granted a permanent licence to operate under its own legal entity in Myanmar, which was opened to business last year in the wake of its reform process. 

In May 2012, Damco participated as part of a larger fact-finding mission which involved consulting with NGOs, local companies, and diplomats. Subsequently, a resource centre was established within the British Council in Yangon. 

Australia to provide aid to agricultural sector

Australia will give technology and fund to local farmers of the Ayeyarwady region and the dry zones including Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions.

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will sign MoU to implement the project in this month.

Myanmar’s garment exports make record earnings

Myanmar’s garment exports made record earnings in the first quarter of this year, according to official data from Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA).

The exports have made over $300 million in the period from January to March, almost a double from the same period last year, according to the data.

Ooredoo plans to create over 30,000 jobs in Myanmar

Qatar-based Ooredoo is recruiting staff in Myanmar and says it will provide more than 30,000 job opportunities, according to senior representative from the company.

"We want locals to work at our company. We will choose the talented staff and give the best services. We will send our staff from Myanmar to train in our headquarters at Qatar. We will train them exclusively for the necessary skills," said Ross Cormack, a senior representative from Ooredo in a conference held on Friday.

Danish Freight Firm Wins Burma License

The global freight forwarder and logistics services provider Damco has been given a license to extend its services to Burma, the online Transport Journal reports. Citing the company’s “extensive work with NGOs, local companies and diplomats,” the report says that Damco, a subsidiary of the Danish shipping giant Maersk, was given permission in July to offer its customers access to the Burmese market. It also notes that the company will work closely with the UK-based Institute for Human Rights and Business and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to ensure that its operations in Burma comply with UN human rights guidelines.

source: The Irrawaddy

Thai group signs deal to research Kalargote port project

Emerald Grand Group of Thailand and Myanmar Port Authority signed an agreement to carry out research for the Kalargote deep sea port project on August 9.

After completing the research, Emerald Grand Group of Thailand plans on building Kalargote deep sea port project. As for Myanmar Port Authority, they are deciding whether the project will be conducted as a build, operate and transfer (BOT) system or a joint venture.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Myanmar Farmers Call for Amendments to Land Law

Farmers in Myanmar on Tuesday drew up a list of 17 demands they plan to submit to legislators in a bid to amend the country’s land laws and provide greater protection against forced evictions, a representative said.

They want an end to the arrest of farmers protesting against land grabs or of activists defending their cause, and propose that the government offer them outright compensation instead of compassionate aid for giving up their land.

WTO to implement trading programme in Myanmar

World Trade Organisation (WTO) is discussing an Enhanced Integrated Framework program to assist Myanmar's economic development, according to Ministry of Commerce.

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is a multi-donor programme, which helps least-developed countries (LDCs) play a more active role in the global trading system. The programme has a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development and helping to lift more people out of poverty.

Myanmar selects airport developers

YANGON, 21 August 2013: Myanmar’s Minstry of Transport announced the winning bids to improve two existing airports and build a green fields airport near Yangon.

The three airports are: Yangon International Airport; Mandalay International Airport; and the proposed Yangon gateway project, Hanthawaddy International Airport.

Local media reported that Pioneer Aerodrome Services, a Myanmar company, won the tender to renovate Yangon International Airport, while Singapore- based Yongnam-CAPE-JGC was selected as a back-up.

Myanmar gems to be sold duty free at Bangkok Expo

Myanmar Gems Entrepreneurs attending the 52th Bangkok Gems Expo to be held in Thailand from September 6 to 10 will enjoy a duty free policy on gems sales at the expo, according to the gem traders.

The Thai government normally collects 20 percent import tax on gems and jewellery, but the duty free policy will be in effect for 15 days before and after the Gems Expo.

Tobacco brands slip into Myanmar without fanfare

— As some of the world's biggest companies trumpet their arrival in Asia's hottest frontier market, the tobacco industry has a different strategy: It's slipping into Myanmar without fanfare.

The impoverished nation of 60 million people emerged from a half-century of isolation and brutal military rule two years ago. With most international sanctions against the country lifted or suspended, foreign businesses from Coca-Cola and Unilever to Suzuki Motors have scrambled to get in.

Myanmar earns over US$ 124 million from rice exports

Myanmar has earned over US$ 124 million from rice exports between April and August this year, according to reports from the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar earned more than US$ 97 million from exporting 241,855 tonnes of rice  while it realised over US$ 26 million from broken-rice volume of 81,130 tonnes.

America's pivot to Asia must go beyond defence

With natural gas flowing this month through a controversial Chinese-backed pipeline project connecting resource-rich Burma with energy-hungry China, there remains a clear message to the US and others seeking to expand business relations with the once pariah nation.

Reducing attention on what has so far been a successful US "pivot on Burma" would be a mistake, despite continuing concerns over human rights violations and sectarian violence. Certainly, China has not paused.

90 percent of female workers employed in garment industry

Myanmar's garment industry employs 90 percent of female workers, according to Dr. Khine Khine Nwe, Secretary of Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) who was speaking at the Myanmar Women Dialogue held on Saturday.

Myanmar has 3.6 million workers and 40 percent of them are female workers.

Telcoms Firm Ooredoo Offers Burma $60m in Development Assistance

Ooredoo, the Qatar-based firm that won one of two mobile licenses to dramatically expand Burma’s telecommunications network, has pledged to spend $60 million on social development projects in the country over the next decade, Mizzima reports. 

Youth face challenges applying for jobs with high requirements

Young graduates and jobless youth are facing challenges to apply for jobs at new communication companies who are beginning to operate in Myanmar.

"When I saw the job advertisement for Nokia Siemens, what we can apply for is only a reception post. We need the skills although job opportunities are plenty. It is good that we can work that kind of job here while we have to go to abroad for them in the past," said Thiha, a web developer.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Myanmar to expand cooperation with China

Myanmar is to expand its cooperation with China in a broad range of areas, including agriculture, trade, tourism and border management, U Thant Kyaw, Myanmar's deputy minister of foreign affairs, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily on Monday.
He made the comments during a visit to Kunming, provincial capital of Yunnan, for the First China Yunnan-Myanmar Cooperation Forum.

During the event, Myanmar agreed to establish a new coordination mechanism with Yunnan, aiming to improve economic and security ties, and Thant Kyaw said future cooperation will extend to energy supplies and sports.

"Trade with China is the best way to help raise the living standards of locals in northern Myanmar, such as in Kachin and Shan states, by providing more employment opportunities," Thant Kyaw said.

Yunnan shares a border of about 3,000 kilometers with Myanmar, and people of the same ethnic origin live on both sides of the border.

Cooperation with Yunnan has a great significance for Myanmar's relationship with China, he said, adding that the current focus is mainly on the agriculture and tourism sectors.
"We are focusing on the agricultural sector, which is the most important for both sides. Myanmar has changed a lot in the past two years, and we had great success, but we also have many aspects to improve, such as some economic issues and tourism coordination. The forum is a good opportunity," the deputy minister said.

Yan Miao, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture of Yunnan, said the trade volume in agricultural goods between Yunnan and Myanmar rose to $86 million last year, of which 87 percent was exports from Yunnan to Myanmar.

Thant Kyaw said: "Farmers and merchants in my country need a stable market whenever they sell agricultural goods to China. Sometimes, the Chinese traders won't buy Myanmar goods, and harm the confidence of Myanmar farmers."

Yang Hui, deputy director of the Yunnan Department of Commerce, said the province imports a large amount of agricultural products from northern Myanmar, in particular Kanchin and Shan states.

However, the agreement on inspection and quarantine for imports expired in September. A new framework is needed as soon as possible after a risk assessment has been carried out, Yang said.

Myanmar hasn't signed an agreement on the inspection and quarantine of animals and plants with China, said Dan Guoyi, deputy director of the Yunnan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. The agreement is needed urgently, he said.

Thant Kyaw called for China to clarify its standards for the agricultural goods that Myanmar farmers should follow.

Wang Changming, deputy president of the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said the institute has maintained close cooperation with Myanmar in agricultural technologies and planting since the late 1980s. Five new types of crops developed by the academy, such as new potatoes and sugar cane, now cover 5,333 hectares in Myanmar, he said.

Wang suggested establishing a joint research platform for agricultural professionals from both countries to better communicate and exchange views on innovation in agricultural technology.

"If Myanmar approves the plan, we will warmly welcome visiting scholars from the neighboring country at any time," he said.

Yunnan was the top destination for the 600,000 people from Myanmar who visited China in 2012, said Duan Yueqing, chairman of the Yunnan Commission of Tourism. More than 70,000 Yunnan residents visited Myanmar last year, bringing considerable revenue to the local tourism industry.

Yunnan will invite 30 tourism officials from Myanmar for exchanges, he said.
The Kunming International Tourism Expo, the biggest in Asia, will be held in October and Thant Kyaw promised to participate in the event.

source: China Daily USA

Beijing's economic diplomacy in Myanmar

In a landmark event, the US$2.5 billion Myanmar-China pipeline began pumping gas on July 28. This project is strategically important for both countries - it will enable China to save on costs of importing fuel through the Strait of Malacca while Myanmar will be able to tap into its rich energy sources and gain income, employment and a more reliable domestic energy supply. 

This will be the first natural gas pipeline from Southeast Asia to China and is part of a much bigger project that will include gas-field development, a special economic zone, deep sea port and crude oil pipeline.

PTT expresses interest in refining complex development in Myanmar

PTT has expressed its interest to develop a refining complex in Myanmar, said its executive.

Attapol Rerkpibool, in charge of overseas business, said that PTT is among 7 companies, vying to develop the large complex which is located near Yangon and a river.

Thai SMEs urged to tap Myanmar market

The International Trade Promotion Department is putting emphasis on Myanmar as it promotes more trade and investment in Asean.

After opening a Trade and Investment Consultant Centre in Yangon recently, Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the department, said her agency would continue to encourage Thai companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to do more business in Myanmar.

Airlines Scramble to Land in Myanmar, but Visas Still up in the Air

BANGKOK — Foreign airline companies big and small are falling over one another in a battle for landing rights in Myanmar to tap into Southeast Asia’s new and rapidly rising tourist destination.

Myanmar may still be a long way behind its neighbor Thailand in visitor numbers, but since President U Thein Sein began opening up the country two years ago, tourism has become one of its biggest businesses.

Yangon to meet hotel standards by 2017

Only 1,500 to 2,000 hotel rooms in Yangon are of international standards and the city will only be able to meet room demands by 2017, according to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle's Hotels & Hospitality Group.

"According to the Ministry of Tourism, there are currently 9,110 hotel rooms in Yangon. While opinion differs on which hotels are of international standard, the general consensus of our research amongst industry sources appears to be in the range of 1,500 to 2,000 rooms," the group said.

Myanmar credit card moves will time: Visa

Visa International, which entered Myanmar last year, expects that it will take about three to five years for the credit and debit card system to be fully established in the cash-based society.

Somboon Krobteeranon, manager for Myanmar and Thailand, said last week that one year was spent helping to lay the groundwork and educate its financial institution partners in the neighbouring country.

PTTEP denies Ayeyarwady mega project

Thailand-based PTTEP has denied being involved in a multi-billion dollar deep seaport and other heavy infrastructure projects in the Ayeyarwady region.

 In a letter to Eleven Media, PTTEP International General Manager Kanok Intharawijitr said PTTEP, which operates an oil and gas exploration and production in Myanmar, has neither established nor is a shareholder of Amera Asia Co involved in the Ayeyarwady project.

Myanmar approves manufacturing and distribution of Nissan cars

Myanmar Investment Commission has approved the manufacturing and distribution of Nissan cars in Myanmar by Tan Chong Motor (Myanmar) Co Ltd on August 15, according to a report from the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.

Malaysia-based Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd (TCMH), the business partner of Japan's Nissan Motor, has engaged in discussion with Myanmar authorities since last year to manufacture and distribute Nissan cars and spare parts in Myanmar.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Qatari firm vows 'affordable' mobile access for Myanmar

Qatari telecoms giant Ooredoo on Friday pledged to introduce "affordable" phone services to Myanmar next year as it pumps $15 billion into one of the world's few remaining frontier mobile markets.

The firm, which in June along with Norway's Telenor won bids to provide mobile coverage to a nation where less than 10 percent of the population has telephone access, should be formally awarded its 15-year 3G licence by the end of this year.

It will then start to roll out its mobile services -- including money transfers and weather data for farmers -- within six months, a company executive told reporters in Yangon.

"People can use Ooredoo's services next year... we need to build quickly, not only in cities but also in rural areas," Ross Cormack said.

Few in Myanmar can currently afford mobile phones and SIM card fees, which in the past cost about $200, although the government is now trying to make prices more affordable.

Asked how calls will be priced -- in a country where about a quarter of the population live below the national poverty line -- Cormack said: "I can't say exactly but you will find it attractive and affordable."
In a statement in July Myanmar's government said Ooredoo had "committed" to selling SIM cards for about $1.5 and to charging roughly four cents for off-peak calls.

"We will deliver SIM cards and all the services at every road-side store and to villages," Cormack said, adding up to 97 percent of Myanmar's 60 million people will have access to his company's services within five years.

Mobile coverage in the former junta-ruled nation is extremely limited, with less than 10 percent of the population enjoying access to a telephone.

The company, formerly known as QTel, will invest in selling its services at tens of thousands of outlets across the country, it said, with a focus on add-ons including mobile money transfers and providing market prices, weather updates and equipment rental costs to help farmers in remote areas.

Valid for 15 years, the licences are the first to be awarded by the formerly junta-ruled nation, and will see the two foreign firms enter a market once monopolised by a pair of state companies.

source: FOX News

Myanmar eyeing possibility of building new deep-sea port

The Myanmar government will jointly perform a feasibility study with a private company from Thailand to explore the possibility of building a new deep-sea port in the country's southeastern Mon State facing the Gulf of Moattama, state media reported Friday.

The Port Authority of the Ministry of Transport recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand's Emerald Grand Hotel Co. to start conducting, within three months, the feasibility study for the Kalargote deep-sea port project located between Ye and Mawlamyine towns in Mon State, the New Light of Myanmar daily said.

South Korea to provide technical aid to Myanmar

The Republic of Korea will provide technical assistance to small and medium enterprises involved in energy, construction and manufacturing, according to the reports from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Local investment in Myanmar up US$114 million in July

Local investment in Myanmar has risen 110 billion Kyats (US$114 million) to 3 trillion Kyats (US$3.2 billion) in July, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Over 101 billion Kyats -  91 percent of the investments made by local businesses last month - was added to the manufacturing sector. Total local investments in manufacturing reached 801 billion Kyats ($827 million) by the end of July.

Myanmar strategy to get rethink after failed infrastructure bids

Japan is going to have to rethink its strategy for opening business opportunities in Myanmar, one of the last untapped markets in Asia, as Japanese consortia have failed to win international tenders to develop the country’s infrastructure.

Airport construction and expansion projects as well as telecom operator licenses are among key deals that Japan has lost to other foreign consortia that have included South Korean and Chinese bidders, dealing a blow to Japan’s all-out efforts at the government and private-sector levels to win contracts.

Myanmar gas imports expected to be cheaper than alternatives in southwest China

China's imported gas supplies from Myanmar are expected to be cheaper than some existing sources in the local domestic markets in southwestern Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, despite being relatively more expensive than overall domestic Chinese gas, sources said Friday.

This is because Yunnan and parts of Guangxi now use more expensive onshore LNG, which has to be liquefied from other domestic fields and trucked to end-users.

Sceptical British Firms ‘Staying Out of Burma Until After 2015’

British firms are staying out of Burma because they are sceptical of President Thein Sein’s reform process despite the end of EU sanctions and concerned about continuing military influences in business.

That’s the conclusion of the human rights NGO Burma Campaign UK after talking to a number of companies in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Myanmar posts trade surplus

Myanmar posted a trade surplus of $8.65 million in July, official media quoted the Central Statistical Organisation as saying Friday.

With a total foreign trade of $1.586 billion, Myanmar's export amounted to $797.78 million, while its import stood at $789.13 million during the month, reported Xinhua.

Tourism Industry Works to Educate as Foreign Visitors to Burma Rise

Tourism industry stakeholders say awareness is key if Burma is to handle an expected influx of tourists—and the environmental and social impacts that they will bring—in a way that preserves the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

According to data compiled by Burma’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the number of tourists entering the country has risen from over 800,000 in 2011 to more than 900,000 last year. The ministry hopes to draw one million travelers to the country this year.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Disappearing slate stone marks decline of time-honoured business

Although many schools in Myanmar still use the traditional slate stone as a writing tablet for students to begin practicing the alphabet and numbers, this time honoured practice is slowly disappearing with the arrival of modern stationary and exercise books in the classroom.

Slate stones are traditionally produced in Belu Island in Mawlamyine where deep quarries are dug near Mudon Mountain to retrieve the smooth stone tablet that can be used for writing. However a falling demand marks the decline of a time-honoured business.

Japan to provide loans to Myanmar agricultural banks

Japanese banking firms are planning to provide loans through Myanmar's agricultural banks to help fund farming businesses, according to Myanmar Livestock Federation.

Kotaro Kikuchi from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), visited the Livestock Federation last week and queried about the difficulties faced in breeding animals and other farming practices.

Myanmar: rushing in, but risks abound

"Sixty million people falling out of the sky - you're not going to see that again in our generation," quoted The Irrawaddy describing business opportunities in Myanmar.

Investors including carmakers have been rushing to tap those opportunities. Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are the latest global OEMs to join Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Ford, GM, Kia and Hyundai, which began establishing a hold in the country by starting off selling spare parts and services.

NEC sets up base in Myanmar

NEC Corporation is bringing its expertise in information and communications technology as well as social infrastructure to Myanmar with the opening of offices in Yangon in February and in Nay Pyi Taw.

"There is tremendous growth potential in Myanmar and this is an opportune moment for NEC to contribute to the country's IT needs," Takayuki Morita, a senior vice president of the Japanese company, said yesterday. 

China and Myanmar vow to enhance science and technology cooperation

China and Myanmar agreed on last Friday to enhance science and technological cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang (also as the Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC) and his Myanmar counterpart Dr. Ko Ko Oo signed minutes on enhancing science and technological exchange and cooperation after a meeting on 9 August in Yangon.

Korea And Japan Win Myanmar Airport Tenders - Incheon (IIAC) To Build Hanthawaddy Airport And Mitsubishi (8058) To Improve Mandalay Airport

Myanmar has announced tender winners for its airport developments – South Korea’s state-run airport operator is charged with building Hanthawaddy International Airport near Yangon, while Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (TYO:8058) has been given the opportunity to improve and operate Mandalay International Airport.

A consortium led by the Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) has been chosen as the preferred bidder to construct Myanmar's Hanthawaddy International Airport, the second hub serving the country’s commercial center Yangon, Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation said, according to Mizzima, an India-based Myanmar news outlet. 

Telenor to recruit 3000 Myanmar staff

Norway’s Telenor Group said that they would recruit approximately 3000 Myanmar nationals to provide local communication services. Telenor won the recent Myanmar telecommunication tender.

Telenor Group will recruit employees in three phases. In the first phase 25 management level employees who are proficient in business development and strategic planning will be recruited. They will execute administrative duties to launch Telenor Myanmar. The application period for these employment opportunities will be mid-August to September end.

Linking Fair and SQUAR in Myanmar

KOLKATA, Aug 15 2013 (IPS) - What’s less than two months old, has hit the headlines globally, and has more than 79,000 ‘likes’ and over 16,000 people talking about it?

No, it’s not Prince George Alexander Louis but the precocious SQUAR of Myanmar, the once isolated Southeast Asian nation’s own version of social networking site Facebook.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Japanese transport minister meets Myanmar president

Visiting Japanese Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Akihiro Ota met with Myanmar President Thein Sein at the Presidential Palace in the capital Naypyitaw on Monday, state media reported Tuesday.

The meeting focused on infrastructure developments in Myanmar, including upgrading airports and rail services, electric power generation, tourism industry promotion, and preventative measures against natural disasters, the state-run New Light of Myanmar daily reported.

Visa on Arrival scheme popular with Japanese tourists

Visa on Arrival (VoA) scheme continues to be popular with Japanese tourists as maximum visitors from the Asian country availed the scheme in July.

A total number of 1,154 VoAs were issued in July this year as against 941 during July, 2012, registering a growth of 22.6 per cent.

While 327 Japanese tourists availed the scheme followed by (251), Indonesia (173) and (172), only eight visitors each from Myanmar, Cambodia and Luxembourg utilised the facility in July. However, the scheme did not get any response from Laos.

Myanmar and ADB collaborate on e-government master plan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Myanmar are working on designing an e-governance masterplan for the country. The ADB is expected to invite shortlisted consulting firms to submit proposals this week for the USD 1.5 million project.

Having recently opened its doors to international engagement, the Myanmar is undertaking efforts to gain and maintain competitiveness at a global level. The Government has formed an inter-ministerial task force for appraisal of public service performance to improve public service delivery with a focus on streamlining bureaucratic processes and eliminating red tape. 

Myanmar investors to enhance fisheries business with Thailand

SAMUT SAKHON, Aug 15 – Thailand and Myanmar are keen to jointly develop their fisheries business prior to the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), according to Thai businessmen in the seafood industry.
A 92-member delegation from Myanmar, led by Myeik Chamber of Commerce president U Hla Than, visited Thailand’s fishing province of Samut Sakhon to explore opportunities in fisheries investment in light of the more convenient transport and services between the two countries in the next two years when the Southeast Asian region is integrated under the AEC framework.

SK wins Myanmar airport contract

YANGON -- Myanmar has picked South Korea's state-run airport operator to build a new international hub near it's main city, as the once-isolated nation sees booming tourist and business visitor numbers. 

A consortium led by the Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) was chosen as the preferred bidder to construct the Hanthawaddy International Airport as a second hub for the country's commercial centre Yangon, Myanmar's Department of Civil Aviation said.

Myanmar committee to look into establishing capital market

A committee to look into establishing a capital market in Myanamr will be set up this year according to officials from the Ministry of Finance.

Myanmar has recently opened up its economy to foreign investment as the country began a transition from military dictatorship to civilian government in 2011. It is now seeking to establish a capital market with the help of Japan’s Daiwa Institute of Research.

International hotel brands sign on for Yangon: JLL

THE number of international standard rooms in Yangon is set to soar within the next four years as brand-name hotel groups enter the as-yet untapped Myanmar market, predicts Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotel Group in its recent Myanmar Hotel and Tourism Report: Spotlight on Yangon publication.

While Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels & Tourism counted 9,110 hotel rooms in the city, JLL estimated that only 1,500-2,000 were of international standard due to previous economic sanctions that kept European and American hotel operators out.

US companies not making full discloser on Burma; Obama told

Several NGOs has informed US President that American companies making investments in Burma are not making full disclosures.

In a joint letter to Obama yesterday, the NGOs led by -based US Campaign for Burma, commended American companies that have complied with the July deadline for timely reporting - Capital Bank and Trust Company and Capital International Inc., Hercules Offshore Inc., and Crowley Marine Services Inc.

Burma Not Ready for Asean Economic Community, Businesspeople Say

RANGOON — Although Burma is moving forward with economic reforms and opening up to the international community, businesspeople say the country is not yet ready to join a planned integrated network of Southeast Asian economies in 2015.

A lack of infrastructure, human resources and technology, along with an unfinished legal framework for businesses, are a concern for Burma as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) attempts to form a single market within the next two years.

Japan suggests discussions with Myanmar and Thailand over Dawei project

Japan has suggested holding joint discussions with Myanmar and Thailand if it is to invest in the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), according to officials.

Japan is already investing in various infrastructure projects in Yangon, notably in the construction of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone. President Thein Sein has invited Japan to invest in the Dawei project in an official letter signed by ministers from Myanmar and Thailand on April 24.

YCDC block the construction of high-rise buildings near historic pagoda

Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) has blocked two separate proposals to construct 11 and 22-storey buildings inside of the restricted areas near Shwedagon Pagoda.

The locations of the restricted areas situated between Damazedi Road and Shin Saw Pu Road on the north ward of Shwedagon Pagoda, between the junction of Min Ye Kyaw Swar Road-Circular Train Road-Shwedagon Pagoda Road and Yaw Min Gyi Street on the south ward of Shwedagon Pagoda, Alan Pya Pagoda Road-Zoological Garden Street-Kan Street-Kan Street-Netmauk Road-Kabaaye Pagoda Road on the east ward of Shwedagon Pagoda and Baho Road on the west of Shwedagon Pagoda.

Harsher punishments to be enforced on illicit traders

Myanmar government is set to launch a new regulation-enforcement initiative on August 12 to control illegal imports and exports especially through overseas trade routes.

It will adopt harsher punishments, such as 3-year imprisonment for illegal exports/imports under the new Export-Import Law (2012), Tin Ye Win, a director general at the commerce ministry, told a press conference in Yangon on August 9.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Shopping mall to be completed near Yangon's sacred Shwedagon Pagoda

The construction of a three-storey shopping centre, located in Peoples Square near Yangon's landmark Shwedagon Pagoda, is nearing completion according to sources working on the project.

A Chinese company named Natural World is building the shopping mall, after getting the approval from the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC). Critics have slammed the YCDC for letting for allowing a shopping mall to be built in a public area so close to the sacred pagoda.

Government committee to crack down on illegal imports

Traders continue to import illegal mobile phones, oil and diesel despite the government's efforts to grant import licences, according to the Central Committee for Illegal Trade Control.

Although Myanmar is needs over 435 million gallons of petrol to supply over 400,000 registered vehicles, local traders have only applied to import 391 million gallons in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

"We estimated that they are illegally importing 44 million gallons of petrol annually. Besides applying to import ordinary oil and diesel they sell them as premium oil and diesel in filling stations. We will take action if the government allows us," said Tin Ye Win, Director of Central Committee for Illegal Trade Control.

NEC Offcially Opens Myanmar Offices

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- NEC Corporation today officially opened its Yangon and Naypyidaw offices in Myanmar, said a statement issued by the company here today.

Bringing its expertise in information and communications technology (ICT) as well as social infrastructure, NEC Corporation sees great potential in Myanmar, which has undergone rapid economic growth in recent years.

Myanmar Races Against the Clock to Build Airports and Hotels

Private airlines are proliferating in Myanmar, hoping to capitalise on a tourist and business travel boom, and demand from upcoming international events such as the SEA Games in December and Asean meetings next year.

Besides national carrier Myanmar Airways International, there are seven local airlines, and just last week four new ones were given permission to start operations, Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said over the weekend.

DCA to sign contract with companies to construct Myanmar airports

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will sign a contract with companies who won a bid to construct and upgrade Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Hantharwady international airports at the end of this month, according to DCA officials.

The DCA has chosen Incheon Airport Consortium from South Korea to construct Hantharwady International Airport and Singapore’s Yongnam-CAPE-JGC Consortium as a backup company.

Huawei chosen as main supplier company for Myanmar mobile operators

China communications giant Huawei Technologies has been chosen as a main technological supplier for three main mobile operators in Myanmar despite US warnings over cyber security.

The three operators are the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT), Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) and recent private license winner Telenor from Norway.

New Light of Myanmar (4 August 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (4 August 2013 - Sunday)

Ministry selling electricity at a loss - Deputy Minister

The government is selling electricity at a loss and there is yet no plan for reducing electricity charges, according to officials from the Ministry for Electric Power at a parliamentary meeting on August 12.

"The Ministry of Electric Power charged 35 Kyat per unit for a meter box and 75 Kyat per unit for a power meter box. Tax is currently 1000 Kyat per meter box and 5000 Kyat per power meter box," said Deputy Minister for Electric Power Aung Than.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

S Korean firm wins bid for Myanmar airport

YANGON: Myanmar has picked South Korea’s state-run airport operator to build a new international hub near its main city, as the once-isolated nation sees booming tourist and business visitor numbers.

A consortium led by the Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) was chosen as the preferred bidder to construct the Hanthawaddy International Airport as a second hub for the country’s commercial centre Yangon, Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation said.

Burma Awards Contracts to Build, Expand International Airports

RANGOON — Burma has awarded contracts to expand two existing airports and build a new international airport, amid the growing demands of tourism in a country which expects to see annual foreign arrivals rise from about 2 million to 7 million by 2020.

A contract to expand Burma’s main international airport, Yangon International Airport, has been awarded to a consortium led by Pioneer Aerodrome Services Co., an affiliate of the major Burmese conglomerate Asia World, which is run by Steven Law, who is still on the US sanctions list.

Tiger Airways to launch Yangon-Singapore flights

Singapore-based Tiger Airways, a regional economy airline, is set to launch daily flights between Yangon and Singapore starting October 1, according to officials.

“Tiger Airways has planned to fly Yangon-Singapore starting from October 1,” said Win Ko, General Manager of Yangon International Airport, on August 10.

Govt to scrutinize jade mining companies in Kachin State

The government will scrutinize jade mining companies in Hpakant town of Kachin State, forbidding new companies and companies with expired licenses from operating in the jade mining business, Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham said on Sunday.

Dr Sai Mauk Kham told Hpakant residents that jade stone should be protected for the next generation and that the government is currently drafting a law on jade mining.

Tender selection committee chooses Asia World Company’s subsidiary

Pioneer Aerodrome Services which is a subsidiary of Asia World Group from Myanmar has been chosen by tender selection committee, according to sources.

Pioneer Aerodrome Services will work together with China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd., CPG Consultant Pte Ltd. from Singapore and Malaysia Airport Consultant Services SDN BHD to upgrade Yangon International Airport.

Japan's development loan to be spent on infrastructure and economic zone

Japan will lend over US$ 900 million for development projects this fiscal year to be spent on renovation and basic infrastructure in Yangon, as well as the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, according to an official from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans are long-term low interest rate loans advanced to developing countries.

5 Travel Startups Tackle Trip Planning in Myanmar, South Korea, and Beyond

Some travelers have their trip itineraries paid for and confirmed before they leave for the airport, while others board a plane with a few loose plans and well-worn sneakers to explore a city.

This week’s roundup speaks to both kinds of travelers with startups that range from considering every moment of a trip to those that offer spur-of-moment mobile treasure hunts.
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