Thursday, 31 October 2013

Competition and Hesitant Investors Put Brakes on Burma’s Rice Industry

Burma’s ambition to become a major rice exporter again is facing numerous hurdles, not least of which is the problem of oversupply in the world market.

Domestic media reported last week that Burma’s export earnings have already slumped about US$100 million so far in this financial year because of weaker harvests caused by poor weather. But a bigger problem is an export market bloated with better-quality rice than Burmese growers can produce, said Samarendu Mohanty, an economist with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Global operators wooing MPT, executive says

Global telecom operators have expressed interest in working with government-owned operator Myanmar Post and Telecommunications even before its privatization, its general manager said without disclosing the names of the firms.

Media reports, and industry observers, have identified Vodafone and Orange as two of the leading suitors of MPT but Kyaw Soe Win declined to confirm or deny this.

Pan Pacific brand to debut in Myanmar

PAN Pacific Hotels Group has entered a joint venture agreement with Myanmar's Shwe Taung Group to develop the country's first Pan Pacific hotel.

Subject to regulatory approvals from the Myanmar government, Pan Pacific Yangon will open in 2016 as part of a mixed-use development comprising serviced apartments, retail and office spaces.

Japan small business group, Myanmar chamber of commerce ink tie-up

A Japanese small business group and Myanmar's chamber of commerce reached a cooperation agreement Wednesday, aiming to give Japanese small and midsize enterprises access to more information on firms in Myanmar and local investment opportunities.

Gov't criticised for double hike in electricity bills

The government faces widespread criticisms after informing the public just two days in advance of a 40 percent rise in electricity prices on Tuesday.

Yangon City Electricity Supply Board, under the Ministry of Electricity, announced in the state-owned media that electricity prices will be raised as of November 1, raising fears that the hike will impact Myanmar's fragile economy as local businesses struggle to compete with international markets.

National power grid failure causes another blackout

Myanmar experienced another blackout on Tuesday evening for over an hour and a half due to failure of the Shwetaung-Myaungtakar National Power Grid, according to the Yangon City Electricity Supply Board.

The nationwide blackout took place between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm, the same day as the government announced a huge hike in electricity bills, but specific reasons for the for the power grid failure have not been revealed yet.

Visa, local banks plan multicurrency credit card for Myanmar travellers

Visa is working closely with banks in Myanmar on the Visa multicurrency travel prepaid card to make it easier for people to go abroad.

The launch of the card will mark a milestone in the country's financial system, opening the global marketplace to Myanmar people who are traveling internationally for business and leisure in record numbers.

Myanmar seeks Japan help for economic zone

Myanmar Finance Minister Win Shein said Tuesday that his nation plans to seek Japan’s support for its project to build a special economic zone, saying, “It is impossible for one nation to prepare necessary funds and technology for the project.”

For the ambitious Dawei industrial zone, sprawling over more than 200 square kilometers in southern Myanmar near the border with Thailand, Myanmar is considering building expressways and a deepwater port that can accommodate large vessels. If realized, the economic zone is expected to serve as a distribution hub in Southeast Asia.

Hyundai wants big market share in Myanmar

The Korean manufacturer aims to raise its market share in Myanmar to over 15 % in the next three or four years, taking advantage of the huge popularity of South Korean culture in the country.

Kolao Holdings, the sole dealer for the automaker there, said Hyundai Motor, which opened its first showroom in Yangon in August, plans to set up 14 dealerships in major cities by 2018 as it seeks to crack into the small, but growing market dominated by Japanese carmakers.

Exhibition: MYANMAR WATER 2013 Expo: Myanmar's International Water and Wastewater Industry Show

YANGON, Myanmar, Oct. 30, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ -- Widely renowned as the country's 1st ever international water, wastewater and industrial wastewater treatment and purification show, MYANMAR WATER 2013 Expo ( has opened its door from 24 to 26 October at the Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall to welcome all exhibitors, industrialists, trade visitors and government officers within the water industry. The event is organized by UBM Asia, a global company and organiser of 400 events in 30 countries annually in over 25 market sectors such as fashion, pharmaceuticals, security, energy, water, livestock and many more. 

China Industry Expo-Myanmar Kicks off in Yangon

The 2013 China industry expo- Myanmar, along with activities marking Chinese brand products and enterprises promotion day, kicked off on Wednesday at the Tatmadaw Convention Hall in Yangon.

The 2013 China Industry Expo-Myanmar and Chinese Brand Products and Enterprises Promotion Day, organized by Trade Development Bureau of China's Ministry of Commerce, Department of Commerce of Yunnan Province and China International Economic and Trade Consultants, is participated by exhibitors from nearly 50 Chinese enterprises.

New Light of Myanmar (31 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

The Mirror Daily (31 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (31 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Vodafone may expand in Egypt and Myanmar

Vodafone has not yet received the windfall from the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless, but it is still pursuing its twin strategies of expanding in wireline markets in Europe, and in emerging economies. In both cases, it is looking at new acquisitions, and at gaining majority control in carriers where it has only a minority stake, as in India - or offloading those minor holdings, as in the US.

MTN not back in Myanmar

MTN Group says it is not one of the the major operators reportedly back in Myanmar looking to hook up with state-owned operator Myanmar Posts and Telecom (MPT).

The Financial Times reported that SingTel, Vodafone and Orange are among a group of large operators to be invited by the government to pitch for a joint venture with MPT.

Myanmar govt sizes up partners for incumbent – report

Vodafone, Orange and SingTel are among operators approached to form a partnership that would bolster Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), the country’s incumbent, according to Financial Times.

The country’s government wants a partner to support state-backed MPT which is set to face intensive competition from newcomers in the country Ooredoo and Telenor, both licensed in June this year.

Pan Pacific Hotel to Open in Yangon, Myanmar

Pan Pacific Hotels Group has entered into a conditional joint venture with Shwe Taung Group, one of Myanmar’s leading corporations in real estate and infrastructure development, to develop the first Pan Pacific hotel in Myanmar.

Subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals from the relevant Myanmar authorities, the hotel will be called the Pan Pacific Yangon.

Myanmar FDI: China Accounts For One Third Of Foreign Investment In Myanmar With $14 Billion

Chinese companies account for a third of the nearly $44 billion of foreign investment Myanmar has approved since 1988, highlighting China’s long history of dominance in its impoverished Southeast Asian neighbor.

The period beginning in 1988 and ending on Sept. 30 of this year saw Chinese companies invest $14.19 billion in Myanmar, accounting for 32 percent of the total $43.74 billion foreign investment the Burmese government approved in the period. China also leads in terms of actual investment with $14.12 billion, or nearly 42 percent of the total $33.67 billion, according to figures Mizzima, a Myanmar newspaper, obtained from the Myanmar Investment Commission (chart below).

Nissan factory to be built in Bago Region

A Nissan car factory is being planned on 80 acres of land in Myanmar's Bago Region, according to company sources.

The local company, United Diamond Motors have been authorised as the official distributor in July this year.

Myanmar launches its first online music store

The first Myanmar music online store has been launched on Sunday to combat piracy and illegal downloads.

The Myanmar Music Store has been selling Myanmar albums online for a week trail run before officially launching its website. It plans to release popular rock star Lay Phyu’s single album, “Diary” which has already sold 4,000 copies.

Myanmar among hardest places to do business: World Bank

Myanmar is among the ten most difficult countries in the world to conduct business, the World Bank has concluded in an annual report released today.

According to the World Bank’s 'Doing Business 2014' report, which ranks 189 countries in 10 categories that measure the ease of doing business, Myanmar ranked 182nd overall behind Zimbabwe (170th) and Venezuela (181st) and just ahead of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (183rd).

Central Bank investigates circulation of CID-marked counterfeit bill

The Central Bank has launched an investigation into the circulation of a counterfeit bill that has already been marked by the Criminal Investigation Department.

A coffee shop owner from North Okkalapa Township in Yangon sent a letter to The Daily Eleven after she found a Ks 1,000 counterfeit bill while counting money on September 22. The Daily Eleven published her correspondence as a letter to the editor on October 3.

Despite low rating, Myanmar business climate improving - World Bank

BANGKOK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - For a country rolling out economic reforms at a startling pace, Myanmar's lowly ranking among the likes of Eritrea and Chad for ease of doing business might set off alarm bells for would-be foreign investors.

The good news for firms interested in tapping the country's natural resources, tourism potential and urgent infrastructure needs is Myanmar is making progress in preventing the rampant graft, bureaucracy and cronyism that under military rule made it one of the world's riskiest places to do business, according to the World Bank.

Timber smugglers export US$ 17 mln worth of timber to China

Timber smugglers used illegal routes to export more than US$ 17 million worth of timber to China, Myanmar's ministry of commerce revealed recently quoting official data released by the Chinese government.

Official amounts of exported timber was just over US$ 30,000, but import data released officially by China's Ruili and Wonton showed US$ 17.5 million worth of timber had been imported from Myanmar, the ministry said.

Revitalising Myanmar’s Higher Education

British higher education institutions and agencies, including the University of London International Programmes, are working in partnership to help revitalise Myanmar’s higher education sector and international connectivity. This is the subject of discussions being held at an International Policy Dialogue in Myanmar today, titled ‘UK-Myanmar higher education partnership: turning policy into action’.

Singapore and Malaysia to propose direct flights to NPT in December

Singapore and Malaysia airlines have proposed to run direct flights to Nay Pyi Taw in December for the upcoming SEA Games, Ministry of Transport sources say.

“We have received proposals from Singapore and Malaysia airlines,” Deputy Minister for Transport Zin Yaw told the Union Assembly yesterday.

Myanmar looks at Buleleng’s marine conservation

A team from Myanmar visited Buleleng recently due to the country’s interest in the area’s village-level marine conservation management implemented by the coastal communities.

The activity is focused in Penuktukan subdistrict of Tejakula.

Field training coordinator for Laut Alam Lestari (LINI) Foundation, Andri Ali Musta’in, said on Thursday that the Myanmar team visited north Bali waters having become interested in the people’s efforts and participation.

Myanmar to construct six ports with JICA aid

The Directorate of Transport will construct six modern ports along Ayeyawady and Chindwin rivers with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The ports will be constructed in Bhamo, Mandalay, Pakokku and Magway along Ayeyawady River and Monywa and Kalewa along Chindwin River.

In Myanmar, Hyundai Motor basks in "Korean Wave" : Dealer

SEOUL: Hyundai Motor aims to raise its market share in Mynamar to over 15 per cent in the next three or four years, basking in the huge popularity of South Korean culture, the sole dealer for the automaker in the country said on Tuesday.

Hyundai Motor, which opened its first showroom in Yangon in August, plans to set up 14 dealerships in major cities by 2018 as it seeks to crack into the small, but growing market dominated by Japanese carmakers, Kolao Holdings said.

New Light of Myanmar (30 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

The Mirror Daily (30 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (30 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

DHL Expands Myanmar Presence

SINGAPORE, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL, has strengthened its Southeast Asian operations with the establishment of a 100 per cent fully-owned country office in Myanmar as part of DHL Global Forwarding South Asia. The move is a culmination of almost twenty years of operations through agency representation and includes the official opening of a DHL Global Forwarding office in Yangon and the appointment of Christoph Beier as Country Manager.

MPT gives second chance to int'l telecoms providers

Leading telecommunication companies that did not win operating licences in June this year have been invited to join hands with the Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), according to the Financial Times.

The Financial Times reported that Orange and Vodafone are among the list of foreign operators who have been invited to go into a private partnership with the state-owned MPT. They will be allowed to work independently from the company’s rules and regulations.

Japanese Traders to Start Myanmar Economic Zone Within Two Years

Three of Japan’s biggest trading houses agreed to form a venture with Myanmar that will build an industrial hub in the Southeast nation within two years, aiming to export electronics parts and clothes across Asia.

Mitsubishi Corp. (8058), Sumitomo Corp. (8053) and Marubeni Corp. (8002) will own 49 percent and Myanmar’s government and local enterprises the rest in the venture near the commercial capital of Yangon, the companies said today in a joint statement. The partners may spend about 17 billion yen ($174 million) on power, water and transport infrastructure at the site.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MPs urge health ministry to disclose foreign aid expenditure

Members of parliament have pressured the ministry of health to disclose how it aims to spend billions of Kyat in foreign aid.

MP Nay Linn demanded more transparency in how Myanmar's health department plans to spend foreign aid, including over Ks 10 billion of Japanese assistance granted to update health facilities.

"The Health Department presented reports to parliament to build rural healthcare centres in central Myanmar and to upgrade the health sector with the help of Japanese assistance. They have not mentioned exactly where and how many health care centres will be built," said MP Nay Linn to the Union Assembly.

MIC grants permission to new foreign-funded enterprises

Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has granted permission to various new foreign-funded enterprises, according to official reports.

During a meeting on Thursday, the MIC granted permission to foreign enterprises from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands and Australia to run businesses in various sectors.

New Light of Myanmar (29 Oct 2013 - Tuesday)

The Mirror Daily (29 Oct 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (29 Oct 2013 - Tuesday)

Myanmar to launch first ever floating hotel

The first ever floating hotel will open its doors in Botahtaung harbour near Yangon by the end of this year, according to the Myanmar Ports Authority.

Myanmar company, Hla Hla Pa Pa won the approval to invest in the floating hotel project buying a 2,000 tonne engine-less vessel from Finland to build the floating hotel. After the vessel arrived here on August 18, Myanmar Shipyards carried out renovation tasks to provide 104 double rooms, two dining rooms and bars.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Deep into Myanmar

A luxury riverboat cruise wends a thousand miles through the lovely ancient land, just reopened to the world.  
MANDALAY, Myanmar - After closing its doors to the West for half a century, Myanmar has reopened, inviting all to come and discover its treasures, ancient palaces of kings long gone, legends and mysteries told in stone. And the world is expected to come.
These are the early days, perhaps the best, and with ill-equipped roads and railways, there is no better way to explore than by river. Public ferries crisscross through glistening green paddies; old teak fishing boats can be rented by the day.
And now, there is the luxury riverboat cruise. In late July, the Orcaella made its maiden voyage on a 1,600-kilometer journey - 995 miles - deep into Myanmar's interior, almost to the border with India. It is operated by the Orient Express, the group that runs luxury hotels, trains, and boats globally.
It's not a handsome ship from the outside. As the cruise's first 30 travelers board in Mandalay, it seems squat and square and a bit worn-out. But once we step over the gangplank and enter the roomy lounge, our impression changes completely. Totally remodeled from the hull up and gracefully furnished, it is a space where all of us immediately felt relaxed.
Over the next 12 days we will tour sights rarely seen by foreign tourists: villages left back in time, gilded pagodas filled with Buddhist statues, thousands of them long neglected.
My cabin is spacious, with hardwood floors, fresh flowers, and a walk-in closet. Best of all are the glass sliding doors facing the wide river; one can lie in bed and watch the world glide by.
We travel first for six hours along the mighty Irrawaddy River, more than 400 meters (437 yards) wide. The shores are almost level with the land, the brush low with a few large trees.
Every hut or fishing boat we pass generates loud greetings. Groups of children wave and call. Water taxis carry passengers from one riverside village to the next, and huge, heavy boats laden with teak head downstream.
When we reach the confluence with the Chindwin River, we meet our first obstacle. The captain slows our 25-cabin ship to a near-standstill and struggles to navigate around a small whirlpool. Shifting sandbanks make it difficult to read the riverbed.
Eventually we pass, continuing north on the Chindwin along the melted waters of the Himalayas. We slice through sandstone cliffs and patches of forest, but this is rare. For long stretches, sometimes days at a time, the view is more monotonous than I would have imagined.
The first village of a decent size we come across is Monywa, where the people appear as fascinated by us as we are by them. As we walk down their dusty roads, we must look like clumsy giants. Their own bodies look so delicate, women walking gracefully even when carrying baskets of bricks on their heads.
The small, beautiful children stare in wonder. A teenage traveler snaps pictures of a little girl from the village and her 4-year-old older brother, then gives the boy a turn at the camera.
Every day, we stop to visit one or more of the many pagodas, old and new. We have seen golden Buddhas towering over us, and a traditional ceremony for young, freshly shaven monks.
After a few days, we reach Sittaung, a few miles from the Indian border.
It has 35 large, very solid teak houses, all without doors and elevated on stilts. Green rice paddies are on either side. The river is only a few meters away and floods are a frequent occurrence.
An old, frail woman stands by a gate, leaning with both hands on her cane, her eyes fixed upon us. She was prepared for our arrival, dressed in her finest blouse and longyi, a traditional wraparound sarong tied firmly in a knot at the waist.
I will not forget her, and our conversation in friendly gestures. I don't think she'll forget me, wondering, most probably, why a woman of 86 years would travel so far to see her.
Her rugged village is full of welcoming smiles, along with disdainful looks from yellow dogs and water buffalo when we expected them to move.
Here we turn around. It took eight days to get here, but we will return in less than half the time, heading with the current toward our home harbor and the temples of Bagan, the first kingdom of Myanmar.
On our final night on the ship, elephant dancers - men in a full-sized pachyderm costume - are brought in from a nearby village.
The bejeweled beast appears with its leader and begins a dainty dance that soon becomes more boisterous. We are amazed when it stands up on his front legs, then on his back. It crosses a plank stretched between two barrels and takes a bow to enthusiastic applause, encouraged by the free-flowing champagne. We politely overlook the two pairs of nicely polished shoes that poke out from under the beast's feet.


MANDALAY, Myanmar - After closing its doors to the West for half a century, Myanmar has reopened, inviting all to come and discover its treasures, ancient palaces of kings long gone, legends and mysteries told in stone. And the world is expected to come.

Hong Kong firm Tiostone seeks to make 'eco-bricks' in Myanmar amid shortage

A shortage of building materials and antiquated construction methods in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, have played a role in the skyrocketing rents in the city, says Hong Kong brick maker Dixon Chan.

"When I visited brick makers in Yangon recently, I found they either use home-made machines or German machines that are 30 or 40 years old," said Chan, director of Hong Kong-based "eco-brick" company Tiostone Environment. Tiostone has made eco-bricks in Hong Kong since 2005 by turning waste glass into bricks.

Myanmar, Thailand to generate electricity through solar power

The Myanmar electric power authorities will initiate a project to generate electricity through solar power in cooperation with a Thai company in a bid to meet the growing demand of electricity in the country in addition to sources obtained through hydro, gas and coal power, official media reported Monday.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between Myanmar's Ministry of Electric Power and the Green Earth Power Co Ltd of Thailand, the project of establishing a solar power plant capable of generating 50 megawatts (mw) of electricity will be implemented in Minbu, central Magway region, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Revenue still needs to cover project spending: World Bank

Despite economic gains over the last two years, further growth in Myanmar continues to be hindered by inefficient tax collecting practices that has contributed to a government deficit of 3.7 percent in the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to the World Bank.

Khwima Nthara, senior country economist at the World Bank, said last week that tax officers do not have the means to properly assess tax forms on an individual basis while being susceptible to bribery.

Ngwe Saung Yacht Club to be opened as hotel

Ngwe Saung Yacht Club will be turned into a hotel to accommodate the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.

"The yacht club in Ngwe Saung Beach is not only very suitable for holding high standard sailing competitions but is also intended to accommodate international athletes who will be competing in the SEA Games," said Moe Myint, chairman of Myanmar Yachting Federation.

Controversial pipeline now fully operational

The controversial pipeline carrying Myanmar gas to China officially reached full pumping capacity last week, the pipeline management company announced on October 24.

A spokesperson for the Southeast Asia Crude Oil Pipeline (SEAOP) and Southeast Asia Gas Pipeline (SEAGP) said the 2000-kilometre pipeline was now fully operational, as of October 20. The Myanmar section of the line is 793km long.

Myanmar aims for US duty free by 2014

Myanmar's exporters stand to benefit from duty-free access to the United States by the end of the year under the US Generalized System of Preferences, experts say.

The Ministry of Commerce said Myanmar must prove that it has improved labour rights and its property laws in line with the international standards provided by foreign institutions.

Competition clauses in new Telecom Law - The Fine Print, Legal & Tax Insight

Fair competition seems to be one of the forgotten aspects of the new telecommunications law promulgated this October.

While most industry observers focus on such important elements of the law as the spectrum, length and conditions of concessions and so on, the clauses governing competition are just as important, not least from the consumers’ point of view.

Kubota Corporation to distribute its products via local representative

Waminn Group of Companies has obtained the right to be the distributor for Japan's Kubota Corporation in Myanmar, according to press statement.

According to the group, the retail prices for the products, which are largely designed for water and sewage treatment to use in homes, hotels, hospitals and other commercial outlets, will not be much different form the price in Japan.

Fishing industry to cut Thai lines

Thai fishing boats will not be able to trawl Myanmar’s territorial waters from March 2014 when a current agreement expires, a spokesperson for the Myanmar Fisheries Federation said in a meeting last week.

The decision follows a workshop held by the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries concerning Thai fishing rights in Nay Pyi Taw last week. The workshop was attended by the fishing experts, businesspeople and representatives of several industry bodies and was overseen by the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, U Khin Maung Aye.

Myanmar offers losers in mobile licence contest second chance

Vodafone and Orange among companies invited to pitch to work alongside state operator

Mobile phone companies that lost out in the race for two mobile phone licences in Myanmar are being invited to pitch for a stake in what is one of the world’s last major untapped markets – alongside state operator, Myanmar Post & Telecommunication (MPT).

Vodafone and Orange are part of a group of leading communications companies invited by the government to pitch to team up with MPT.

Myanmar records trade surplus against neighboring countries

Myanmar recorded a trade surplus of more than US$ 136 million in September of the fiscal year (2013), according to official data from Ministry of Commerce.

The country's trade with neighboring countries collected a total of US$ 1.9 billion in the month, the ministry said.

US interests at a glance

Five broad sectors most interest American business people, including natural resource extraction and consumer goods manufacturing through companies such as Colgate, Pepsi Co and Coca-Cola, trade experts said.

Other US interests lie in infrastructure development for electricity production and distribution, road construction, and agriculture; where US firms can provide mechanical equipment as well as seeds and fertiliser.

Mesmerizing Myanmar

Myanmar is no longer a mysterious hermit nation. Among its main attractions are the Temples of Bagan.

I can thank Luc Besson’s The Lady for taking me to Myanmar. I watched it twice; after the second viewing, I had my tickets to Yangon.

Many worried friends queried my choice of Myanmar with a stream of SMSs following my 10-day, mobile phonefree trip (bliss!). Hadn’t I been afraid to venture into this nation with its possibility of civil unrest?

Floods send bean prices up

Heavy flooding in India over the past month has sent the local price of black matpe up 26 percent, exporters said.

Bean prices depend heavily on the Indian market – the destination for more than 70 percent of total production of all kinds of beans – and heavy rains there have cut supply, causing a sharp increase in price to US$630 per tonne, said U Myat Soe, central executive committee member of the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants’ Association.

Myanmar faces big setbacks to implement stock exchange say deputy minister

Myanmar is facing big problems to implement a stock exchange including the need for skilled workers, according to Deputy Minister for Finance and Revenue Maung Maung Thein.

The challenge is to have enough employees who have the necessary skills to organise Stock Exchange Commission (SEC), to have building for stock exchange, to have basic infrastructure of information and technology, to give members of commission and staff for advance training and to educate public companies listed in stock exchange, the deputy minister pointed out.

CBM deputy resigns

Central Bank deputy governor U Than Nyein has resigned, state-run media reported on October 24.

Governor of the Bank since 2007, U Than Nyein had been serving as deputy governor since July following reorganisation of the board of directors. Though he reportedly stood down a month ago, the president’s office has just issued the announcement.

Burma And Social Media: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

With internet access rapidly expanding in Burma and the price on SIM-cards and smartphones falling, more and more people are using social media.

But while it can be a way to keep in touch with friends or promote your company, media analysts warn that it can also be a source of hate speech and fear mongering.

China Lessons for Myanmar Investors

When China opened its doors to foreign investment in the early 1990s, companies around the world could not contain their excitement at the possibility of entering the world’s largest market. With a population north of 1 billion people, China seemed to present endless opportunities in almost every sector imaginable. Boardrooms across the globe became fixated on entering the market. Companies hastily started looking for office space and set out to find local partners so that they could somehow start doing business in the Middle Kingdom. In all this haste and excitement, however, many companies failed to consider carefully whether their businesses really were suitable candidates for market entry.

John’s Guide

A foreign investor’s guide to doing business in Myanmar

Foreigners seeking investment opportunities in Myanmar need to be positive, patient and willing to accept risk, says the author of a guide to doing business in the country.

It’s also essential that prospective foreign investors adapt quickly to Myanmar business culture and that they have reliable, trusted partners, said Australian Jonathan Paul Nichols.

New Light of Myanmar (28 Oct 2013 - Monday)

The Mirror Daily (28 Oct 2013 - Monday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (28 Oct 2013 - Monday)

New Light of Myanmar (27 Oct 2013 - Sunday)

The Mirror Daily (27 Oct 2013 - Sunday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (27 Oct 2013 - Sunday)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Yadanar offshore gas project platform to undergo maintenance

The Ministry of Energy is planning to conduct maintenance over the weekend for the Yadana offshore natural gas project platform, ministry sources say.
During the maintenance process beginning tomorrow, only 130 million cubic feet of natural gas can be produced for local use. The Yadanar gas project can produce 150 million cubic feet of natural gas in running condition when not under maintenance, according to the ministry.

Myanmar earns US$ 102 million in rubber exports

Myanmar has earned more than US$ 102 million in raw rubber exports, up from US$ 94 million last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

According to export earnings published for the period from April 1 to October 11 this year, more than 40,000 tons of raw rubber has been exported. However, the heavy monsoons this year has hampered production.

Swedish band ABBA to perform in Myanmar

Swedish pop group ABBA will visit Myanmar on November 30 to hold a concert, according to reports.

The concert will be held at the People’s Square on that day at 7:30 pm.

Myanmar Railways to buy Chinese materials in return for pledged US$92m loan

Myanmar Railways is set to buy Chinese materials, technology and services for two train construction projects, as China has pledged to finance them with US$92 million loan at 2 percent interest rate, according to sources close to the projects.

One project will manufacture railway carriages, and another will build locomotives. Ninety percent of total cost of the two projects will be financed by the loan from Chinese Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank), said the source on anonymity. 

Aust publisher battles for Myanmar paper

STAFF members of the Yangon-based "Myanmar Times" newspaper house have appealed to a Myanmar court against a bid by the local partner to liquidate the company, overseen by Australian publisher, Ross Dunkley. 

Dunkley, 55, is fighting to stave off legal challenges to his control over the company, that have been launched by the publishing house's partner, Dr Tin Tun Oo, now seeking to have the paper wound up in a bitter dispute over control.

Kaytumadi Development Public Co to implement projects on 5,300-acre land

One of Myanmar's leading construction companies has reportedly submitted an application to authorities for undertaking industrial park and housing projects on 5,300 acres of land in Bago Region. 

Kaytumadi Development Public Co., Ltd is planning to use 4,800 acres of land for the international-level industrial park project and another 500 acres for the housing project in Taungoo, Bago Region. 

Myanmar: lessons from social enterprise in a frontier market

British Council and partners have just released the first mapping study of social enterprise in Myanmar

What role can social enterprise play in supporting inclusive economic and social development in Myanmar? What are the priorities in fostering the nascent sector's growth? What international experience can be usefully applied in Myanmar?

Amending in aviation contracts make more flight in future

The respective civil aviation departments of Myanmar, South Korea and Bangladesh have amended the aviation contracts of 2013, thus, paving the way for more than one direct flight from these two countries to Myanmar.

“We have amended the aviation law with Korea and Bangladesh because we have to cancel the things that are not suitable with present situation,” said Tin Naing Tun, director- general of Civil Aviation Department.

YSH to operate Volkswagen’s first service centre in Myanmar

Singapore-based Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd (YSH) announced on Wednesday that it will operate Volkswagen’s first service centre in Yangon later this month.

The centre is being operated by YSH’s 70-percent-held subsidiary, German Car Industries Company (GCI), which has entered into a service partner agreement with Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (VW) to launch its service centre in the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar To Import India-Developed Submarine Sonar Systems

In a surprising initiative, India and Myanmar (also known as Burma) have concluded a deal that will see the sale and transfer of Indian-developed sonar and radar technology to the previously reclusive pariah state. The Hindu reports that India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will be supplying the technology.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose is the First Licensed American Law Firm to Open in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar and NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Herzfeld & Rubin PC announced today that on July 29th, 2013, it became the first American law firm to open a law office in Myanmar, as well as the first U.S. investor in the professional services industry to hold a 100% ownership interest under the new 2012 Myanmar Investment Law.  The new law office, which is staffed by both American and Myanmar attorneys, is named Herzfeld, Rubin, Meyer & Rose Law Firm LTD (HRMR) and is located in Yangon, Myanmar. The firm also plans to open a satellite office in Nay Pyi Taw, the national capital.

Myanmar opens its doors

Myanmar is proving to be Asia’s hottest destination, and a raft of new airport and tourism developments are planned, writes Simon Lewis.

Asia’s latest frontier market is opening up to private involvement in operating and building airports, and airlines are already recognising the huge potential for growth. 

Myanmar's not so special economic zones

This is the final article in a two-part series, Myanmar's False Frontier. Part 1: Economic reform as flawed ideology

The Framework for Economic and Social Reforms (FESR) announced by Myanmar President Thein Sein earlier this year detailed reforms aimed at fostering the country's transition to a "modern, developed and democratic nation by 2030". Its strategy outlines a series of economic and social measures aimed at achieving macro-economic stability, permissible levels of inflation, and strong industrial growth.

New Light of Myanmar (26 Oct 2013 - Saturday)

The Mirror Daily (26 Oct 2013 - Saturday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (26 Oct 2013 - Saturday)

Friday, 25 October 2013

President proposes relocating 50MW power plant to Rakhine State

President U Thein Sein has proposed the construction of a 50-megawatt natural gas-fuelled power plant in Rakhine State, one of Myanmar’s poorest and least developed regions.

President U Thein Sein made the proposal in a letter to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on October 18. He said more than US$57 million had been earmarked for the project from a 30 billion yuan (about $4.93 billion) loan made to the government by Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China.

MPT to provide mobile SIM cards for foreign athletes

Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) will hand out 30,000 mobile SIM cards to foreign athletes participating in the Southeast Asian Games to be hosted in Myanmar in December.

"MPT will provide three month mobile SIM cards to international athletes who will participate in the SEA Games. Those SIM cards will be provided only by MPT. Other companies will not be involved in providing SIM cards," said Thein Hoke, Deputy General Manager from MPT.

Ooredoo Group names CEO for Myanmar unit

Qatar's Ooredoo Group has appointed Ross Cormack as CEO of its Myanmar unit and expects to launch the operation in 2014.

Cormack, who was previously CEO of Nawras in Oman, has already relocated to Myanmar and is currently heading a team of about 120 people, Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO of Ooredoo Group, told CommsMEA.

Yangon Int'l Airport expects 2.3m travelers this year

The number of travelers entering Myanmar through Yangon International Airport is expected to reach 2.3 million this year, according to the Department of Civil Aviation.

Director General Tin Naing Tun said the number has been increasing since 2010, adding that 1.9 million foreign tourists and 1.1 million Myanmar citizens had used the airport to enter the country last year, compared to 1.45 million foreign tourists and one million locals in 2011.

Card Companies Try to Conquer Myanmar

A year ago, Myanmar had no automated teller machines linked to international networks and not a single hotel or restaurant able to swipe credit cards. The throngs of foreigners arriving in the newly opened country had to bring crisp U.S. dollars to pay for everything. Today, Myanmar has 2,500 machines that process credit card payments, known as payment terminals, and 450 ATMs, including at least three at the gates of Yangon’s Shwedagon Pagoda, a popular tourist attraction, according to Kanbawza Bank, the largest privately owned bank in Myanmar. There’s a long way to go. While “the absolute need to carry bags of cash is declining, Myanmar remains a cash economy,” says Matt Davies, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief to the country. “It takes time for practices to change.”

Investment Commission Could Have Wings Clipped

RANGOON — The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), the body that vets would-be foreign investors into Burma, could have its discretionary powers curbed as part of a review of investment policy being undertaken by the Burma government and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Sedona Hotel’s $80m second phase launched

Anticipating increasing visitor numbers, Yangon’s Sedona Hotel is building an US$80 million, 29-storey new wing.

Groundbreaking took place on October 22 in Yangon for the new tower, which will be one of the tallest structures in Yangon and will add about 420 rooms.

Despite huge potential, Myanmar still faces long road to complete reform

The government led by Myanmar President U Thein Sein has been engaged in sweeping economic and political reforms since 2011, with the goal of building a modern industrialized nation through agricultural development and all-round development of other sectors of the economy.

The government began to introduce more foreign investment into the manufacturing sectors instead of the resource sectors, reformed financial and foreign exchange systems, aiming at meeting international conventions. It also relaxed investment restrictions through a new law in November 2012.

PepsiCo Rivals Coke with Myanmar Bottle Agreement

Efforts and discussions are being made to sign a bottle agreement in Myanmar by PepsiCo as competition with Coke goes immensely tough in a country remaining in isolation for quite a long period of time.

Competition Between Pepsi Versus Coca Cola

Coke on the other hand is already considering entirely setting up a bottling venture with a local company in Myanmar and that too Coke supplying after six decades altogether.

China-Myanmar Nat Gas Pipeline Is Operational

China-Myanmar Nat Gas pipeline, expected to benefit over 100-M people in the 2 countries, has begun full operations, this according to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) the state owned oil giant.

Experts believe that bilateral energy security and co-operation will be deepened through pipeline construction and related education, medical and power generation projects.

Visa exemption deal likely during Yingluck’s November visit: official

Thailand and Myanmar are expected to sign a visa exemption agreement during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit next month, a spokesperson from Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last week.

The agreement will enable Myanmar citizens visiting Thailand by air to stay visa-free for up to 14 days.

Discover Myanmar's historical treasures

Yangon, Myanmar (CNN) -- After decades of a military junta rule, the south-east Asian country of Myanmar is opening up, and the government is working hard to welcome a plane loads of visitors from around the world.

Myanmar's turnaround from pariah state to becoming this year's must-see destination has been remarkable. Much of the country is untouched and rich in both historic and architectural heritage.

Europeans outnumber Asians visiting National Museum

Europeans outnumbered Asians for most visits to Myanmar's National Museum in Yangon this year according to the museum director.

Director Ngwe Tun Myint from National Museum in Yangon said: "The arrivals of Europeans are increased here in this year. The Japanese have already observed to the Museum while investing in Myanmar’s economic sector so also Thailand regularly makes observation here."

Economic reform as flawed ideology

This is the first article in a two-part series.

Commentary on the scope and limits of Myanmar's recent reforms has already become trite. Those familiar with the endemic corruption and impropriety in the country's governmental and business practices have been quick to celebrate the relaxation of economic strictures, and the unexpected welcome Naypyidaw has given to new mechanisms of accountability. Hope for an end to the human-rights abuses and economic mismanagement, which has characterized the country's political economy for decades, is palpable.

Construction of Thilawa port to begin early 2014

The construction of Thilawa port extension project will begin early 2014 with Japanese development aid according to the Myanmar Ports Authority.

The Myanmar Ports Authority received US$ 205 million of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan to extend the Thilawa port.

China promotes Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- China says the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor could "change the geo-political map in Asia and the world."

The proposal was included in a joint statement issued in Beijing during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"In move that may change the geo-political map in Asia and the world, China and India decided to move ahead with preparation for the BCIM Economic Corridor that compasses Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar," Xinhua said.

If Myanmar Takes AmEx, Why Won't My Taxi?

I hate cash. I’m reminded of this every time I find myself in a cab where the driver claims he won’t accept my credit card, or when I’m at a restaurant that demands to be paid exclusively in paper bills -- incidents that happen far more often than is reasonable in an ostensibly advanced country.

New Light of Myanmar (25 Oct 2013 - Friday)

The Mirror Daily (25 Oct 2013 - Friday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (25 Oct 2013 - Friday)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

China-Myanmar gas pipeline targets energy security and cooperation

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country's state-owned oil giant, has said that the China-Myanmar gas pipeline, expected to benefit over 100 million people in the two countries, had begun full operations.

Experts believe that bilateral energy security and cooperation will be deepened through pipeline construction and related education, medical and power generation projects.

Rakhine groups call for halt to 10 resource projects lacking public consent

Rakhine political parties and civic groups have called for an end to 10 natural resource-based projects in Rakhine State they say the Myanmar government granted without securing Rakhine people’s consent.

A total of 55 representatives from Rakhine political parties, civic organisations in 17 Rakhine townships, and local women’s associations attended a workshop last week in which they agreed to call for a halt to the projects, according to a joint press release on Monday.

Myanmar drafts national energy policy

Myanmar is drafting a national energy policy which meets international standard and comprehensive suggestions from development partnership organizations and experts are being invited for the draft, official media reported Wednesday.

Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun told the National Energy Management Committee that socio-economic development of the country cannot achieve success as expected not because of the lack of reliable energy supply triggered by shortage of investment in power sector and inadequate infrastructure and human resources necessary to utilize sustainable energy resources but because of limitation on investment on renewable energy sector.

Carabao Dang maker eyes plants in Myanmar, Cambodia

Carabao Tawandang, the manufacturer of Carabao Dang energy drinks, plans to open factories in Myanmar and Cambodia within the next three to five years.

Managing director Sathien Setthasit yesterday said the company would also increase the production capacity of its Thai factory by 40 per cent, in line with the goal of making Carabao Dang the No-1 energy-drink brand in Asean.

Belgium textile firm seeks to invest in Myanmar

Belgium-based textile manufacturing company, Beaulieu International Group is seeking to invest in Myanmar, according to official reports.

Beaulieu's Director Peter Desmet and his group visited the office of Directorate of Investment and Company Administration in capital Nay Pyi Taw to discuss the legal requirements for setting up a labour-intensive business in Myanmar.

Private browsing: Redlink to expand service in joint venture operation

Internet provider Redlink says it has big plans to expand its business as soon as the laws allow private companies to offer online access independent of state-run Yadanarpon Teleport.

“Now, Redlink Company is giving service [in a joint venture] with Yadanarpon Teleport,” said U Thein Than Toe, the company’s vice chairman and co-founder in a workshop at October 4.

ICAO to help Myanmar develop aviation industry

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has vowed to provide technical assistance to Myanmar for development of its aviation industry, official media reported Tuesday.

It was pledged by visiting Secretary-General of the ICAO Raymond Benjamin when he was received by President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw Monday, said the New Light of Myanmar.

No more fishing rights for foreign fishing vessels

The Myanmar Fisheries Federation has decided not to renew fishing rights to foreign fishing vessels, according to a Federation official reached yesterday.

At present, the Thailand-based Ryuji International Company Limited, which is fishing under a licence that expires at the end of March, is submitting an extension request to the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Signing a lease: What you need to know

The house was perfect. Artfully revamped, the colonial villa emerged from lilting greenery on the large estate. The rent was high – about US$2500 per month – and the landlord was happy to make a quick deal provided he was paid 12 months’ rent up-front.

“But something was not right with this guy,” said U Robin Saw Naing, managing director of Pronto Services real estate agency. “So I had my legal adviser examine the ownership title, and it was fake. It’s not his property but his friend’s who is not in the country.”

Japan, Singapore firms submit proposals to upgrade Yangon Railway Station

Four companies from Japan and Singapore have submitted proposals to the Ministry of Rail Transportation to upgrade Yangon Railway Station, including the compound yard, according to the Ministry.

“The proposals, including strong documents, are being reported at the national level,” said head officer Win Naung from the Ministry of Rail Transportation.

Carlsberg breaks ground on first international brewery in Myanmar

Carlsberg Asia has commenced the construction of its first international brewery in Bago, Myanmar.

This new brewery marks the second biggest expansion program announced by the company across Asia in October 2013.

Recently, the brewing giant announced plans to establish a new 10 million hectoliter greenfield brewery at Fengyi Innovation Industrial Park, in Dali, China, as part of its strategic partnership with Provincial Government of Yunan.

Urbanisation on UN-HABITAT agenda

A delegation from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme wrapped up its visit to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw last week with a vow to assist the government as it grapples with the problems and opportunities afforded by the nation’s rapid urbanisation.

Joan Clos, the executive director of UN-HABITAT, spent most of the week in Nay Pyi Yaw meeting members of several government ministries, including the ministries of forestry and construction, although he said no specific initiatives were discussed.

Volkswagen to return to Myanmar

Yangon - German carmaker Volkswagen has entered into a partnership to provide auto services for its vehicles in Myanmar, company sources said Wednesday.

The service centre, operated by its local subsidiary German Car Industries, will open this month in Yangon, Yoma Strategic Holdings said in a statement. Yoma Holdings owns 70%t of German Car Industries.

Acer to donate PCs to Myanmar

In order to strengthen its presence in the Myanmar market, Acer will have the Acer Foundation donate PCs to the country through an APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) Project led by Stan Shih. A donation ceremony will be held at the Taiwan-Myanmar Cooperation and Exchange Forum in Taipei on October 23.

Acer has strong brand influence in Southeast Asia and is currently the largest PC brand vendor in Thailand and Indonesia with market shares at around 30%.

India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway soon

NEW DELHI, Oct 22 – The proposed highway covering India, Myanmar and Thailand is expected to be operational soon, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today, reports PTI.

The highway will help in smoother and faster movement of goods between these regions.

Myanmar a Better Choice Than Thailand Says Singapore’s Dcode

Myanmar is not a country that one automatically associates with having a pool of talented and skilled IT programmers, but for Singapore mobile applications developer Dcode, it is proving a better choice than neighbouring Thailand.

Established in Singapore in 2010 Dcode develops custom mobile applications based on Apple’s iOS for iPhones and iPad, as well as for the rival Android operating system. Past clients have included blue-chip corporate brands such as Audi, Sony Pictures, and Estée Lauder with demand for the company’s custom mobile applications seeing it rapidly expanding to 15 developers.

New Light of Myanmar (24 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

The Mirror Daily (24 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (24 Oct 2013 - Thursday)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Tiger Airways passengers face delayed baggage problems

Tiger Airways, a budget airline from Singapore, is being criticized for poor service after local passengers faced delayed baggage problems at Yangon International Airport.

Many Myanmar passengers flying from Singapore to Yangon on October 13 and 14 were unable to claim their checked-in luggage as it had not been brought onto the airplane.

Myanmar's new int'l airport to begin construction in 2014

Construction work for a new Hantharwady International Airport will be start in early 2014, as Myanmar gears up to receive growing numbers of visitors.

Yangon International Airport, currently the country’s main entry point, handles 20 million passengers a year and will be upgraded to receive another 6 million. Major extensions, however, are restricted due to a surrounding military airbase and residential areas.

In a Crowded Marketplace, Burma’s Daily Newspapers Struggle

RANGOON — Six months after private daily newspapers stepped into Burma’s media market, publishers are still struggling turn a profit. While some in the business see a hopeful future, the dominance of state-run media and a lack of advertising interest mean some titles have already dropped out.

Earlier this year, more than 26 private companies got licenses to print daily newspapers, with the first dailies printed in April. Burmese could read independent, uncensored newspapers each morning for the first time in 50 years, marking a major milestone in the country’s ongoing reforms.

American Chamber of Commerce to Launch Burma Chapter

RANGOON — The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) will launch a Burma chapter at the end of the month, another signal that businesses from the United States are showing a greater interest in a country that was off-limits to most American investors until-mid 2012.

The launch event will take place at Rangoon’s Chatrium Hotel on Oct. 31 and will be co-hosted by the US Embassy in Burma, with backing from Chevron, the US energy giant that has operated in Burma since acquiring Unocal, along with the latter’s stake in the offshore Yadana gas project, in 2005.

Income inequality in Burma

There can be no doubt that the recent economic reform policies of Burma will significantly impact output, productivity and, hopefully, improve the standard of living for the vast majority of citizens. The country has already made strides in opening and liberalizing the economy, but will face considerable challenges as it emerges from decades of isolation. Statistical measures put growth at an annual rate of over six percent with the expectation that a surge in foreign investment will make a substantial contribution to the economy in the future.

14-day entry visa to be exempted for Thais, Myanmar people

Thais and Myanmar people will be exempted from an entry visa for 14-day stays when the two governments sign an agreement on the exemption in December, Government Spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi announced Tuesday. 

Teerat said the Cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft agreement on the visa exemption and added that the draft would be presented to the premiers of the two countries to sign when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visits Myanmar in December.

Yingluck will visit Myanmar on December 11 and 12 to participate in the SEA Games opening ceremony.

New Light of Myanmar (23 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

The Mirror Daily (23 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

Myanma Alinn Daily (23 Oct 2013 - Wednesday)

New trade program on way

An internationally backed export support program will be implemented next month to help reduce the country’s trade deficit, the Ministry of Commerce says. The program will follow completion this month of the National Export Strategy Workshop called to discuss the export deficit Myanmar has run up over the past two years.

Norway, Germany, Japan and China will provide financial and technical assistance, said commerce ministry spokesperson U Win Myint.

Firms face financial accuracy issues ahead of bourse launch

Myanmar companies might not be ready for the scheduled launch of the country’s stock exchange in 2015, officials and experts are warning. The lack of transparency and accounting efficiency on the part of firms wishing to develop initial public offerings could contribute to the slowdown of the much-anticipated launch, they say.

Last month, officials developing the exchange said they were facing delays due to being unable to get a legal framework up and running.

Kyauktan shrimp farmers consider quitting

It's hard to see where it has gone all gone wrong: 7000 acres of prime aquaculture farmland only 30 miles or (48 kilometres), from the country’s biggest city and market, Yangon, but nearly half of the zone’s farmers are giving up.

The zone, at Mayan Zwebar village in Kyauktan township in Yangon Region, includes nearly 50 farmers, but 22 say they must soon stop working because they are not making money.

Demand for energy will double: ADB

Energy demand in Myanmar is expected to double by 2035 as economic progress continues, according to a report issued last week by the Asian Development Bank.

Energy demand is expected to rise at an annual rate of 3 percent on the heels of a growing need for electricity throughout the country, according to the regional report Energy Outlook for Asia and the Pacific.

Rubber exports set to double

Rubber exports are set to soar, and could even double within three years, say some industry experts. Plans to diversify the rubber market and improve the quality and added value of the product are being studied following a national export strategy workshop held from October 7 to 9.

But Myanmar is far from posing a threat to the world’s top rubber producer, Thailand. The rubber sector has been growing rapidly since 2005, but still needs to improve the quality of its product and to develop export strategies, said U Khaing Myint, secretary general of the Myanmar Rubber Planters’ and Producers’ Association.

Salient provisions of the telecoms law

With the promulgation of the Telecommunications Law of October 8, 2013, Myanmar is seeing through its plan for wider economic development through the liberalisation of its telecommunications sector. The Telecommunications Law provides a broad-based framework governing the conduct of telecommunications-related activities in Myanmar. This article looks at several salient provisions of the Telecommunications Law.

E-shopping slowly taking hold

Online retailing is beginning to take hold of young consumers in Myanmar thanks to a growing awareness of social networking websites as well as a growing taste for the finer things.

For 20-year-old student Ma Su Thandar Hlaing, shopping online is the cheapest and best way to get cutting edge goods.

Insight: Myanmar's aviation industry booms despite grim safety record

(Reuters) - Htay Aung was riding pillion on a motorbike last Christmas morning, wending through the cool hills of eastern Myanmar, when Air Bagan Flight 11 came down on top of him.

The Fokker 100 - more than 24 tonnes of aircraft, plus 65 passengers and six crew - sheared its way through trees and powerlines, across the road and into a field short of nearby Heho airport. Htay Aung found himself sucked into a scorching maelstrom of debris.

Burma's opening up: The winners and losers

The economy of Burma, officially called Myanmar, is open for business. That's the message the reformist government of President Thein Sein is sending out, and it has got an overwhelmingly positive response from investors.

But behind the impressive headline figures of planned ventures and promised aid, who is actually doing well in the new Burma?

Microtel Corporation prepares to invest in Myanmar

Philippine-based Microtel Corporation is preparing to invest in hotels, real estate and educational services in Myanmar, according to Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

Jose Mari del Rosario, Chairman of Microtel Development Corporation, visited the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss the rules and regulations regarding their investment.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Singaporean firms seek cooperation to invest in Myanmar’s ICT sector

Seven Singaporean companies in the information and communications technology sector are in discussions with local counterparts to seek cooperation to invest in Myanmar’s ICT sector, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

Leading Singaporean firms 2C2P, ChainWorld Communication Technology, Converged Solutions, ERS Industries, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems), and V3 TeleTech have flocked to Myanmar to establish a long-term collaboration with the Southeast Asian country to develop and expand its ICT sector.
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