UMFCCI : Foreign companies doing in business in Myanmar in Fertilizer, Seeds, Pesticide, medical equipment only can trade now

Doing Business in Myanmar 20.November, 2015.

UMFCCI : Foreign companies doing in business in Myanmar in Fertilizer, Seeds, Pesticide, medical equipment only can trade now with Ministry of Commerce letter dated 11.11.2015. This is the shape of things to come for protected for Myanmar Nationals.

 

 

Burmese version.

စီးပြားေရးႏွင့္ကူးသန္းေရာင္း၀ယ္ေရး၀န္ႀကီးဌာန၊ ၀န္ႀကီးရုံး၏ ၁၁.၁၁.၂၀၁၅ ရက္စြဲပါစာအမွတ္၊ စက-၁၁/ ၂-၂၀/၂၀၁၅(၇) ၁။ စီးပြားေရးႏွင့္ကူးသန္းေရာင္း၀ယ္ေရး၀န္ႀကီးဌာနမွ ကုန္သြယ္မႈႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည္႔ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ လုပ္ထံုးလုပ္နည္းမ်ား၊ ကမၻာ႔ကုန္သြယ္ေရး အဖြဲ႔၏စည္းမ်ဥ္းမ်ားအရ လည္ေကာင္း လက္ရွိေျပာင္းလဲလာေသာ စီးပြားေရးအေျခအေနမ်ားအရ ႏုိင္ငံျခားမွလာေရာက္ျမႇဳပ္ႏွံလုိသူ မ်ား၊ စီးပြားေရးလုပ္ငန္းလာေရာက္လုပ္ကုိင္လိုသူမ်ား မ်ားျပားလာမႈအရလည္းေကာင္း၊ ျပည္တြင္းလိုအပ္ခ်က္ကိုအေျခခံ၍ ကုန္သြယ္မႈက႑ဖြံ႕ၿဖိဳ းတိုးတက္ေစရန္ရည္ရြယ္ကာ ႏုိင္ငံ၏စိုက္ပ်ဳိ းေရးႏွင့္ ျပည္သူမ်ား၏ က ်န္းမာေရးက႑အတြက္ အဓိကအေရးၾကီးၿပီး ေစ ် းကြက္လိုအပ္ခ်က္ရွိသည္႔ ေအာက္ပါကုန္ပစၥည္းမ်ားကို ႏုိင္ငံျခားသားကုမၸဏီမ်ားအား ကုန္သြယ္ခြင့္ျပဳေၾကာင္း အေၾကာင္းၾကားလာပါသည္- (က) ဓာတ္ေျမၾသဇာ (ခ) မ်ဳိ းေစ့ (ဂ) ပိုးသတ္ေဆး (ဃ) ေဆးရုံသုံးကိရိယာမ်ား ၂။ အဆိုပါ ကုန္ပစၥည္မ်ားကို ျမန္မာကုမၸဏီမ်ားႏွင့္ ဖက္စပ္လုပ္ငန္းေဆာင္ရြက္သည္႔ ႏုိင္ငံျခားသား ကုမၸဏီမ်ားသာ တင္သြင္းခြင့္ရွိမည္ျဖစ္ၿပီး၊ ဖက္စပ္လုပ္ငန္းေဆာင္ရြက္သည္႔ ကုမၸဏီမ်ားအေနျဖင့္ ၎တို႔တရား၀င္ ယူေဆာင္လာေသာ ႏုိင္ငံျခားေငြပမာဏအတိုင္းသာ ကုန္သြယ္မႈျပဳလုပ္ရမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းႏွင့္ ယခုခြင့္ျပဳထားသည္႔ ကုန္ပစၥည္းမ်ားကို ကုန္သြယ္မႈ လုပ္ငန္းေဆာင္ရြက္ရာတြင္ လက္ရွိျပည္တြင္းကုမၸဏီမ်ားကို ခြင့္ျပဳထားသည္႔ လုပ္ထုံး လုပ္နည္းမ်ားအတိုင္း ခြင့္ျပဳေဆာင္ရြက္သြားမည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းပါရွိပါသည္။ ၃။ သို႔ျဖစ္ပါ၍ ႏုိင္ငံျခားဖက္စပ္ကုမၸဏီမ်ားအား ကုန္သြယ္ခြင့္ျပဳသည္႔ ကုန္ပစၥည္းမ်ား စာရင္းကို ျပည္တြင္းလိုအပ္ခ်က္၊ ေစ်းကြက္အေနအထား၊ ျပည္တြင္းစီးပြားေရးလုပ္ငန္းရွင္မ်ား ၏ အေျခအေန အစရွိသည္တို႔ အေပၚမူတည္၍ လုိအပ္သလို ေျပာင္းလဲျပင္ဆင္သြားမည္ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း အမိန္႔ေၾကာ္ျငာစာအမွတ္ ၉၆/၂၀၁၅

Myanmar’s Union Minister of Electric Power to address 3rd Myanmar Power Summit

3rd MPS (Myanmar Power Summit) to be held on 9-11 March, 2015 in Yangon will host a high-profile delegation from Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power led by His Excellency Khin Maung Soe, Union Minister of Electric Power – unveiling a blueprint of the country’s power roadmap and opportunities for upcoming power projects.

200x200A huge number of opportunities have opened up in power hungry Myanmar. Led by senior representatives from Ministry of Electric Power – the official host of 3rd MPS, the summit features latest updates on key policies, projects and plans like the New Electricity Act, Expansion of Electric Power Generation Capacity & Delivery, IPP Development & Financial Models for Power Projects, Electricity Transmission & Distribution Network and Fuel-Mix & Ensuring Sustainable Supply to the Power Plants.

The summit offers first-hand insights on ‘Fast-Tracking a 100MW Thermal Power Plant in Mandalay’ and ‘Development of Hydro Power Projects in Myanmar & IGE’s Involvement and Plans Ahead’. These sessions will be delivered by APR Energy and IGE Co Ltd both of whom are involved in power projects in Myanmar.

Participating at the summit will be Corporate sponsor Rolls-Royce plus an array of foreign and local companies vying investments and business including: InfraCo Asia Development Ptd. Ltd Asia Pacific, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mayer Brown JSM (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), The World Bank, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, General Electric International Incorporated (GEII), Bergen Engines India Pvt. Ltd., Mercuria Energy Trading, P.E.S Myanmar Co., Ltd (Puma Energy) and EDF South East Asia Limited.

Delegates of 3rd MPS can also attend a Pre-Summit Workshop on ‘The Nuts & Bolts of the NEW Myanmar Electricity Act’ facilitated by DFDL Legal & Tax Services.

View the website or contact Ms. Grace at +65 6346 9147 for more details.

Why Myanmar’s tourist numbers don’t add up

Tourists and Myanmar visitors watch the sun set from the top of a temple at Bagan. (Yu Yu/The Myanmar Times)Tourists and Myanmar visitors watch the sun set from the top of a temple at Bagan. (Yu Yu/The Myanmar Times), 

What should be a cause for celebration is quickly becoming one of concern, with observers urging the government to aim lower and focus on inclusivity and sustainable development. The growth in tourism has sent prices for hotel rooms and tour guides soaring, while domestic flights remain expensive relative to the region. Experts warn that once the “opening-up” lustre wears off, Myanmar will have earned itself a reputation as poor value for money, and in turn scare off potential new visitors.

“Myanmar is quite expensive to travel in, and people are still willing to pay for it because of its exotic character, but this might change in two, three or four years,” said Nicole Haeusler, who works on behalf of German government as an adviser to the Myanmar Tourism Federation.

These price pressures will only be exacerbated by increased demand. So far, however, calls for moderation have gone unheeded, with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism announcing a target of 4.5 million to 5 million visitors for 2015.

The numbers game

For decades Myanmar’s tourism leaders have been obsessed with achieving ever-higher arrival figures. Previous ministers would regularly exhort private-sector businesses to ignore the reality of the tourism boycott and invest in marketing and infrastructure to reach the magical 1 million mark.

But why are tourism arrivals important to the government? Sean Turnell, an economist at Australia’s Macquarie University, said one attraction is that they can be used as an “objective” or “hard data” metric of success – one reason why President U Thein Sein trumpeted the 2014 total in his New Year address.

The sanctions and the tourism boycott campaign give them an added “contextual relevance” to Myanmar, Mr Turnell said, but economic factors are the “most important”.

“Tourism brings in not just income, but foreign exchange. It is highly labour-intensive, hence generates disproportionate employment opportunities,” he said, adding that they tend to benefit the tertiary-educated middle classes – “a politically and economically important cohort”.

This desire for growth was also evident during the development of the Tourism Master Plan 2013-2020, which was released to much fanfare at the World Economic Forum in June 2012.

While those drafting the report advised that the middle-growth scenario – 2.2 million visitors in 2015 and 5 million in 2020 – was the most likely based on regional experience, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism insisted on going for high-growth: 3.09 million international visitors in 2015 and 7.48 million by 2020. This would see tourism receipts increase from US$534 million in 2012 to $10.18 billion in 2020, by which time the industry could comprise 1.49 million jobs.

Now, even that high-growth scenario seems to have been thrown out the window. But how did the ministry break the 3 million barrier so soon?

According to the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Myanmar’s tourist arrivals shot up sharply in 2013, when border arrivals from India, Bangladesh and Laos were counted alongside those from China and Thailand.

This means that border arrivals, which had hovered between 400,000 and 500,000 a year for a decade, rocketed to 1.144 million in 2013. Overall arrivals surged to about 2 million.

But the fact is that Myanmar did not receive more than 3 million international tourists last year – at least according to most international standards. Far from it: Almost two-thirds of the 3 million figure – about 1.9 million visitors – were day-trippers from Thailand, China, India, Laos and Bangladesh, according to PATA. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as those who spend at least 24 hours in-country, while PATA counts only overnight visitors.

Numbers of genuine tourists have certainly increased, and sharply. Arrivals through international airports – primarily Yangon, but also including Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Myeik and Mawlamyine – rose from 593,000 in 2012 to 885,000 in 2013 and 1.08 million last year. The

ministry counts all of these arrivals as tourists, even though only 48.2 percent of those who passed through Yangon International Airport in 2014 did so on a tourist visa.

One of the best indicators of genuine tourist arrivals is entrance ticket sales at Shwedagon Pagoda, and these increased from 400,852 in 2013 to 505,351 – a rise of 26pc that roughly mirrors the 22pc growth in air arrivals and the 24pc increase in visitors to Inle Lake.

4.5 million – a viable dream?

This relatively sluggish growth in air arrivals last year suggests that reaching 4.5 million, even by lumping in non-tourists, could be a major stretch. Even with the liberalisation of the policy on border arrivals – foreign visitors can now enter at four crossings on the Thai border and continue to other parts of Myanmar – these are unlikely to grow fast enough to sustain 50pc growth in overall arrivals. PATA chief executive officer Mario Hardy said last week the target “may not be achievable” but that Myanmar as still expected to enjoy strong growth of about 20pc in overnight visitors, which it expects to rise to 1.37 million.

But Ministry of Hotels and Tourism director U Myo Win Nyunt defended the target, saying it could be reached by upgrading airports, opening new border gates and promoting new destinations, such as the three Pyu cities that were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in June. Hotel room rates are also likely to moderate during the year, he said, due to the opening of new properties.

“We have more than 40,000 rooms in the whole country and also new hotels will open this year, so there will be no shortage as a result of growing tourist numbers and room prices won’t increase,” he said.

Another uncertainty is Myanmar’s political situation, particularly given the general election is scheduled for the start of the peak tourist season. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s tourism boycott hobbled the industry for the best part of two decades, and political turbulence could again dampen arrival numbers.

“Tourism is very sensitive and depends on the political situation,” said U Khin Aung Tun, secretary of the Myanmar Tourism Federation. “If the country lacks stability – whether it’s because of politics, conflict, [human rights] abuses or disease – it will impact on the tourism industry.”

U Naung Naung Han, managing director of Radiant Travels and Tours, said he expected arrivals to reach somewhere between 3.5 million and 4 million. He said more attention should be paid to ensuring visitors get value for money, as this will encourage them to return for additional visits and also to

recommend the country to others. Improving airports, expanding online visa services and marketing new destinations would also stimulate growth.

“I would like to reach [the government’s] target but hotel rooms and services do not offer good enough value for money yet,” he said.

“If travel expenses are reasonable … then more tourists will come.”

Quality vs quantity

The push for rapid growth has obscured information about who actually visits Myanmar – data that is needed by both the government and the private sector to meet existing and future demand for services, according to experts.

Ms Haeusler said visitors should be broken down into leisure, long-term and short-term business, and border visitors. “For example, do we need to construct in the future more business hotels in Yangon and Mandalay, or rather holiday hotels for bigger tour groups?” she said.

She also called for a review of the annual target and questioned why high-growth tourism had been accepted as the best option, with apparent disregard for the Tourism Master Plan.

“Maybe we have to go back to the question: Do we want to offer more quantity in terms of tourism numbers or more quality service in Myanmar in the upcoming years? It is challenging to work on both tasks at the same time,” she said.

“I believe that it would be more healthy – and responsible – for leisure tourism … to follow rather a conservative or mid-range scenario in the upcoming years.”

It has also driven up prices, which Ms Haeusler said was “gamble” that Myanmar could take for one or two years – “but then they’re going to lose”.

“If Myanmar is then not offering the same rates as neighbouring countries, but also competitors like Egypt – culture, sea – and Mexico – culture, nice beaches … they might have a lot of problems to withstand international competition,” she said.

“I assume that in three or four years’ time tourism numbers might go down again as Myanmar will lose it exotic character. Nevertheless, such a phase would give them the opportunity to recover and get again a new – and well-defined – market.”

Growth will also be moderated by the speed – or lack thereof – with which infrastructure and services can be rolled out.

Mr Hardy from PATA said infrastructure requirements are not being built “fast enough to meet demand”, while tourism businesses are struggling to find staff with the required skills.

“PATA has some concerns regarding human capital development and the need for more formal education programs to develop the talent required to fulfil the job demand,” he said.

He also urged restraint and a focus on ensuring the benefits of tourism are spread throughout the country and not just at a few destinations.

“As Myanmar tourism is still in its infancy, there is an opportunity for the country to ensure it develops sustainable tourism … [so that] wealth is widely spread [to] help the development of various communities throughout the country.”

Myanmar’s Promising Cassava Starch Industry Major Highlights at Upcoming 4th Starch World Summit in Yangon

Myanmar’s cassava industry will be a key highlight at Centre for Management Technology’s upcoming 4th Starch World to be held at Yangon’s Inya Lake Hotel this 29-30 January, 2015. The summit will also explore areas of clean label starch, modified potato starch as well as cassava as a new source for starch sweeteners and much more.

Drawing major starch industry stalwarts, this January event is focused on an intensive discussion on Myanmar’s promising prospects of becoming a key cassava growing and processing centre. The program line-up includes sessions providing an overview of the Myanmar’s cassava industry investments, plus current starch industry trends in the country. Among the speakers invited to address the summit is Dr. Nyi Nyi, Director of Yuzana Co Ltd, one of the prominent tapioca starch companies in Myanmar that is expected to play a huge role in the country’s emerging cassava starch industry. He will share his thoughts on the ‘Future Prospects for Cassava Starch Industrialization in Myanmar’. Additionally, Kyaw Thura, Chairman of Cassava Starch Association Kyonpyaw, who has extensive knowledge of cassava and starch production, will deliver a key presentation on ‘Evolution of Cassava Starch Production in Delta Region’.

To explore how cassava starch could potentially be a replacement for sugar that can further boost the cassava starch industry in Myanmar, Simon Bentley, Senior Consultant at LMC International Ltd., will provide an ‘Overview of the Current Starch / Sweetener Market in Myanmar and the Potential for this Market to Develop in the Future’. Delegates of the summit will also benefit from insights on the suitability of Myanmar for cassava starch via the session on ‘Cassava Plantation in Myanmar: Current Status & Prospects’ by Dr. Tin Maung Aye, Cassava Agronomist / Soil Scientist at CIAT (Int Center for Tropical Agriculture).

The summit has also incorporated an optional tour of a Myanmar based starch processing factory – Kyonpyaw Cassava Fields and starch processing factories for the international delegates vying to tap on the opportunities and also meet local industry players for future partnership and investments in Myanmar.

View the event website or call Ms. Hafizah at +65 6346 9218 for more details.

PROMINENT AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN THE CITY OF YANGON

Many of the old buildings in the city of Yangon, which were built during the early days of the British colonial period, have passed through the ages and withstood on sloughs of earthquake, storms , heavy rains and other natural disasters. These massive buildings, which have lasted so many decades, look as if it’s going to be new to the public view.
Among the old buildings the following buildings are still durable with prestige and diginity:
(1) The City Hall (2) The Supreme Court (Chief Court) (3) The Secretariat (4) The parliament Building (5) The President House (6) The Sorretto Villa (7) The Rangoon College Building (8) The Rangoon University College Building (9) The Teachers’s Training College (10) The Medical College (11) The Rangoon General Hospital (12) The Central Women Hospital.

(13) The Row & Co., Ltd.
It is Located at the corner of Dalthuzie Street (now Maha Bandoola Street) and Bar Street (now Maha Bandoola Garden Street). It is a three-storied concrete building. It is near the City Hall across the Bar Street. During the British colonial period it was a department store owned by an English businessman. A variety of goods imported from abroad was sold in retail to the customers with fair prices. It had been very popular as “Row & Co” until it was nationalized by the Revolutionary Government in March 1964. The Government of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) had used this building as the Head office of the Immigration and Manpower Department.

(14) The Sein Brother (or) Waziya Building
It is situated in the middle block of Pandodan Street. Its is one of the older three-storied buildings in the pre-war days. Before the WWII, it had been very popular as Watson Department Store owned by an English merchant. Like the Row Co.,Ltd, it had sold a variety of goods imported from abroad to the customers at fair prices. After the War its name was changed to Waziya or Sein Brother Department Store owned by Myanmar business U Tun Sein. It was also nationalize by the Revolutionary Government in March 1964. Throughout the period of the BSPP Government it has stood as the Head office of the Myanma Insurance.

(15) The Myanma Port Authority (MPA)
This three-storied building is located at the corner of Pansodan Street and the Strand Road. It had been popularly known as the office of the Port Commissioner during the reign of the AFPFI. Government and the Revolutionary Government until the Government until the Government of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) used it as the Myanma Port Authority up till now.

(16) The Custom House
This three-storied builing is situated in the Strand Road between Pansodan Street and Sule Pagoda Road. It was constructed round about 1900 and formerly known as the Custom House or the Commissioner of Custom Duty. Nowadays, it stands the Department of Custom Duty.

(17) The Strand Hotel
This three-storied building is one of the oldest buildings in Rangoon and was built in 1902. Although this building has a passed through 113 years, it is stille going strong and firm. Since it is located in the Strand Road, it is widely known as the Strand Hotel. The wedding reception ceremonies and the music concerts from abroad have been inaugurated at this Hotel. Before the Inya Lake and Thamada Hotels have not sprung up, the affluent persons took great pride when they hold the wedding receptions and Shinpyu (novitiation ceremonies) at the City Hall and the Strand Hotel. Since the days of the political government a large number of foreigners who have come here on business or on tour have put up at the Strand Hotel.

(18) The General Post Office (GPO)
It has stood as the massive three-storied building and is located at the corner of the Spark Street (npw Bo Aung Kyaw Street) and the Strand Road. It is one of the remnants of the British colonial period. It is constituted with the departments of percel, letter-sorting, letter-distribution , postage, dead letter and many others. Nowadays, it is widely known as the Central Post Office.

(19) The Aung San Stadium
Before the WWII, it had been widely known as the B.A.A. (Burma Athletic Association) Foot-ball Ground. In those days the popular University College foot-ball team and the Burma Police foot-ball tema had played with all-out effort to win a shield at this foot-ball ground. In 1934, the former was awarder with a shield for winning the match against the latter for three consecutive years.
After the War its name was changed to the Aung San Stadium. The State and Division foot-ball teams, the Myanmar selected foot-ball team vs. the foreign foot-ball team played strenuously at this foot-ball ground. The track and field teams and foot-ball ground. The track and field teams and foot-balls teams of universities and colleges participated at the annual events. In 1961 rows of the sitting seat on the eastern sidle was abolished in order to celebrate the SEAP Game grandiosely and replaced with rows of new seat made of concrete.
In December 1962 the American artistes presented short plays with the title of “Holidays on Ice” on the man-made field of ice in the centre of this stadium. They created a large field of ice which lasted for many days and presented musical plays and short plays to the audience flavourly and humorously. The audience was very much pleased with their music and actions. It was the first and only once performance on ice in Myanmar.

(20) The Fire Brigade Building
The tow-storied building with a very tall tower was located in the Sule Pagoda just opposite to the City Hall. One can see from this tower which buildings is set on fire in the city of Rangoon. Fire-fighting vehicles are placed stand by on the ground floor in order to go quickly and extinguish the burnt houses.
In 1959 a visiting foreign stuntman rode a motorcycle on the nylon rope joining between the top floor of the city hall and the roof of the fire brigade building. A large number of pedestrians standing in the Sule Pagoda Road looked at his stunt with excitement and suspense.

(21) The Police Court Building
Among the remnants of the British colonial period this massive and strong building is situated at the corner of the Sule Pagoda Road and the Strand Road. Since the days of the AFPFL Government and the Revolutionary Government it had been constituted with various departments, viz : Office of the Additional Magistrate, Office of the Superintendent of Excise, Office of the Revenue Department and so on. It was formerly known as the Police Court. Next, it had become the Headquarters of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) and then the Headquaters of the Lanzin Youth Central Organizing Committee.

(22) The Bank Buildings
Bank buildings are located in the vicinity of the Sule Pagoda Road, the Merchant Street and Pansodan Street and were constructed before the WWII. Before nationalizing the foreign banks in March 1963, the Chartered Bank, the Imperial Bank of India, the Greenlay Bank and the Overseas Chinese Bank had been possessed by the foreign capitalists. Before 1988 the Union Bank of Burma had transected the banking business in the sule Pagoda Road, downtown Yangon.

 Source : The traveller Vol 2, No.31 From Jan 12 To 18, 2015

Exclusive : Foreign Exchange and Central Bank Update

Dear Friends,
Here is another exclusive invitation from our friend Edwin on Central Bank update.
Please do not forget to share your thoughts.
Best regards,
Sonny
Doing Business in Myanmar.ca
================================================================
Dear Sonny,

Just a quick note to invite you to the next breakfast briefing, this time dedicated entitled “Foreign Exchange and Central Bank Update”. We are organizing one briefing in Singapore on 29th January, and one in Yangon on 21st January.

Several important policy developments have taken place since the enactment of the Foreign Exchange Management Act in 2012 affecting not only Myanmar banks, but also foreign investors, Myanmar enterprises raising funds overseas and the entire financial services space. In this uniquely practical breakfast briefing, We will share our experiences in dealing with the Central Bank of Myanmar and explains how the rules have changed. What can businesses do to cope with this dynamic environment?

Highlights covered:

  • Which foreign loans may not be approved by the Central Bank, and why?
  • How to best bring capital (equity) into Myanmar?
  • Practical aspects of perfecting security with the Company Registration Office (CRO)
  • For which cash extractions is Central Bank approval now required?
  • The use of offshore bank accounts by foreign investors and Myanmar companies
  • How can microfinance institutions be funded? Experience in obtaining approvals
  • Offshore versus onshore financing structure: how to connect the offshore and onshore portions?
  • Which lending structures reduce withholding taxes and stamp duty?
Yangon Singapore
Date 21 January 2015 29 January 2015
Time 8:45 am – 10:30 am 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Venue To be advised Shook Lin & Bok LLP
1 Robinson Road #18-00 AIA Tower
Singapore 048542
Download Brochure Download Brochure

The briefing is free of charge for you. We expect a strong turnout so you need to register in advance to be sure you have a seat. You can do that by just replying to this email.

Hope to see you at the briefing!

With best regards,
Edwin Vanderbruggen I Partner
M: +95 9421156078 W: www.vdb-loi.com
Yangon: T:+95 1371902 Level 8, Centrepoint Towers, 65 Sule Pagoda Rd & Merchant Street
Nay Pyi Taw: T: +95 678108091 No. S-204 Tha Pyay Kone Ward, Zabu Thiri Township

Myanmar prepares for transport master plan implementation, expects more regional links

Myanmar’s ambitious 30-year National Transport Development Master Plan is expected to be rolled out. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has drawn up a blueprint of the master plan already. The master plan covers all sectors – railways, aviation, roads & bridges and ports.

 

JICA says that the period from 2014 to 2020 will be dedicated to revamp Myanmar’s basic transport infrastructure. An investment worth 1.166 trillion yen is required over six years, says JICA.

 

Myanmar’s officials are confident that the proposed transport master plan will play a key role in not only linking ASEAN member countries but also connect important neighboring countries like India and China via air, land or marine corridors.

 

The frontier nation’s aviation sector looks promising as a number of international airlines are eying opportunities in the emerging market, driven by tourism sector growth and the government facilitating increased investment.

 

CMT’s 2nd Myanmar Transport and Logistics Summit (MTL) to be held in Yangon on 19-20 January, 2015 brings together transport ministry officials and private sector investors to share further details on the country’s transport and logistics future roadmap.

 

Contact Ms. Huiyan at huiyan@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9113 for more details.

 

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Myanmar’s transport master plan will see more regional links

 

Transport Master Plans Unveiled for Myanmar and the Yangon Metropolitan Area

Myanmar Garment Cut Made and Package (CMP) – Chairman Aung Min

Myanmar has set out an ambitious plan to emulate Bangladesh’s runaway success in the garment sector, as it looks to become one of the major apparel suppliers itself, said a minister of the Southeast Asian nation.

“In our country, the garment industry is booming. We hope we will be a hub for sourcing garment items,” said Pwint San, deputy commerce minister of Myanmar.

“We are aiming to go after RMG like Bangladesh did,” he told The Daily Star in an interview in Dhaka recently.

San was in the capital to attend a conference organised by the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh.

Myanmar, which is gradually opening its economy to foreign investors, is a minor player in global apparel trade as of now.

At present, it has 240 textile and apparel companies, with the number growing steadily, according to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA).

Its apparel export basket includes coats, suits, jackets, swimwear, trousers, shirts, dresses and skirts. The employment within the textile and apparel industry is around 220,000.

Apparel exports, which make up 10-12 percent of the country’s total exports, raked in $1.2 billion in 2013, up from $396 million in 2009, according to the association.

MGMA though has set out an export target of $10 billion within the next ten years.

Japan is the prime destination, accounting for 48.8 percent of the country’s garment exports, followed by South Korea (33.3 percent), the European Union (14.6 percent), Germany (5.4 percent) and China (2.5 percent).

San said his country sees Bangladesh as a good trading partner, and always encourages people-to-people and government-to-government contact.

The governments and private sectors are always trying to increase the trade volume between Bangladesh and Myanmar, he added. Despite being a neighbour, trade between the two countries has been very low.

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries stood at $57.24 million in fiscal 2013-14, up 9.32 percent year-on-year. Till August this year, it stood at $24.5 million, San said.

Myanmar mainly imports raw materials for construction like iron bar and cement and fertilisers from Bangladesh and exports agricultural and marine products to the country.

While the bilateral trade volume has been on the rise since 2011, San hopes it will increase in a bigger way in future, as Myanmar sees Bangladesh as a lucrative export destination.

“Bangladesh has 160 million people — the country has a market for agriculture products. We can export food and marine items to Bangladesh.”

San said many companies from around the world as well as Bangladesh have already started to explore business opportunities in Myanmar as it is a promising land for investors.

As of August this year, Myanmar received foreign investment worth $39.3 billion. China topped the list, putting in $14.38 billion, followed by Hong Kong at $6.48 billion and Singapore $6.17 billion.

Energy and electricity supply accounted for 36 percent of the FDI, followed by oil, gas and power at 33 percent, manufacturing 7.9 percent, transport and communications 6.8 percent, according to the country’s deputy commerce minister.

San, who has been with the government since March 2011, also touched upon the issue of Rohingyas.

“We are trying our best to solve the issue in a stable and peaceful way in the region. Our policy is in favour of peace and stability.”

About the proposed Bangladesh, India, China and Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC), San said that it will enhance collaboration in the region.

The 53-year-old minister said a government-level negotiation is going on so that Bangladeshis can find employment in Myanmar. He however could not give any details.

With a population of 60 million and area of 676,552 sq km, Myanmar’s economy is one of the least developed in the world, although it has highly fertile soil and important offshore oil and gas deposits.

fazlur.rahman@thedailystar.net

NEDO to start cassava based ethanol demo project in Thailand

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has signed an MOU with the National Innovation Agency of Thailand to begin a demonstration project in Thailand, whereby it will use locally available cassava residue (generated from starch extraction) to produce ethanol.

 

The project is expected to extend through 2016. Initially the project will be a pilot with an annual production capacity of 80 kiloliters (21,133 gallons).

 

However, NEDO confirms that the plant has capacity to process 1,000 tons of cassava pulp per year. The plant will convert highly-concentrated and viscous unrefined starch residue of cassava pulp (sourced from Thailand’s largest cassava starch manufacturing plant) into ethanol.

 

This demo project is aimed at utilizing the vast amount of cassava residue that is discarded in Thailand – the largest cassava starch exporter in the world.

 

The demo project will generate data that will be assessed and examined through Feb. 2016. The analyzed data is expected to provide useful guidance for companies to utilize the cassava pulp for commercial purposes.

 

NEDO is hopeful that the annual 1.9 million tons of cassava residue produced in Thailand can be converted into 620,000 kiloliters of ethanol per year.

 

Mr. Seiji Sawa, Project Coordinator at NEDO along with Dr. Yutaka Mitani, General Manager (Frontier Laboratories of Value Creation) at Sapporo Breweries Ltd. will be sharing an ‘Update on the NEDO / Eiamburapa Co., Ltd Cassava pulp to bioethanol project’ at CMT’s 4th Starch World 2015 on 29-30 January, 2015 in Yangon.

 

Contact Ms. Hafizah at hafizah@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9218 for more details.

 

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Myanmar to upgrade Yangon circular railway for $700 million

Myanmar is gearing up with major transport system revamps. It is estimated that the Ministry of Rail Transportation plans to spend over US$700 million to upgrade Yangon’s circular railroad.

 

The estimated amount is only for revamping the railway and train coaches.

 

The work is expected to begin in 2015 and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will assist in the project.

 

The plan is to extend the railway section and replace coaches. Moreover, after the upgrade, the circular train’s speed will increase from its current 30 miles per hour to 80 miles per hour.

 

After this phase of the upgrade work is completed, the ministry plans to construct a sky train with the help of foreign loans.

 

The ministry also plans to upgrade stations, build fences, and install alarm system and automatic gates.

 

The tender for the upgrade of Yangon railway station has already been opened for local and foreign companies.

 

More on Myanmar’s railways will be discussed at the 2nd Myanmar Transport and Logistics Summit on 19-20 January, 2015 in Yangon.

 

Contact Ms. Huiyan at huiyan@cmtsp.com.sg or call +65 6346 9113 for more details.

 

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