Tourism and Moken people of Myanmar’s Mergui archipelago

Where the Indian Ocean rolls towards Myanmar’s southwestern coast, a lacework of 800 islands rises, fringed with shimmering beaches on which there are no footprints.

Hornbills break a primeval silence as they flutter through the soaring jungle canopy..

Pythons slumber on the gnarled roots of eerie mangrove forests. Only rarely will you spot the people who live here – the Moken, who are shy, peaceful nomads of the sea.

The Mergui archipelago has been called the “Lost World”, but outsiders have found it – first fisherman, poachers and loggers, and now developers and high-end tourists. The people losing this would are the Moken, who have lived off the land and the sea for centuries. The islands harbor some of the world’s most important marine biodiversity.

They are also a big attraction for those eager to experience one of Asia’s last tourism frontiers before, as many fear, it succumbs to the revages that have befallen many once-pristime seascapes.

As the world closes in, the long-exploited Moken are rapidly diminishing in numbers and losing the occupations that sustained them for generations.

Though they are known as “sea gypises”, few still live the nomadic life and only some ageing men can fashion the kabang houseboats on which the Moken once lived.

Their island settlements are awash with trash and empty liquor bottles, signs of the alcoholism that has consumed many Moken lives.

“Before it was easy to earn maoney, to find products of the sea.You could fill a bucket with fish. But now many Burmese are pursuing the same livelihoods,” said Aung San,

Resting u nder the trees of Island 115 with about 20 Moken men, women and children.”The life of the Moken is becoming harder and harder.Many Moken men are drying.”

Asked if his people would welcome foreign visitors, the fisherman and trader replied : “We don’t want to live with the Burmese or other people. We want to live by ourselves.”

Myanmar’s former military rulers kept the archipelago off-limits to foreign visitors until 1996. A norminally civilian government took over in 2011, but tourism remains relatively low. About 2,000 tourists visited last year – about 2.5 per island.

To date only one hotel exists, the Myanmar Andaman Resort, tucked away in a U – shaped bay on McLeod Island.

But a grab-the-best-island race is being run among local and foreign developers, with a dozen concessions already granted and others under negotiation.

A long jetty and two helicopter pads have been built and nine bungalows are under construction on the stunning hot rather unhappily named Chin Kite Kyunn – Mosquito Bite Island. Its is leased by Tay Za, believed to be Myanmar’s richest tycoon.

The website of one development company, Singapore’s Zochwell Group, advertises the island it hopes to develop as “The Next Phuket”.

Zochwell is negotiating a lease to build a matrina, casino, hotels and a golf course to be designed by Jack Nicklaus’ company. Visitors, almost all travelling on yachts or dive boats, invariably fall under Mergui’s spell.

Myanmar’s minister of hotels and tourism, Htay Aung, said the islands would be promoted, but that protecting the environment and “minimizing unethical practices” were top priorities.

But for the time being, the region remains a free-for-all, with no overall management plan for tourism or the environment.

Nor is there a known blueprint for the future of the Moken, described by French anthropologist Jacaques Ivanoff as “the soul of the archipelago”.

About 2,000 Moken are believed to inhabit the islands.

Khin Maung Htwe, who has worked with Ivanoff, said re-orienting the largely illiterate Moken from their deeply rooted lifestyles and occupations to being nature guides or hotel staff would prove difficult.

Chinese Property Developer at Risk of Massive Loan Default-Sources

Once modest of pay and profile, risk experts are being reborn as rock stars of the banking world – their status and salaries soaring as regulators force financial institutions to clean up.
Industry-wide investigations into allenged exchange rate manipulation, trading scandals at UBS, Societe Generale and JPMorgan and HSBC’s $1.9billion fine for lax money-laundering rules have upped the ante for banks already under pressure to crub reckless behaviour that led to the financial crisis.
Now watchdogs and central banks want to see a clear line of responsibility for the avoidance of such fiascos in the future, and as a result, the position of chief risk offer (CRO) gas jumped up the ranks. Many CROs now sit alongside the finance director as second in importance behind the chief executive.
“The role of the CRO has become broader, higher profile and more influential,” said Anne Murphy, head of UK financial services for executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson.
In turn, salaries have soared. Pay in risk-related jobs rose 6 percent in 2013 and rocketed 19 percent for those who moved firms, according to a report by recruitment firm Barclay Simpson.
HSBC chief risk officer MaRC Moses joined the bank’s board at the start of 2014, alongside the chairman, chief executive and finance director, and could be paid £6 million ($10 million) this year. Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver, who could be paid $11.4 million this year, says precisis, the bank’s CRO would not have made it into the top 50 earners.

Myanmar Still Deliberating on offshore Block Tender Award

Contrary to industry expectations, Myanmar has yet to award a tender for the Offshore Block Bidding Round 2013 that closed last June. An announcement for the award of 30 oil and gas blocks-comprising 19 deepwater and 11 shallow water blocks-is now likely to be made before the end of March.
The award could contribute to greater upstream oil and gas activities in Myanmar, home of Southeast Asia’s most promising petroleum resource base, which has been generally underdeveloped following decades of political and economic sanctions against the former military government.
In November, Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy prequalified 61 of the 75 bidders, including major independent oil companies (IOC), Asian national oil firms and other petroleum companies in the country’s offshore bidding round. Of these ,only 30 firms submitted bids for the 30 offshore blocks when the deadline closed mid-November. No details were available on bidders for the blocks, but participants indicated interests in more than one block.
Results of the tender, which the energy ministry had indicated would be released late December or early January, are expected in March.
Even so, the March timeline “will [also] depend on the management,” an energy ministry source told Rigzone.
Evaluation of the bidder’s final proposals for the country’s offshore exploration blocks appeared to have been completed although top governmental officials are still finalishing the tender award.
“Maybe the Ministry of Energy finds it very hard to select from the many bidders,” legal and tax advisory company VDB Loi’s Senior Associate Wai New Turn told Rigzone.
Compared to the award of Myanmar’s upstream tenders issued prior to the lifting of Western economic sanctions, when there were fewer bids, the Ministry of Energy now has to evaluate 30 bids and joint bids in the latest tender from major IOCs, Asian national oil companies and several regional firms.
Major industry players biding in Myanamr’s offshore tender include: Royal Dutch Shell plc- Mitsui Oil Exploration Co Ltd (3 blocks); Exxon-Mobil Corp (2 blocks), Chevron Corp (2 blocks), Total  SA (2 blocks), Total SA (2 blocks), Eni SPA (1 block) and Eni-Petro Vietnam (2 blocks), Statoil ASA Conoco-Phillips Co (2 blocks).
Several large Asia Pacific’s national and independent oil and gas firms also submitted bids for the offshore blocks. They included companies keen to increase their upstream assets in Myanmar such as Malaysia’s Petronas Carigali, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production plc.
(PTTEP) and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) – all of whom received onshore blocks awarded by the Myanmar government in last October’s tender.
Other major companies vying for offshore blocks in Myanmar include: Woodside Petroleum Ltd-BG Group (2 blocks), Santos Ltd (1 block), Reliance Industries Ltd (3 blocks), Oil India Ltd.-Mercator Petroleum Ltd-Oil Max Energy Pte Ltd (3 blocks), GAIL (India) Ltd-Kris-Energy Ltd (3 blocks).
The latest tender attracted 42 proposals for shallow water blocks, while deepwater blocks drew 22 proposals.
Successful firms in the Offshore Bidding Round 2013 are likely to spend at least $3 billion for production sharing contracts (PSC) they signed with MOGE to get the right to explore and produce oil and gas offshore Myanmar for 30 years.
Meanwhile, some analysts noted that delay in the offshore tender award could be attributed to politics in Myanmar.
“The main issue is rising pressure from local bussiness community and politicians against foreign bussiness interests [the Myanmar government has to be] careful with elections coming … not be seen as selling out … it does not want to be critised [and want to be seen to have] done all their homework … It’s a political not just an bussiness issue,” Dr Tin Maung Than, a senior research fellow at the Institute of a Southeast Asian Studies told Rigzone.
MOGE revealed that the evaluation of final proposals for the offshore tender was completed late 2013.
The opening of Myanmar’s energy sector to foreign investors in recent years has already brought some tangible benefits to the country, which oil and gas investments amounting to $14.372 billion last year, data from the Myanmar Investment Commission showed.
Furthermore, Myanmar earned around $4 billion in annual revenue from the oil and gas industry, although the government never released official data on the matter.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has taken steps toward implementing global standards in exploiting the country’s natural resources. Earlier this month, representatives from  resources – including oil and gas – companies, government and civil society set up a multi-stakeholders group under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The group, which includes representives from Total and Petronas, will publicise income and tax payments of Myanmar-based energy firms and report to the EITI, which Myanmar has applied to join.
While industry watchers wait for results of Myanmar’s offshore tender, petroleum firms already operating in the country continue with their scheduled upstream activities.
PTTEP, one of the most active upstream players in Myanmar after the imposition of Western economic sanctions against the country’s former military government, is busy with several exploration and development projects this year, according to the firm’s February 18 statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
Attention will be focused on the Zawtika project in Block M9 in Myanmar’s Gulf of Martaban, with first gas expected to flow in the first quarter of 2014 at around 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d). Field development for the project, which PTTEP holds on 80 operating precent interest and MOGE the remaining 20 percent, is nearing completion.
Last year, the Thai upstream operator completed installation of 3 wellhead platforms and the ZPQ central processing platform as well as laid intrafield pipelines and an offshore export pipeline. The remaining work for the Zewika project includes construction of an onshore pipeline and facility and the drilling of production wells.
Zawtika will be the second project to commence production this year after Posco’s subsidiary Daewoo International officially begun gas production at the Shwe project in Block A1 the Andaman Sea off Myanmar in January.
Daewoo will finish drilling and installing “production facilities for the Shwe gas field and start extracting gas through the first of 11 production wells. The remaining 10 wells will then begin drilling so that the current daily production of 200 million cubic feet (MMcf) increases to 500 MMcf,” Posco said in a January 16 statement.
Meanwhile, appraisal work is underway at PTTEP’s M3 project in the Gulf of Martaban. The firm is currently conducting further studies to assess the commericiality of the project after finding gas and condensate in four appraisal wells last year. It plans to drill 8 additional appraisal wells at the Aung Sinkha field beginning in the third quarter of 2014.
Myanmar also presents an attractive upstream growth opportunity for Woodsite, which has a 50 percent operating interest and a 40 percent non-operating stake in Block A-6 and Block AD-7 in the Rakhine Basin, respectively.
Woodside, while waiting for results of its joint-bid with BG Group plc for 2 blocks in the Offshore Biding Round 2013, plans to complete processing the data of a 689 square mile (1,786 square kilometer) Padauk 3D seismic survey in Block A-6 and drill an exploration well in AD-7 before the end of March.
“If you recall hisorically we’ve been slow into new plays… so one of the reasons we’ve gone to a more global viwe of our exploration is that we’re trying to make sure we get into plays at the right time, at the right price. And that’s what Myanmar is,” Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said in a February 19 teleconference with analysts and investors.
Like Woodside, ROC Oil Co Ltd is another Australia-based petroleum exploration and production firm drawn to potential growth opportunities offered by Myanmar’s upstream sector, both onshore and offshore. The company was prequalified by Myanmar’s energy ministry for the offshore tender and and it subsequently submitted bids for two shallow water blocks in the current licensing round.
“Entry into Myanmar remains aligned with ROC’s wider strategic objective to identify and secure material exploration, appraisal and field redevelopment opportunities in established petroleum provinces across Southeast Asia,” the company said January 29 in its fourth quarter 2013 activity report.
Besides offshore blocks, ROC Oil is also actively pursuing farm-in opportunities for onshore petroleum acreage in Myanmar near existing infrastructure.
While industry’s interest in Myanmar’s Offshore Block Bidding Round 2013 could be due to the number of blocks being offered as well as participation from several IOCS, the tender, when it is finally awarded, could mark a new chapter in the country’s upstream sector. Total may soon be joined by other major IOCs operating in Myanmar petroleum industry.

Myanmar, UAE to Cooperate in Direct Flights

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will cooperate with Myanmar in air services as it signed an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with the Southeast Asian nation last week.
The two countries agreed that designated airlines from both countries many operate direct flights between Myanmar and the UAE, without limitations on service frequency and aircraft type.
The agreement was signed by U Tin Naing Tun, director general of Department of Civil Avitation, and Saif Mohamed Al Suwaidi, director general of UAE General Civil Avitation Authority, in Abu Dhabi.
Currently, there are 24 international airlines flying to and from Myanmar.

Thai Hoteliers Seek Cooperation in Myanmar’s Hotel, Tourism Industry

Thai Hoteliers are seeking cooperation in hotel and Tourism Industry with Myanmar, officials told a press conference of Yangon HORECA Bizmatch fair last week.
The Hotel Restaurant and Catering Bussiness Matching was held in Yangon last week along with a half-day seminar aimed at promoting the hotel supply chain cluster from Thailand to meet with small and medium enterprise (SME) hotel and restaurant entrepreneurs in Myanmar for future bussiness transactions.
The bussiness matching event aimed to find solutions to tackle the boom in tourism and hotel industry in Myanmar and the upcoming ASEAN Econnomic Community (AEC) 2015.
The event was attended by 21 companies from Thailand, covering a range of products, equipment, machines, accessories and service.
In 2013, Myanmar attracted over 2 million tourists, of whom 1.14 million entered through border gates and 885,476 through airports.
Myanmar targets 3 million tourist arrivals in 2014.
According to official statistics, bilateral trade between Myanmar and Thailand stood at $ 4.53 billion in the first nine months (April-December) of the current fiscal year 2013-14.
Of the total amount, Myanmar’s export to Thailand reached $3.55 billion while its import Thailand stood at $ 971.46 million.
Thailand invested $9.995 billion in Myanmar as of January 2014 since 1988, making it second in Myanmar’s foreign investor lineup.

Authorities Start Building New Jetty on Yangon River

The authorities have started building a new jetty at Dala bank on Yangon river with Japenese aid to meet safety standards, officials said.
The existing Dala bank jetty was damaged by Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
The new facility will include two bridges for arrival and departure, a wharf and a recreation lounge, the Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) said.
The construction work is expected to be finished by October.
IWTA said the Japanese government will also provide three ferries which will operate between the Dala and Pansodan jetties.

Myanmar’s Log Export Ban to Hurt Businessmen But Help Forests

Myanmar will ban the export of raw timber choking off profits in a sector that provided critical funding to the country’s former military rulers for decades, as a new reformist government steps up efforts to save forests.

Myanmar has some of Asia’s largest remaining expanses of forests, from the slopes of Himalayan foothills in the north to steamy rainforest in the south.

But it has been disappering fast.

Forest cover shrank almost a fifth, to 47 percent of land area in 2010, from 58 percent in 1990, Forestry Ministry data shows.

Total timber exports of 1.24 million cubic tonners in the fiscal year to March 2013 brought in more than $1 billion in revenue, government figures show.

While timber remains an important income stream for Myanmar’s rulers after a quasicivillian government took over from the military in 2011, it is not as critical as before.

To recognise Myanmar’s economic and political reforms, the European Union, the United States and other countries have eased or lifted sanctions, allowing foreign investment in sectors such as telecommunications.

The reforms are now reaching into the forestry sector, with the government ready to put conservation above profit.

The ban is likely to hurt the forestry industry, which generates about 90 percent of export earnings from raw logos and not finished products, said Bar Bar Cho, head of the Myanmar Timber Merchants’ Association.

“Myanmar industry might suffer, some people might suffer,” some people might suffer, said Bar Bar Cho, whose group represents about 900 companies.

“It’s a difficult and complicated juncture for us.”

Under the new rule, revenues could plummet, forcing forestry firms to invest in new sawmills to stay competitive.

But the action was necessary, as the former junta had practiced “legal overproduction” that decimated Myanmar’s forests for decades, Bar Bar Cho said.

Crippled by sanctions, chronic economic mismanagement and starved for hard currency, the generals gave logging concessions to their cronies to export raw logs in exchange for the cash needed to prop up their rule.

Forest products were the military junta’s second most important source of legal foreign exchange and exports earned $428 million in the fiscal year to March 2005, natural resources watchdog group Global Witness said.

Among the big companies involved in the bussiness are Asia World, the Htoo Group, and Yuzana Co.

Htoo Group and Yuzana are the two biggest palm oil companies in the environmenttally sensitive southern region of Tanintharyi.

Yuzana also runs a 200,000acre (81,000-hectre) biofuel concession in the world’s largest tiger reserve in northern Kachin state, where the military has contracted with Asia World to build roads and dams, conservation group Forest Trends says.

“All these reowned companies were granted associated rights over timber extraction in their project area,” the Washington-based group said in a recent report.

Challenging the cronies
The ban, covering all kinds of trees, will end Myanmar’s status as the only country to export raw teak logs from natural forests rather than plantations. Exports of teak wood alone earned $359 million last year.

“Of course, this ban should have been imposed a long time ago, but it’s better late than never,” a forestry ministry official told Reuters.

“We believe it will help encourage wood-based industry and increase job opportunities,” added the official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to media.

From next year, the government also plans to slash by 80 percent the amount of teak it allows to be taken from the forests, Bar Bar Cho said.

How the cronies will fare is an open question, but it’s clear that Myanmar’s notoriously opaque timber industry has long been a key source of wealth for many prominent bussinessmen.

Tycoon Tay Za said his Htoo Group, engaged in bussiness ranging from mining to tourism, grew from a humble start, based on a loan from his mother-in-law to set up a sawmill.

Tay Za said he did not exploit connections to win concessions, which were allotted through a bidding process, but he did say his father served with top figures in the military, including Than Shwe, who ruled Myanmar from 1992 to 2011, while Tay Za was building his bussiness empire.

“It was a fair competition,” Tay Za said in a december interview. “No need to know the minister, only open competition.”

Groups such as Forest Trends and others familiar with the way the junta worked say tenders were for show. The real concessions were shared out in backroom deals.

“It was not a tender system, it was a negotiation system,” said Bar Bar Cho.

Data shows one of Tay Za’s firms received a 668,000-acre (270,000-hectare) tract of rain-forest in a proposed national park in Tanintharyi, one of Myanmar’s most biodiverse regions.

Tay Za logged almost two-thirds of another 162,000 acres (65,000 hectres) of nearby palm oil concessions awarded to him during the five years to fiscal 2007/8, data shows.

Tay Za, as well as representatives of Yuzana and Asia World, did not respond to requests for comment.

The log export ban will force dominant forestry companies to invest in new processes and diversify, said Aung Thura, of the Yangon-based research and consulting firm Thura swiss.

“It will have an impact on them, but it won’t destroy them, but it won’t destroy them,” he said. “It’s in their interest to diversify, not just export raw logs.”

Indian Engineering Exports Eye Huge Presence

Following the recent visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Yangon for the BIMSTEC Summit, the Indian engineering industry recently held a merga engineering summit to forge new level of trade and investment relations with Myanmar.

“Indee Myanmar attempts to a build a holistic relationship with the Myanmar industry, particularly in the engineering sector,” Minister of State for Commerce & Industry E M S Natchiappan said.

India and Myanmar can set up joint ventures in sectors such as rice mill, sugar mills, cotton ginning and enhance cooperation in the capital goods sector, he added.

Nine-Month Jade Exports Triple to $924 Million

Myanmar’s total proceeds from the export of jade in the first nine months of the 2013-14 (April-March) fiscal year soared to $924 million (K887), compared with $297 million during the entire previous fiscal year, official data released by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development shows.

 China, Hong Kong and India are historically the major buyers of Myanmar’s jade, but this year Japan topped the list. Myanmar’s annual jade production is more than 10’000 tonnes, with May being the most productive month. Export earnings in September last year was about $336 million.

 However, a new law, which has been discussed at the union parliament, is planning to impose a 30 percent tax on raw jade, ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond and other stones.

 Foreign direct investments in Myanmar’s mining sector accounted for over 6.6 percent of the total FDI with $2.3 million in investment and Companies Administration (DICA) website.

Mogok, also known as the Ruby Land, is home to the world-famous Myanmar ruby.Residents from Mogok and nearby areas used to do ruby mining for generations, usually on a manageable sacle by traditional manual methods, until it was restricted due to jointventures between the ruling government and its close business associates about 20 years ago. Unscrupulous mining by joint-ventures, using heavy machinery, has left the town with dumps and craters.

Powering Myanamr: The Tricky Table Tale of Natural Gas, Hydro, Protests and Foreign Investment (Part I)

Last November, residents of the new, more democratic Myanmar took to the streets. In Yangon – the most highly electrified city in the country – protestors were angry about the government’s plans to raise electricity prices. The protests were illegal since the participants lacked government permits. Even still, the protests worked:the government backed down on price hikes. This wasn’t the only protest over electricity: others were protesting to gain access.

A few months earlier, the government put out a tender for a gas-fired power plant outside of Mandalay. With the easing of sanctions, Florida based APR Energy was able to perticipate in the process, winning a contract to supply power and serving as a potential case study for entry into the once off-limits market.

By next month, the results of another tender – this time for development – should be released. International companies have lined up for the opportunity to develop these fields and the Myanmar government has indicated that at least some of that gas will go towards domestic uses.

For the newly opened country with a tremendous opportunity for growth, handling these three areas well – pricing and access to electricity, interest in the power sector by independent power producers (IPPs) and a nascent oil and gas sector – are integral for Myanmar’s future development.

Turning on the lights: An angry populace
The protestors marching to stop the government from raising electricity tariffs last November represent an elite minority in Myanmar, but not in the way that Americans think about privillage and the wealthy one percent.Rather, this elite minority had one identifying characteristic: intermittent access to electricity.

The government backed down and kept prices low – artifically low. Electricity is highly  subsidised in Myanmar: the government sells electricity for less than it costs to produce it, by some accounts consumers pay only 33 percent of production costs. Electricity tarriffs in the country are some of the lowest in the world, according to Vikas Sharma, an associate director at Frost & Sullivan in Singapore. The low prices exacerbate Myanmar’s bigger problem:less than 30 percent of the country is connected to the power grid.

“Providing heavily subsidised electricity has debilitated the power ministry’s (MOEP) fiscal situration, and rendered it unable to invest in increasing capacity and upgrading distribution networks,” Sharma told Breaking Energy by email. The protests may keep electricity out of the reach of their compatriots, as power producers and the government, in desperate need of revenue streams that exceed production costs, cannot afford to increase capacity.

At the same time, Yangon is dealing with protests from those without access to electricity.Citizens are angry that 70 percent of the country remains without access and even more so that some of the electricity produced within Myanmar is exported outside its own borders. One US-based expert who asked not to be identified for fear of angering the Myanmar government said that many in the rural areas have simply given upon hopes that the government will provide them with electricity.

The challange: Electrification of 70 percent of the population.

Myanmar sits on potetially huge deposits of natural gas and to a lesser extent, oil. Either could be deployed to electrify the country. However, most of Myanmar’s electricity comes from hydropower poses tremendous challenges during the dry season when almost 75 percent of the country’s power is either substantially reduced or entirely offline. During the dry season, some households can expert just one hour of electricity a day.

Natural-gas fired power plants aren’t much better; highly inefficient abd aging, experts say 44 percent of this capacity, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says only 56 percent of this is “firm capacity.” Another tenth of that is destined for exports. Even the country’s three oil refineries run at just 41 percent utilisation, according to a World Economic Forum report.

Beyond the unreliability, Myanmar has the highest percentage of its population without access to electricity of ASEAN countries. Its power consumption, as measured in kWh per capita, stood at 110 in 2011.That’s higher than Haiti, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the Congo and Nepal, but still well below the low-income country average of 232 kWh per capita, according to the World Bank.

Even for those with access, supply is unreliable. Load shedding happens 20 percent of the time with transmission and distribution losses causing another 19.43 percent loss, according to the Ministry of Power. For such a small base to begin with, losing this much power is highly problematic.
Energy consumption can be broken down into a few simple categories:
-Those without access to the grid rely on wood and expensive diesel powerend generators and small-scale solar, according to experts.
_Those with connections to the grid rely primarily on water from hydropower. Limited supplies come from natural gas and coal, despite domestic resources.
-Future power is likely to come from hydropower and natural gas.

For Myanmar’s new government, fixing unequal access to power – Yangon has 67 percent of its popoulation connected, versus under 30 percent for the rest of the country and balancing the need to increase capacity without destabilising its citizenry will be the key economic development task.
This article is the first of a series in Breaking Energy on Myanmar’s power sector. It was originally published with the publication’s permission. The three-part series aims to look at the dynamics of Myanmar’s power sector, what’s driving change , how foreign investors are getting involved, and the challenges facing the government.