Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar to liberalise its insurance market
(8 June 2017) In a presentation at Myanmar Investment Forum 2017, Managing Director of state-run Myanma Insurance Sandar Oo said that the Ministry of Planning and Finance intends to release a blueprint for insurance market reforms in the next three months. This includes allowing foreign insurers to underwrite and sell policies. The reforms developed with the assistance of the World Bank group, approved by cabinet, will be carried out in order to ensure a well-structured and competitive insurance market.
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Mobile money growing rapidly in Myanmar
(4 June 2017) Mobile money has the potential to replace cash in Myanmar’s largely unbanked society. Only 20 percent of the population has a bank account. Mobile money is a fintech service that enables money to be deposited and withdrawn using apps downloaded to mobile phones. Migrant workers throughout the country use mobile money to make remittances to families back home. Mobile phone operators see this as a lucrative sector to invest in and profit from as they already have an existing sales network throughout the country. However, there are concerns as there are many mobile phone operators in the country it will affect the reliability of mobile money. To curb this last year the central bank announced regulations for mobile money stipulating minimum capital requirements and registration procedures to make services safer.
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Blackouts continue in Myanmar
(6 June 2017) Blackouts have returned to Myanmar as the hot dry season gives way to the monsoon rains, shining a spotlight on official pledges to boost electricity supply. With energy demand to climb in the future, the per capita energy consumption in the country still remains very low, a fraction of that in other ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, and electrification rates vary widely between regions. Mya Thuza, joint secretary of the government Myanmar Investment Commission, said that even companies arriving in dedicated industrial zones were putting in their own generators because they felt they still could not rely on the official supply. The lack of a reliable power supply has called into question the government’s ability to deliver on their promises.
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Myanmar job agencies continue to appeal ban on workers to Malaysia
(6 June 2017) The Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) appealed to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population again to allow 8000 Myanmar workers to be sent to employers in Malaysia. MOEAF general secretary U Kyaw Htin Kyaw said that the government should allow the workers selected by Malaysian employers to go as their visas have been granted. He claimed that these workers would be permanently banned by Malaysia if they are not allowed to leave the country by the ministry. Before the ban was introduced, about 4000 Myanmar workers went to Malaysia monthly.
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