Myanmar Monitor


Myanmar Monitor

Photo Credit: File Photo

Economy, Investment and Trade

Investments needed to develop Yangon into regional trading hub
(11 October 2017) Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said that plans are underway for Yangon to be developed into a regional economic and trading hub. The Yangon government is working on improving transport infrastructure and U Phyo Min Thein urged private businesses to work with government to overcome challenges investors face such as squatter resettlements, sewer systems and road connectivity. Foreign direct investments (FDI) and interest in Yangon has been on the uptick with approved FDI in Myanmar between April and September 2017 hitting US$4.3 billion, which is up three times from the same period the year before.
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Singaporean PE firm to invest in SMEs in Myanmar
(11 October 2017) A Singaporean private equity (PE) firm, is raising a US$100 million fund to invest in greenfield ventures in the finance, manufacturing and consumer product sectors in Myanmar. The CEO of Credera Group said that “a lot of the deals are getting closer to fruition”. Myanmar has over 250 microfinance institutions and banks in the country, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) continue to face challenges in obtaining the funds needed to expand due to stringent bank loan regulations and under-developed financial infrastructure.
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Russia and Myanmar set to grow bilateral trade
(10 October 2017) Ministry of Planning and Finance, U Kyaw Win, and the chair of the Russia-Myanmar Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (RMIC) Minister Maksim Oreshkin signed an agreement to set up a Russia trade representative office in Yangon. Oreshkin highlighted that bilateral trade volumes between the two countries doubled in 2016 to US$158.3 million. Between January and July 2017, the turnover amounted to US$138.9 million up 60pc over the same period in 2016. The goal for the cooperation is to reach an annual bilateral trade turnover to US$500 million in three years. The trade office will be tasked to facilitate this growth.
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Unrest in Rakhine affecting Myanmar tourism industry
(10 October 2017) U Tint Lwin, Director General of the Hotels and Tourism Ministry, said news of the unrest in Rakhine state has scared tourists and affected the whole tourism industry in Myanmar. According to figures from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, 2.9 million tourists visited the country in 2016. More than 3.5 million tourists were expected for 2017, according to the figures, with about 2.27 million tourists visiting the country from January to August this year.
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Foreign & Internal Affairs

Rohingya insurgents ready for peace talks
(7 October 2017) The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) said that they are open to any peace talks by the Myanmar government. In a statement released by the group they stated that, “If at any stage, the Burmese government is inclined to peace, then ARSA will welcome that inclination and reciprocate”. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that a ceasefire agreement which was negotiated ended on 10 October. The rebels launched attacks on about 30 security posts and an army camp on 25 August with the help of hundreds of disaffected Rohingya villagers. The military responded with a sweeping offensive across the north of Rakhine State, driving more than half a million Rohingya villagers into Bangladesh.
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