Myanmar Monitor


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Photo Credit: Frontier

Economy, Investment and Trade

Businesses provide feedback on new business tax law
(23 December 2017) More than 150 executives from different companies gathered at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) office to provide feedback on the draft Union Tax Law to be enacted in 2018. Currently, Myanmar allows companies listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) to pay 20 percent corporate income tax while other businesses have to pay 25 percent, which many businesses consider unfair. Vice President of UMFCCI Ye Min Aung, urged that the taxation policies and practices should enable a conducive business ecosystem as expected by the private sector and foreign investors.
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Loans to be equally allocated for SMEs in Myanmar
(26 December 2017) The Myanmar Ministry of Industry is planning to proportionally allocate loans for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) throughout its regions and states in 2018. Reportedly, loans are not accessible for all SMEs in the country with those in major cities more likely to have easier access to loans. ‘‘People in remote places such as Chin and Kachin can’t get loans if they go straight to the bank, so we will allocate loans propor­tionally. So they will get equal access to the loans and more opportunities,’’ said Daw Aye Aye Win, Direc­tor General of the Minis­try of Industry. In the past two years, the government has granted over K59 billion (US$437 million) to SMEs. Read More >

Slowdown in gem sales due pending gemstone bill
(21 December 2017) Gem sales declined at the 2017 Myanmar Gems Emporium as the industry waits for the new Gemstone Bill to be passed. Since, the new bill has not been passed, gemstone blocks with expired licenses cannot be renewed hence the blocks remain unsold. As a result the number of gem and jade lots put up for sale has also declined aalong with total sales and revenue. This year, a total of 3,520 jade lots worth US$242 million were sold on open tender in contrast to US$389 million worth of gemstones and jade sold in 2016.
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Myanmar Investment Commission looks to import-substitution
(23 December 2017) The Myanmar Investment Commision (MIC) has invited companies to submit proposals for investment in import substitution industries. The commission has identified the industries in which they would like to encourage import substitution and these include auto and auto parts, telephone and telecom equipment, power distribution and installation and, iron and steel construction materials. Myanmar has a trade deficit of over US$3.1 billion which comes from export values amounting to US$9.75 billion and an import value of US$12.86 billion.
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Growth in Myanmar trade drives development of Thilawa port
(22 December 2017) Myanmar’s rapid growth in trade is driving the development of Thilawa with a number of expansion projects already underway including a grain and a container terminal. Development of the port is expected to raise the efficiency of the industrial park. A senior executive of a Japanese company operating at the port, said that it will also help cut procurement costs. In 2016, 1.02 million twenty-foot equivalent units of containers were handled by Myanmar, up 170 percent from five years earlier. A majority of these containers went through Yangon port, which is close to capacity and cannot be easily expanded prompting the development of Thilwa port.
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