Myanmar Monitor


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Photo credit: The Myanmar Times

Economy, Investment and Trade

Foreign trade volume rises in Myanmar
(6 February 2018) According to Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce, the country recorded foreign trade volume exceeding US$26 billion for the period between April 2017 to January 2018, with maritime route reaching US$20 billion whereas the border route reached a total of US$6 billion. With exports reaching US$11.4 billion and import US$15.1 billion, trade deficit for 2017 – 2018FY widened to US$3.7 billion, slightly up from last year’s US$3.6 billion.
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Myanmar and China launch strategic mission to reduce poverty
(5 February 2018) During the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in November 2017, an agreement for a model project for rural poverty reduction was launched in Lewe and Tatkon township in Nay Pyi Taw. The project, which includes social infrastructure development, vocational training, income generation and capacity-building assistance for the residents of the area are being financially and technically supported by China. Additionally, China has also provided a total funding of US$5.31 million (CHN 33) for the project that will potentially benefit approximately more than 7,000 people from 1,400 households. Based on the data source from the Myanmar Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the country’s poverty rate dropped to 19.4 percent in 2015 from 25.6 percent in 2009-2010.
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KNU to negotiate construction of highway linking to Thailand border
(2 February 2018) The Karen National Union (KNU) has demanded for negotiations with the Union government over plans to resume building a highway between the Thailand border and the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Tanintharyi Region. The KNU added that if the construction of the highway continues, it would cut through pristine forests and rural communities under its purview. However, despite some environmental impacts, KNU also acknowledges that the continuation of the project would provide an opportunity to showcase that socio-economic development projects in ethnic areas could still bring various benefits to local communities while still preserving their culture, natural environment and maintaining security.
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Logistic hub to be built in cooperation between Myanmar and South Korea
(6 February 2018) A memorandum of understanding to build a standard international logistics hub in Yangon has been signed between Myanmar and South Korea. In order to boost Myanmar’s export, the country’s Ministry of Commerce had implemented a national export strategy that is crucial for both exporters and importers, which include a formation of a logistics hub that would reduce the transportation cost. As of January 2017-2018 FY, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over US$5.2 billion has entered the country whereas bilateral trade between Myanmar and South Korea reached US$510 million between November 2017 – 2018FY.
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Myanmar Pristine Ayeyarwady coastline industrial zone to be developed with US$10 billion investment
(7 February 2018) The difficulty to reach Pristine Ayeyarwady coastline, which can only be crossed by a small boat has triggered the locals to request for an upgrade on the infrastructure facilities from the authorities in order to allow more access for tourists. Myanmar Regional Minister for Electricity, Energy, Industry and Transportation U Win Htay, said that the coastline industrial zone was among the policy recommendations by the European Chamber of Commerce to boost the country’s maritime trade. Chief Executive Officer of Myanmar Construction and Development (MCD), Public Co Ltd said that the coastline industrial project would “kill two birds with one stone” and would enable land confiscations to be avoided. In November 2017, Win Htay told Frontier that MCD was one of several companies invited by the regional government to submit proposals for projects along Ayayarwady Region’s 514-kilometre (332-mile) coast.
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