Myanmar Monitor


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Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar rely on LNG imports to drive its power surge
(4 March 2018) In order to address concerns among businesses on electricity shortages, Myanmar will begin importing liquefied natural gas by 2020 to feed the country’s growing power demand, as the domestic gas output begins to drop. Last January, the government had approved three power projects that will run on imported Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), with each plant expected to cost around US$2.5 billion. The three projects are, namely, a 1,230-megawatt plant in the southern region of Tanintharyi by French company Total and Germany’s Siemens; a 1,350MW plant in the coastal Ayeyarwady region by China’s Zhefu Holding Group and Myanmar’s Supreme Trading; expansion of a gas-fired plant in Yangon run by TTCL, a Thai venture involving Japan’s Toyo Engineering. The Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy estimates annual electricity demand grows at 15 percent per annum. By 2025, peak power consumption is expected to roughly double from 3,190MW to 8,000MW.
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Electricity production to double in the next three years
(5 March 2018) Meanwhile, in a meeting with local business leaders, Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy said they are looking to double electricity production to increase power distribution in Myanmar within the next three years. Myanmar is currently producing 3,000 megawatts and they plan to produce another 3,000 megawatts while building a new 500 kV power grid network. The Electricity and Energy Development committee, which was established by several businessmen in Myanmar, is also working with the government by presenting their concerns on the lack of access to stable, higher voltage electricity and the installation of additional adapter for one of the power stations in the Myingan Industrial Zone.
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Myanmar government to improve quality of rice to meet growing export demand
(5 March 2018) According to estimates, Myanmar will likely export at least 3.2 million tonnes of rice by the end of the current 2017-18 fiscal year. In view of the projected increase in demand, the government said the country should improve its rice quality in order to expand its market. According to Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI), Myanmar farmers face stiff competition from other existing high-grade rice exporting countries such as Thailand, India, and Vietnam. The government recently raised the volume of loans available to farmers from US$75 (K100,000) to US$112.5 (K150,000) per acre of farmland and the country is also now receiving financial assistance from Japan.
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Liberalisation of telecommunications sector picking up pace
(5 March 2018) Myanmar’s move to liberalise the telecommunication sector has seen mobile subscribers in the country growing over 50 million. The Posts and Telecommunications Department (PTD) under the Myanmar Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said the country aims to become a digital hub in Southeast Asia as they strive to enable digital economy and multi-sectoral digital transformation. In July 2017, the government formed the Digital Economy Development Committee to create a better economic environment that would accelerate digital reforms. Corporate businesses are also very committed in bringing ICT technologies to the country by conducting training programmes to produce talent in the region.
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Myanmar women going after premium cosmetic products
(5 March 2018) Women in Myanmar are willing to spend money on cosmetic products thanks to increasing income and constant internet exposure. Consumers are going after premium beauty products and cosmetics and according to beauty bloggers in Myanmar, consumers can now easily buy products within the range of US$37.5 (K50,000) to US$75 (K100,000). In recent years, many have opted for famous, higher-end beauty brands like Revlon, Maybelline and L’Oreal from Europe as well as Asian brands like Kose and Shiseido. Also, due to demand in beauty treatment, the number of beauty and aesthetic clinics has risen to more than 50 clinics in Yangon alone.
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