Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar’s Yangon Parliament approves the development of industrial zones in townships outside Yangon city
(25 June 2018) Development of industrial zones in 11 townships outside Yangon city has been approved by Myanmar’s Yangon Parliament. The project is meant to plug the development gap between these 11 townships with other 33 townships administered by the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC). Currently, 29 existing industrial zones in Myanmar, including Thilawa Special Economic Zone covers 53 percent of the country’s total industrial zones. Yangon region has attracted foreign investments worth US$20.2 billion from 845 enterprises until the fiscal year 2017-2018 since 1988-1989 fiscal year.
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New Myanmar Companies Law allows more foreign ownership in domestic firms
(25 June 2018) The announcement of new Myanmar Companies Law, effective 1 August 2018, will enable more foreign ownership in local companies. The new regulations imposed in December 2017 enable domestic businesses to expand by obtaining foreign capital and expertise through joint ventures as it allows foreign entities to own maximum 35 percent of stake in domestic firms while non-Myanmar customers can invest in Yangon Stock Exchange. All company registration and processes will be filed under the Myanmar Companies Online (MyCO), an electronic registry system. There will also be significant changes in the legal definition of foreign companies under Companies Law to allow foreign firms to trade without obtaining a permit.
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Myanmar exports gain more than US$3 billion within two months
(24 June 2018) Export of Myanmar products overseas between 1 April to 15 June 2018 in the six-month interim period of the current fiscal year recorded more than US$3 billion. Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce said the country exported six main commodities such as agricultural products, fisheries, minerals, forest products, manufactured goods and animal goods to its trade partners. Myanmar received US$2.82 billion from the six major products and US$304 million in exports from other miscellaneous commodities. The export of six main commodities saw an increase of over US$630 million against the same period in the previous fiscal year while exports in miscellaneous commodities saw a decrease of US$91 million from the previous fiscal year.
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Restructuring of oil and gas sector may lead to investment opportunities
(27 June 2018) Myanmar’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) is studying the terms and conditions of the country’s current oil and gas Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) to bring in new investments into the sector. Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which is under the ministry, said the contracts are being examined as there are possible tenders for up to 31 oil and gas blocks. The tenders will be open to local and foreign firms in the future. If the bidding happens within the next two years, the tender process will be done for the first under the current government. The last tender process took place in 2014 under the previous government led by former president U Thein Sein.
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Science and Technology

France and Myanmar collaborates for first Southeast Asian ancient DNA research
(21 June 2018) The archaeological collaboration project between France and Myanmar recently engaged in its first-ever whole-genome research on ancient Southeast Asian human DNA. Ancient DNA is seldom preserved in tropical climates and out of the hundreds being examined from recent excavations, only 18 individuals from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam passed the strict screening process. This project was initiated in 2001 as a cooperation between the French National Centre of Scientific Research and the Department of Archaeology of the Myanmar Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Vienna led the genetic research.
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