IMF: Myanmar economy may grow 6.75% this year on gas output

22 May, 2013
Economy

Myanmar’s economy may grow 6.75 percent this fiscal year, led by natural gas sales and investment as the country moves to modernize its financial system, according to the International Monetary Fund. Last fiscal year’s growth is estimated at 6.5%, the IMF said in a statement. IMF also urged Myanmar’s central bank to set an exchange rate that balances the need to generate exports and maintain affordable imports, as the kyat continued its month-long slide against the US dollar. The exchange rate at official money changers on 23 May was 945 per dollar, compared with 925 a week earlier.

Myanmar prepares for ASEAN Chair 2014

23 May, 2013
Foreign Affairs

Indonesia is helping Myanmar prepare for its ASEAN chairmanship in 2014 by hosting government officials for a workshop. Responsibilities and working procedures of the ASEAN Chair and the role of media were discussed, and Indonesian officials recounted their experiences during Indonesia’s chairmanship. Consultants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, officials from the ASEAN secretariat, representatives from the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, ASEAN +3, and the EU also attended the workshop.

WEF to lift Myanmar’s profile

28 May, 2013
Foreign Affairs

The World Economic Forum on East Asia this year will be in Myanmar. The forum will set a new record for participation, with more than 1000 senior leaders from more than 50 countries expected to attend, reflecting the immense interest that the international community has in recent developments in Myanmar.

NDF proposes constitutional changes

28 May, 2013
Politics

One of Myanmar’s opposition party, the National Democratic Force (NDF), is planning to propose an amendment to the 2008 Constitution that forbids people with a foreign spouse to be president. Without being specific, the party is obviously referring to Aung San Suu Kyi’s situation. She is considered to be a major contestant to the 2015 general election but is barred from the seat as her late husband was a British citizen. NDF says that the constitution has too many restrictions and that the military’s role in parliament should be downsized. The NDF is a breakaway faction of the National League for Democracy (NLD). It split from NLD in 2010 to contest generals while the NLD boycotted the election.

Myanmar Resumes Peace Talks With Kachin Rebels

28 May, 2013
Politics

The Myanmar government has resumed peace talks with ethnic Kachin rebels on 28 May, with the aim of reaching a cease-fire agreement with all ethnic rebel groups in the near future. The talk is the first to be held in the Kachin state capital of Myikyina. A 1994 cease-fire ended in 2011 when conflict broke out, displacing more than 100,000 people.

Suu Kyi slams reforms, says government introduced ‘no tangible changes’

27 May, 2013
Politics

Aung San Suu Kyi on 27 May criticised the government’s reform agenda, saying that little progress had been made in establishing rule of law and peace. She also condemned the 2-child limit on Rohingya Muslims put by the government, calling them discriminatory, illegal and a violation of human rights. She urged President Thein Sein to push ahead with more reforms, adding that “only a desire for change is not enough.” She said reforming the military-drafted 2008 Constitution, ending ethnic conflict and establishing rule of law remains key to Myanmar’s development and democratic transition. Asked if she still believes that Thein Sein is a genuine reformer, Suu Kyi said, “For a reformist, just only having a desire to change is not enough. He or she has to prove it. At the same time, they need to know if they have the ability to do so. Their actions also need to be effective.”

Myanmar Oil & Gas Summit to be held in June

21 May, 2013
Economy
The Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit 2013 is going to be held on 17 and 18 June. The summit will be attended by the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA), Geo-Science Association, international experts, the ASEAN Petroleum Council, as well as international petroleum and gas companies such as Shell, BG Group, and Petronas.