South Korea to discuss with Myanmar on inking investment guarantee pact

13 June, 2013
Foreign Affairs

South Korea plans to discuss signing an investment pact with Myanmar next week, officials said 13 June, in Seoul’s latest attempt to make inroads into the country. A high-level South Korean delegation led by Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok will meet with the Myanmar government in Naypyidaw on 19 June, but the meeting comes eight months after the leaders of the two countries agreed to negotiate a possible investment guarantee pact, which will lay the foundation for a greater economic cooperation.

A Chinese Port Built in the ‘60s to Help the Viet Cong

12 June, 2013
Trade and Investment

A Fangchenggang city’s historical port in Southern China was built in the late ‘60s. This port served the purpose of providing supplies to its war-torn neighbour at the time, Vietnam. As of now, Fangchenggang is a quaint but developing city that is said to be a gateway to the ASEAN nations. Another important city towards the China-ASEAN connection is Nanning city that has been the host of the China-ASEAN expo since 2004. This makes Nanning one of the forefront cities for China’s foreign connections. China’s ties with the ASEAN nations may be strengthened with the development of these cities.

China is Testing out Cap-and-Trade – But will it Actually Work?

12 June, 2013
Trade and Investment

With China producing one-fourth of the world’s carbon-dioxide pollution, the country has begun to make efforts to curb emissions. China is planning to test a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions in seven of its cities by 18 June. More than 630 industrial and construction companies will be given CO2 emission quotas. The trial is expected to cover 864 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2015. If the trial succeeds, it will be implemented nationwide. However, this scheme is not as straightforward as it seems and barriers will indeed exist in the system.

India to provide US$150 million to set up SEZ in Myanmar

9 June, 2013
Economy

India has offered US$150 million of credit for project exports for establishing a SEZ at Sittwe in Myanmar, an official statement said. The proposal was discussed during a three-day visit of India’s commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma to Naypyidaw and Yangon. Sharma called for greater cooperation in banking sector and appreciated the Myanmar government’s approval to allow Indian banks like United Bank of India to set up a representative office in Myanmar.

House speaker Shwe Mann airs presidential ambitions

7 June, 2013
Politics

Myanmar’s Lower House Speaker and chairman of the governing Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), Shwe Mann has expressed his interest in becoming the next president. He said this during an interview, only a few days after NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her interest for the role. He cautioned however that any prospective president must first win the backing of Myanmar’s voters and his or her own party.

Myanmar tycoon gives back after land grabs

7 June, 2013
Economy

More than 50 acres of paddy fields confiscated by the Max Myanmar Group for shrimp farming will be given back to farmers in southwest Myanmar, according to San Oo, the director of the conglomerate. Zaw Zaw, the 45-year-old owner of Max Myanmar, is revamping his image in a bid to attract more global investment, with revenue at his group of companies reportedly set to double.

Coca-Cola to begin first local production in Myanmar in decades

4 June, 2013
Business and Investment

Coca-Cola has set up a production plant in Myanmar, the company announced on 4 June, following the fizzy drink’s entry to Myanmar last year. Coca-Cola said it became one of the first US companies to be granted an investment permit under Myanmar’s new Foreign Investment Law, but Coca-Cola is planning to invest US$200 million in the country.

Myanmar to release all prisoners of conscience

4 June, 2013
Politics

Myanmar’s president said 4 June his government would soon free all remaining prisoners of conscience. The president said the government has formed a committee to review the cases of political prisoners. “We are taking time to investigate cases that confuse criminal offences and political offences,” he said, adding that people convicted of violent crimes linked to political acts “deserve their sentences”. Activists say some 200 political prisoners remain in jail.

Myanmar flaunts reforms to the world at WEF

4 June, 2013
Foreign Affairs

Hundreds of global leaders, industry chiefs and foreign media are attending the World Economic Forum on East Asia, in Naypyidaw 5-7 June. Some 900 delegates from more than 50 countries will attend the forum, reflecting the huge interest in Myanmar as it opens to the world after decades of isolation under military rule. Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Asia head of the WEF, said the Myanmar forum was “by far the largest” meeting of the group. The theme for this week’s forum is “sharing prosperity”.

EU names ambassador to Myanmar

1 June, 2013
Foreign Affairs

The European Union has appointed Roland Kobia, current head of EU delegation to Azerbaijan, as the first EU ambassador to Myanmar. The EU opened the delegation in April last year and is based in Yangon and not in the political capital Naypyidaw.