Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Agricultural exports are still dependent on neighbouring countries
(21 June 2017) Agriculture exports from Myanmar are still reliant on neighbouring markets like China, Thailand and India despite efforts to expand agricultural products to other markets such as Europe and United States. This reliance means that Myanmar’s exports are vulnerable to shocks and changes in markets in these countries. Myanmar’s Commerce Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo said the industry faces other challenges as well including low crop yield per acre, a high production cost, low quality products that do not meet international standards and high costs of storage, transportation and distribution. To handle these issues, the ministry has been implementing a trade development plan to ensure the country produces high quality products for export to overseas markets.
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Myanmar to improve coordination for development aid
(20 June 2017) At the Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) held in Myanmar on the 14 and 15 of June, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Finance U Tun Tun Naing said that Myanmar is implementing various initiatives to improve the coordination of Official Development Assistance (ODA). There are three initiatives include setting up the Development Assistance Coordination Unit (DACU), creating a “Development Assistance Policy” and finally, the forming a new set of Sector Coordination Groups centred around 10 core sectors prioritised by the government. Myanmar has seen a large increase in ODA flow since 2011, when it first began its reform process, with a registered growth of 90.7 percent in aid between 2015 and 2016.
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Chinese bank freezes over 100 Myanmar traders’ account
(20 June 2017) The Agricultural Bank of China froze over 100 accounts belonging to Myanmar traders dealing in sugar, rice and maize through the China-Myanmar border. Myanmar traders pay an official 2 percent of government tax on goods leaving the country but the trade is seen as illegal in China. The Chinese government took action without prior notice to control the illegal trade. The accounts had several hundred million yuan obtained from selling goods across the border. Traders are urging the Myanmar government to persuade China to reopen the bank accounts and negotiate with Yunnan province and the Dehong autonomous prefecture to reduce number of agricultural exports being seized at the border.
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Myanmar disaster risk management initiatives to receive US$ 116 million
(20 June 2017) Natural disasters cost Myanmar over US$184 million annually and disproportionately affect the poor as the country has several regions prone to floods and earthquakes. The Myanmar Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management Project (DRMP), led by the World Bank will be allocating US$116 million to initiatives that reduce the impact of flooding, enhance Myanmar government’s capacity to assist disaster response and improve public transport resiliency towards earthquakes in Yangon.
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Foreign & internal affairs

Myanmar adds to increasing global displacement
(20 June 2017) Internal conflicts in Myanmar have meant that the country had 490,000 refugees and 375,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the end of 2016. Globally, 65.6 million were forcibly displaced, this figure comprises refugees, IDPs, and asylum seekers. Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner of Refugee (UNHCR) Asia Vivian Tan said that Myanmar is the eighth-largest refugee-producing country in the world. She added that groundwork for peace and reconciliation is needed for the IDPs and refugees to return home safely and with dignity in the near future.
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