Myanmar Monitor


Myanmar Monitor

Photo Credit: The Star

Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar maintains strong economic outlook despite Rakhine crisis
(22 November 2017) Myanmar’s economy is set to recover despite a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State. According to Sean Turnell, special economic consultant to State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) is in the midst of preparing a second wave of economic reforms designed to drive growth in Myanmar. Growth in gross domestic product had begun to drop in 2014-2015 before the NLD took power and has continued to drop every subsequent year hitting 5.9 percent in 2016-17, according to the World Bank (WB). However, the WB is expecting growth to recover to 6.5 percent this financial year and the IMF is predicting a 6.7 percent expansion.
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Small loan services firm gains market share in Myanmar
(22 November 2017) A financial assistance firm offering small loan services in Yangon is offering start-ups who face difficulties obtaining access to capital the option to use their vehicles, including personal cars, taxis and commercial cars, as collateral. Interest will be charged at 2 percent per month or 24 percent per year, which is about twice the rate charged by local banks. However. despite the high interest rates, demand for these loans is still rising, as many businesses own personal or commercial vehicles rather than property or land.
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Boost in Myanmar exports, driven by industrial production
(22 November 2017) According to statistics from the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce, exports between April 1 and November 10 have risen by nearly US$1.3 billion over the same period last year. During the period, total export income from seven export sectors hit US$8.5 billion. In 2017 the industrial sector is the largest contributor to exports with an estimated US$3.9 billion worth of industrial output exported. The garment sector looks to be the most promising in Myanmar with demand from Western markets continuing to rise.
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Myanmar to reduce reliance on edible oil imports by pushing up domestic production
(22 November 2017) Domestic consumption of cooking oil in Myanmar is around 1 million tons per year. Imports of edible oil are more expensive hence there is a need to boost the domestic production. Around 60 percent of all edible oils are used for residential cooking and and the remaining 40 is used for commercial food production. “Low crop production leads to high cost and high cooking oil prices. If the production was doubled, local oil prices would fall and import could be controlled to some extent,” said U Myint Kyu, Chief Minister of Yangon.
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Foreign & Internal Affairs

Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech misinterpreted by AP report
(21 November 2017) A speech made by the State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi during the ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting in Naypyitaw was misinterpreted by the Associated Press (AP). AP’s story misquoted the meaning of the State Counselor’s actual remarks. U Aung Hla Tun, vice chairman of the Myanmar Press Council, said that the AP’s account is clearly at odds with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s actual words. He said that this incident was a purposeful ‘misinterpretation’ with an ulterior motive to hurt her image and that of Myanmar within the international community.
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