Myanmar Monitor


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Photo credit: Bloomberg

Economy, Investment and Trade

Oil pipeline in Myanmar opens after meeting between leaders
11 April 2017 – After a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinpeng and Myanmar President Htin Kyaw, the crude oil pipeline which runs through Myanmar all the way to China began operations after years of delay. The pipeline expedites delivery of oil from Middle East and Africa to China. Myanmar benefits from the tariff it imposes on the pipeline and the 2 million barrels of oil which it is allowed to take from the pipeline. The total capacity of the pipeline is about 22 million barrels per year. The first delivery of oil was made on April 10 with a Suezmax-sized tanker delivering 140,000 metric tons (equivalent to 1 million barrels) of crude oil.
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China considers scrapping Myitsone dam project
6 April 2017 – China may stop pursuing the development of the US$3.6 billion Myitsone dam which has been stalled since 2011. The project which was controversial for many reasons, including environmental issues, is said to be no longer be a top priority for infrastructure development in Myanmar. Approximately 90 percent of the 6,000 megawatts that were to be generated by the dam was to be sent to the Yunnan province in China. Reportedly, China’s interest in the project has waned with locals strongly opposing the project and with Yunnan province now having an oversupply of energy.
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Vietnam moves into Myanmar microfinance sector
6 April 2017 – In what is considered the first financial joint venture (JV) between the two countries, Vietnamese company Dragon Capital Group and Myanmar’s Ruby Hill Financial have come together to provide microloans for Myanmar. The JV will launch with US$5 million in capital with a plan to raise this figure to US$100 million within five years. According to Sai Sam Htun, chairman of Ruby Hill, Myanmar has an unmet financing demand of around US$1 billion.
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Internal and Foreign Affairs

Myanmar agrees to close borders in future to prevent flow of Rohignyas into Bangladesh;
7 April 2017 – Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed that they will close their borders in the future if there is a repeat the Rohignya crisis. Approximately, 75,000 Rohingyas fled over the border to Bangladesh to seek refuge during the security crackdown in October 2016. The meeting took place in Dhaka and was attended by senior officers from the Bangladesh Border Guard and the Myanmar Police Force. The two sides also said there was a need to remove landmines and improvised explosive devices planted along the border.
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Myanmar closing down three Rakhine IDP camps
11 April 2017 – On the recommendation of a commission led by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Myanmar has begun to shut down three displacement camps in order to heal ethno-religious tensions in the country. The camps for internally displaced peoples (IDPs) were populated with thousands from the Muslim and Buddhist communities who were internally displaced after sectarian violence erupted in the region five years ago. However, it is still unclear as to where the inhabitants of these camps would go.
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