Myanmar Monitor Weekly

Security

Myanmar rebels can keep arms
The three rebel groups that did not sign last October’s nationwide ceasefire agreement will be allowed to participate in the 31 August Panglong peace conference without giving up their arms. The three groups, Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) and Arakan Army (AA), must however show a desire to disown the armed struggle.
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Veteran activists call for August 8 to be Myanmar’s ‘Democracy Day’
The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, an activist group led by former student leaders of the 1988 pro-democracy uprising, have called on the government to formally recognize 8 August as the country’s Democracy Day. The 8 of August 1988, giving the name of the 8888 movement, when hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets to call for the end of the 26-year military dictatorship of Ne Win was of great historic and symbolic importance.
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Economy

Push to lure more luxury tourists to Myanmar
Panellists at the Hospitality and Tourism Conference Myanmar last week agreed Myanmar had the potential to become a luxury destination if more investment was injected into the sector. Tourism income is currently about 5% of GDP. Last year, the country’s 4.68 million foreign visitors spent US$2.12 billion in total, or US$453 on average. That is considerably lower than the average of US$1000 visitors spend in the Philippines and Thailand.
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Emirates to fly Boeing 777 on new daily route to Myanmar
Emirates has launched a daily direct flight to Yangon, bringing Myanmar to within a six-hour flight from Dubai. The Yangon service, which represents the airline’s fifth new destination to East Asia this year, continues on to Hanoi in Vietnam after a 90-minute stop in Yangon.
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Foreign Affairs

With sanctions eased, US sees economic potential in Myanmar
US officials are looking to boost economic engagement with Myanmar, after Washington has rolled back several sanctions following the pro-democratic reforms, with the latest easing of financial sanctions in May this year. A US trade delegation is heading to Myanmar next week to facilitate economic ties between the two countries. Among the high-profile companies joining are IBM, GE, GM, Chevrolet, Deloitte and Coca Cola.
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Indonesia plans event to boost bilateral trade
The Indonesian embassy in Myanmar is holding a business matching event in Yangon on 18 August along with UMFCCI and the Jakarta branch of the Indonesian Economists Association. Industry participants and experts from the insurance, banking, agriculture, real estate, pharmaceuticals, education and many other sectors are due to take part in the event. Indonesian FDI approved in Myanmar until June this year totalled US$35.39 million, which is only 0.07 percent of total FDI.
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