Myanmar Monitor Weekly

Foreign Affairs

Aung San Suu Kyi makes first UN address as Myanmar’s leader
Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to promote human rights in the troubled Rakhine state as the Nobel laureate made her UN debut as Myanmar’s de facto leader on 21 September. However, some western supporters have voiced dismay as she has yet to recognise the Rohingya – a persecuted Muslim minority. But she did pledge to back a commission led by former UN chief Kofi Annan that was recently set up to advise on Rakhine state, where thousands of Rohingya have spent four years in dire displacement camps.
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Myanmar: Cash grant programme leads to new and restored livelihoods
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) instituted a conditional cash grant programme in January this year and so far 860 families have received conditional cash grants to set up or restart a small business. These benefit more than 4,330 people who are directly or indirectly affected by conflict.
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Myanmar’s Bagan set to make World Heritage list after quake
Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan is “very likely” to be listed as a World Heritage site in 2019, the head of Unesco’s Yangon office, Sardar Umar Alam said on 26 September, promising a boon to a tourist attraction battered by a recent earthquake. Bagan is home to more than 2,000 ancient Buddhist monuments that are among Myanmar’s most venerated religious sites and is a major attraction for its nascent tourist industry.
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Economy

Indonesia to sign rice import deal with Myanmar
Myanmar is due to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indonesia to export 500,000 tons of rice a year until 2019, according to Myanmar’s Commerce Ministry. About 90 percent of rice exports currently go overland to China, but the Myanmar Rice Federation is looking to increase sales to Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan.
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Business Community Awaits Updates on Economic Policy
The business community is waiting news from Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counselor, for news on future investment and economic policy following the US lifting of economic sanctions. A scheduled meeting between Myanmar’s business community and Suu Kyi has been postponed following her two-week international trip to the US and the UK and reports of fatigue. The National Planning and Finance Ministry is still expected to clarify new foreign investment policy details before the end of the month, as previously scheduled.
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Opinion: Does Corporate Governance apply to all companies in Myanmar?
By Andre Wheeler, CEO of Wheeler Management Consulting Pty Ltd and ASIA PACIFIC CONNEX
The prevailing belief in Myanmar is that Corporate Governance really only applies to public listed companies and all others are merely subject to prevailing Corporations Law. Not only does this show a lack of understanding of the cornerstone of good management, it is a dangerous notion that can so easily derail further economic development as well as participation by the citizens of the country. Furthermore, Corporations Law in Myanmar is disjointed and in need of comprehensive review and rewrite. The law currently draws off a number of legal frameworks and it does not have an integrated system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. One might say, the law is still emerging.
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