Business / Trade


London-based rights group Amnesty International has called on British authorities to investigate British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto for “a possible breach of EU economic sanctions on Burma” over the role it played in a controversial sale of the Burmese assets of a Canadian firm Ivanhoe Mines, a sale that according to a leaked US State Department cable may have involved internationally blacklisted billionaire Tay Za as a middle man.
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The first foreign bank to operate in Burma for decades officially opened the doors of its Rangoon branch on Wednesday, the latest government attempt to attract more foreign investment to the emergent nation.
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The Treasury has removed a prominent Myanmar businessman from a blacklist that had barred him from doing business in the United States.
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A government task force created to tackle the smuggling of goods said it made record seizures in the last fiscal year, confiscating various goods across Burma’s borderlands valued at more than 21 billion kyats (US$19.7 million).
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The Ministry of Cooperatives will begin distributing microloans using US$300 million borrowed from China ahead of the monsoon cultivation season, a senior official says.
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Myanmar approved foreign investment totaling US $8.01 billion from 211 companies for the 2014-2015 fiscal year across 12 sectors, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
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Japan is set to sign a deal in July to participate in Dawei SEZ Development Co (DSEZ), a special-purpose vehicle (SPV), to run the languishing multibillion-dollar Dawei megaproject in Burma.
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A Burmese environmentalist has been honoured with a prestigious prize for his activism against a billion-dollar dam project.
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Myanmar seamen who survived an icy shipwreck off Russia’s Far East are now facing a battle over compensation, with local recruiters who posted them on the ill-fated vessel reluctant to take fiscal responsibility.
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What are the best ways to boost investment in Myanmar? That’s a rather general question to start with, and one that generates an understandably wide range of opinions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. So how can we really find out what would work best? One way could be through Special Economic Zones (SEZs). (more…)

Italian Thai Development Pcl and Rojana Industrial Park will sign a $1.7-billion deal to develop the first phase of the long-delayed Dawei industrial zone in southeastern Myanmar by June, Thailand’s deputy transport minister said on Tuesday.
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Leaders within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations need to close the income gap in the region in order to ensure sustainability of countries’ economic and free trade pacts, Indonesian Bank Mandiri’s chief executive said April 20, according to a Jakarta Globe report.
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Aung Min, Myanmar’s minister in charge of peace talks with the country’s armed ethnic groups, says building trust among all the players involved is what ultimately led to the breakthrough provisional cease-fire agreement on March 31.
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Tin prices are definitely not in the spring mood.

Prices for the metal, which is used mainly in the consumer-electronics industry, hit 5 1/2 -year lows on the London Metal Exchange this past week, and the fall is largely the result of a flood of supply from a once-secluded Southeast Asian country.
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Index Creative Village Plc, Thailand’s largest event organiser, has temporarily suspended its Myanmar projects due to stricter licensing requirements by that country’s government, reports Bangkok Post on April 18.
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Pusaka Benjina Resources, the fishing company at the centre of a recent Indonesian government crackdown, has denied allegations of slavery even after an investigation revealed it had forced hundreds of foreign workers including Myanmar migrants into physical labour, reports the Jakarta Globe on April 15.
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The UK Government must investigate the British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto over a possible breach of EU economic sanctions on Burma, Amnesty International said ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting in London today (16 April). (more…)

Myanmar has set a modest target of attracting US$6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the current fiscal year, with strong optimism that the target would be surpassed as in the previous year. (more…)

Myanmar’s protracted peace process is entering a new phase which could see the focus shift from ceasefire to economic development, foreign investment and job creation in the country’s ethnic states, according to Aung Min, Myanmar’s minister in charge of peace talks. (more…)

After 70 years of lobbying, the last state in Myanmar without an airport is finally on the verge of receiving its own runway – a move advocates say could kickstart tourism in one of the remotest corners of the country.
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