Business / Trade


Myanmar, which lacks viable copyright protections, is in need of a Science, Technology and Invention Law to safeguard intellectual property, Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Myo Win (NLD; Mon 8) said yesterday.

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Two visiting high profile Indian economists have called on Myanmar government policy makers to be cautious in how they handle the economy, taking particular care in how they balance the need for State control with the uncertainties of market forces.

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Factory owners are circulating a blacklist of about 85 workers associated with trade union activity and the organisation of industrial action, workers’ representatives say. Known activists are finding it increasingly difficult to find employment even as employers are ordered to rehire workers dismissed for union-related activity.

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As Myanmar re-joins the ASEAN markets and introduces its own Stock market, there will be increasing pressure on local Companies to adhere to good corporate governance criteria. There are a number of codes that are applied and cater for the local market conditions, and it can be argued that no one single approach to Corporate Governance is the absolute correct one. Corporate governance systems have recently been under the microscope, driven by many corporate failings of recent years such as Exxon Mobil, HIH and those financial institutions caught up in the global financial crises of 2008. Current texts and publications highlight the growing complexity of company financial arrangements and increasing distance between shareholders and the respective boards of companies, concluding that a more formal board monitoring process is required (Tricker 2009; Nicholson & Kiel 2007; Sharp & Stock 2005).

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Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi is standing by the country’s central bank governor, despite concerns from commercial bankers, government advisors and some of his own officials at the pace of reform on his watch.

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Burma’s government has sought verification as to why state-owned enterprises have been unprofitable, in order to better consider a move toward privatization to reduce the budget deficit.

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Myanmar’s new government has taken measures to enhance trade by lifting some restrictions since it took office in April.

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UK-based author Joe Studwell made a list of recommended reads by Bill Gates with his influential book “How Asia Works,” an analysis of success and failure in Asian economies.

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Jade traders in upper Burma urged the government to stop jade mining in Kachin State’s Hpakant and Lone Khin regions to prevent the decline of the local jade market.

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Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB), in which the Ministry of Commerce holds a minority stake, is scheduled to begin trading on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) on Aug. 26, after approval was issued on Aug. 12, Thet Tun Oo, senior executive officer of the YSX, told the Irrawaddy.

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On the 11th floor of a downtown Yangon high-rise, a crowd of budding entrepreneurs listens attentively to advice on how to successfully pitch investors. Andy Annett, managing director of TODAY Ogilvy & Mather Myanmar, gives tips on public speaking and branding, while Aung Sithu Kyaw, CEO of market consultancy Xavey, describes how to structure a pitch deck.

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Myanmar is determined to pass by the end of the year a series of bills designed to ease restrictions on foreign capital as the newly established civilian government steps up efforts to attract outside investment.

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Although Myanmar’s new civilian-led government has said little about the future of controversial, large-scale foreign investments, some projects are gaining ground without adequate public consultation and oversight. Among them is the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone, a China-backed project in Rakhine State.

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Burma’s total trade volume has dipped in the first four months of this fiscal year since April compared to the same period last year, alongside a reduction in its trade deficit, while government plans to boost exports face strong economic headwinds.

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It’s no secret that the National League for Democracy (NLD) faces myriad challenges in improving Myanmar’s socioeconomic situation. In fact, its biggest challenge might be deciding which issues to address first. Led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD has made the peace process, which is aimed at ending decades of strife between the military and Ethnic Armed Groups (EAGs), a priority for the government. Other challenges include how to resolve the religious strife in Rakhine State, finding a way forward with the Myitsone Dam project, and possibly most importantly, how to light a spark under the economy. Jobs and the economy affect all citizens of Myanmar, from the dense forests of northern Kachin State all the way down to the tropical beaches of southern Thaninthayi Region. Foreign investment in the economy is crucial to capitalizing on Myanmar’s immense promise. It has cheap labor, abundant natural resources, and a vast potential for energy generation. One major factor that it currently lacks, which is crucial for foreign investment and economic development, is a comprehensive and reliable national electrical grid.

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Some residents in Kyaikmaraw Township are angry with the Mon State government over a report about a coal fired cement factory that they say completely ignores their original concerns.

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The construction of a high-rise development in Rangoon owned by a former state parliamentarian and current leader of a government-aligned militia in Shan State was found to be proceeding in defiance of municipal government suspension orders.

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A heavy military offensive launched in Shan State’s Hsipaw Township in May was a direct result of the army’s aim to control territory near the Nam Ma coal mine, claims a report released this week by the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF).

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The Burmese army and its allies arbitrarily arrest, torture and kill civilians as they bid to secure coal-mining concessions in the Nam Ma area of Hsipaw in northern Shan State, according to a leading Shan rights group.

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It was only when Aye Aye Nge’s pharmacy burned down for the second time that she thought about taking out insurance, a novelty in impoverished Myanmar where most people either can’t afford to buy premiums or don’t trust those selling them.

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