Business / Trade


A bus owner who launched a revolutionary new concept to make customers happier and increase profits – hire only women as conductors – is contemplating breaking another barrier: training women to drive the buses as well.
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India and Myanmar would soon start formal border trade through the northeastern state of Mizoram, a senior state government official said here on Wednesday.
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China is showing interest in reviving long-standing proposals for a deep-water canal through the narrowest part of Thailand’s long peninsula to link the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. (more…)

Two labour union leaders and two activists under arrest for demonstrating for higher wages have threatened to go on hunger strike in Yangon’s Insein prison if their case is moved to another court. (more…)

MP Khin San Hlaing from the National League for Democracy told Parliament that foreign loans were alarmingly high, having risen 400 times in five years under the current government.
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The Myanmar Rice Federation’s choice of companies that will be registered for legal exports to China is receiving criticism from small-scale players as well as large businesses.
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Burma’s tourism industry boom shows no sign of abating despite a series of high-profile internal conflicts in recent months, industry figures have told The Irrawaddy. (more…)

Myanmar’s mobile subscription count grew 87 percent year-on-year, to 10.7 million at end-September 2014, pushing mobile penetration to 19.9 percent, up from 12.5 percent at end-2013, according to global analyst firm Ovum in a press release on March 12. (more…)

Western investors appear reluctant to bid on open public tenders in Myanmar despite having expressed some interest, say analysts examining government foreign investment projects. (more…)

Yangon is on the list of the world’s top cities that may soon become global financial capitals and havens for the super-rich, global real estate consultancy Knight Frank predicts in its annual Wealth Report, released last week.
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More than half a million Myanmar migrant workers are stuck in limbo after Thailand announced over the weekend yet another series of deadlines and registration processes for foreign workers.
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Taiwan is seeking to bring in migrant workers from Myanmar to resolve labour shortages in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, reports CNA on March 9.
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The UK government has approved the sale of £16 million [K16 billion] of crowd-control and anti-riot equipment, including tear gas and rubber bullets, to countries including Myanmar who are on its own human-rights blacklist, reports The Independent in a story on March 9.
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The Yangon Electricity Supply Board (YESB) said it will become a government-owned corporate entity on April 1. The move will make the government utility provider financially independent from the Ministry of Electric Power and marks the first phase of a plan to privatize the electricity supplier of Burma’s biggest city.
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Thai stock exchange-listed steelmaker Millcon Plc (MILL) is expected to start its operations in Myanmar next year after being granted a licence to invest in the special economic zones recently, reports the Bangkok Post on March 5.
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In recent weeks, some 2,000 workers of the E-Land Myanmar, COSTEC and Ford Glory garment factories in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone went on strike to demand a raise in monthly wages from 80,000 kyats [US$78], up from 50,000 kyats.
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Thirteen striking workers and two journalists were apprehended by police during a labour protest and detained in Rangoon’s Insein Township on Wednesday. (more…)

Fourteen striking garment workers have been charged with rioting, police in Rangoon said on Thursday, punishable by up to two years in prison. (more…)

Worker representatives have criticised proposals to pay compensation to employees dismissed without cause or as a result of their employers’ closure as unfair. They say the rates are too low and the process too partial to employers. (more…)

Forty-three new hydropower projects with a total power generation capacity of 42,000 megawatt (MW) will be implemented by several joint ventures and build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangements involving foreign and local companies and the Ministry of Electric Power, according to the National Energy Policy drafted by National Energy Management Committee. (more…)

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