Business / Trade


Myanmar’s decision to shake up its multi-billion dollar jade business is a ground-breaking opportunity to stop human rights abuses and increase transparency, but more needs to be done to create a more inclusive economy, activists said on Thursday.

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A Rangoon Division parliamentary committee has recommended that the divisional government rescind modification orders delivered earlier this month to eight high-rise construction projects, after the developers petitioned the committee for a review.

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ON economic policy, the new government has kept its plans close to its chest. A broad economic plan has been promised and sources familiar with the policy say it is complete but yet to be made public.

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Due to heavy rains in northern Shan State and increased scrutiny from Chinese officials, Burmese traders who typically sell unsanctioned goods in China have been stuck in the border town of Muse, unable to offload their products, sources said.

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Myanmar aims to attract more foreign investment over the next five years than under the previous government, Finance Minister Kyaw Win told The Nikkei in a recent interview.

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An editorial in the Burmese state-run newspaper The Mirror has argued that the construction of the highly controversial Chinese-backed Myitsone Dam in Kachin State—suspended since 2011—should be completely abandoned, because it harms relations between Burma and China.

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The government will not renew mining permits for jade and gems when they expire and will only consider issuing new permits once by-laws to the Myanmar Gemstones Law have been passed, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation said yesterday.

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Telecommunications in Myanmar has gone mobile at a phenomenal pace, driving down voice and data rates, with new entrants expected to heat up competition further.

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After a months-long wait, the National League for Democracy government is set to reveal the first details of its planned economic reforms to be implemented over the next five years.

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A lawsuit against the Hlaing Tharyar township Premier Coffee factory was dismissed yesterday because the owner paid back overtime wages to his 321 workers, according to a Ministry of Labour official.

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Myanmar has been hailed in recent years as the next big destination for greenfield investment, yet it very much remains a frontier market and a highly complex place to do business. Myanmar’s transition to semi-civilian rule in early 2011 and especially the successful conduct and outcome of the November 2015 elections have significantly reduced – but not eliminated – reputational risks for companies investing and operating there.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) warned public companies this week that it would take action against those that sell shares without the SECM’s approval, according to a commission member.

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Myanmar had only used the SEA-ME-WE 3 fibre optic cable previously, but people in the country will be able enjoy the benefits of the SEA-ME-WE 5 and AAE1 cables soon.

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Economists and businessmen gathered at a forum in Rangoon expressed disappointment at sluggish growth under the new government since April—in light of high expectations—but remain convinced of Burma’s economic potential.

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The Myanmar government must immediately order the relocation of a sulfuric acid factory built dangerously close to a village, which is continuing to operate despite grave concerns over its health and environmental impact, said Amnesty International today.

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After drawn out negotiations, 85 workers from a recently shuttered garment factory in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar township received part of their severance compensation yesterday, following their second protest staged over the weekend.

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Premier Coffee has chosen to compensate 321 workers from its factory in Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone after being sued by the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population for breaking labor laws.

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Northern Burma’s Myitsone mega-project failed because its Chinese proponents systematically dismissed Kachin and Burmese nationalism. The Chinese hydropower developers’ strategy was what I call “anti-ethno-politics”: when the state, NGOs, businesses, or other actors try to depoliticise sensitive questions about how their own activities clash with a nationalism. Such anti-ethno-politics is the Chinese government’s dominant approach to ethnic minorities and economic development in China. But it clearly failed in Burma. Why?

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Premier Li Keqiang has said China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Myanmar in support of the South-East Asian nation’s economic development and improvement of livelihood of its people, Xinhua reported on 17 July.

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WAIT LONG enough in a bank, and you’ll see them arrive: teams of young men, with heavy plastic bags full of cash on their shoulders. Each bag contains the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars – sometimes more than $100,000, depending on the denomination. Often, they’ll dump the piles of notes on the floor and count the individual blocks – each one a bundle of 100 notes – in front of waiting customers. And nobody will bat an eyelid.

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