Business / Trade


Chinese Firm Gets Go Ahead for $3b Dawei Refinery.

A massive Chinese government-backed project to build an oil refinery in southern Burma was among the dozens of deals rushed through by the previous government before it left power at the end of March.
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The financial Investigation Unit (FIU) is stepping up its awareness-raising activities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Myanmar.
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On 30 March, Htin Kyaw, a long-time adviser and ally of Aung San Suu Kyi – whose National League for Democracy party achieved a historic victory in recent elections – became the first elected civilian to hold office in Myanmar since the army took over in 1962.
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Aung San Suu Kyi’s first official duty as Myanmar’s foreign minister after her National League for Democracy took government was fittingly to meet her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi (??). No country is as economically important to the newly democratic nation as China, nor as significant for its development. For Beijing, there are also strategic, security and cultural reasons to be quick to ensure good relations. It is in the interests of both that the pragmatism on show throughout the visit remains a mainstay of ties.
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Some say that the economic policies of the National League for Democracy (NLD) are too general and have imperfections. What do you think? Will these policies improve economic growth?
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Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co, a Chinese state-controlled commodity trader, said the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) had signed its approval at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on March 29 – the last full day in office for U Thein Sein’s government.
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Farmers are struggling, U Thein Aung, chair of the Free Farmers Association, told The Myanmar Times. Prices began to fall when Indonesian buyers discovered pests in a shipment of rice from Myanmar, and refused to pay traders.
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Burma’s trade deficit remained largely unchanged last year compared with the year before, according to data released by the country’s Central Statistical Organization.
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Local farmers in Kyaukphyu Township, Arakan State, plan a protest for next week Monday demanding compensation for land they say was damaged to make way for a contentious oil and gas pipeline laid by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
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A coalition of Arakanese environmental groups and political parties are hoping to collect 300,000 signatures to petition the national government to decentralize natural resource sharing.
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Soe was barely 18 years old. He sat innocently beside me, dressed in a blue Burmese longyi, on the floor in a temple in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province. He possessed just a few bags of basic items consisting of clothing and property. (more…)

Rangoon’s divisional parliament cancelled the former government’s plans to build two new flyovers in the commercial capital during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
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Manpang People’s Militia coerced leaders and residents of several villages to attend a meeting about coal excavations in Lashio district in northern Shan State. The militia led by Lit. Mon summoned the residents of Kwan Koot, Ho Nar, and Loi Nguen villages to Kwan Koot Monastery to discuss the militia’s involvement in excavating coal in Tanyang District.
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Since Burma’s democratic handover of power on April 1, the country has seen a resurgence in the value of the kyat, observers say.
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About a half-dozen additional companies could potentially list on the Yangon Stock Exchange by year’s end, Maung Maung Thein, chairman of the Myanmar Securities Exchange Commission, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday, bolstering the economic heft of a bourse that last month began trading with just one firm’s shares available.
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An organisational revamp at the Central Bank of Myanmar has more than halved the number of departments, and should make the bank more efficient, officials said.
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A supervisory committee for motor vehicle imports will be abolished and restructured under the new government according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.
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The New Mon State Party (NMSP) objected to the use of coal power for a cement factory in Mon State. Nai Win Hla, NMSP central executive committee member and officer-in-charge of Home Affairs, said the party has no problem with the building of the cement factory, but it’s against the use of coal power which will cause damage to the environment. He cautioned against big investments in Mon State until all conflicts between the government and ethnic armed groups are resolved.
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Aiming to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities in Burma, APB Alliance Brewery Company Ltd. (APB ABC) and others are teaming up to launch a national road safety campaign.
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A directive issued at the end of March by the Myanmar Investment Commission has added an additional layer of complexity for foreign investors and granted ministries greater scope to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
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