Business / Trade


Burma’s rice exports rose more than 40 percent in the 2014-15 fiscal year, with shipments to regional heavyweight China dominating the trade despite Beijing’s official ban on imports of the product from Burma, according to data provided by Soe Tun, the chairman of the Myanmar Farmers Association and joint secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation.
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Dressed in Chelsea football shorts and a wide-brimmed hat, Than Tun toils away in his paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon, sweat pouring down his sinewy arms.
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The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has told the Rakhine State government to order a halt on sand mining on a series of popular beaches in the Ngapali area, as a public campaign against the practice continued to gain momentum over the past week.
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After a Russian trawler crewed in part by 42 Myanmar fishermen sank in a tragic disaster last week, the veil was lifted on a duplicitous recruitment scheme that has for years profited by illegally tricking labourers onto fishing boats, The Myanmar Times has learned.
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The British mining firm Aurasian Minerals Plc (AuM) announced in an update to shareholders in January that this past December it had delivered “three applications for mineral exploration licenses to the Myanmar Mining Authorities.” Though the firm did not say where in Burma these applications were made it did reveal that the applications were made in areas that according to the company there exists “jade and gem mining concessions”.
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Taking advantage of the now open Myanmar economy, Vietnam has been actively promoting investment activities through both its public and private sector, reports Deal Street Asia on April 6.
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With the gradual introduction of the Asean open skies agreement, which will over time open domestic airlines to regional competition, local carriers are facing increasing competition and regulatory pressure. One temporary casualty of the rapidly evolving aviation market was the joint venture airline Air Mandalay, which suspended its chartered flight services in December last year due to unmet upgrade requirements and delays in receiving new aircraft from overseas suppliers. After reintroducing chartered flights in March, and with plans to resume scheduled flights after a nine-month hiatus at the beginning of May, Air Mandalay CEO Sai Kham Park Pha spoke with The Irrawaddy about the challenges facing the airline industry in Burma.
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Century Plyboards was not affected by Myanmar’s timber export ban because it had set up a semi-processed peeling facility in Myanmar last year, reports Live Mint on April 5.
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Japanese automaker Suzuki plans to invest tens of millions of dollars to build a second plant in Myanmar, seeking to make quick inroads in the country’s growing market, a report said Saturday.

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Cardinal  Charles Maung Bo yesterday called on all sides in Myanmar’s long-running ethnic conflicts to implement a genuine ceasefire without resorting to the pillaging by “international looters and cronies” of natural resources that has marked past efforts to end decades of conflict.
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OCBC Bank is one of the first three foreign banks to have received final regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar to open a branch in Myanmar, reports Channel News Asia on April 2.
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Myanmar and Germany have signed an agreement on Myanmar’s development, Xinhua news agency reported.
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Myanmar’s trade deficit jumped 88 percent in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, driven by rapid economic expansion in the formerly military-ruled country, state media and a Commerce Ministry official said on Thursday. (more…)

International payment cards continue to improve their financial services in Burma with Visa Card announcing on Wednesday that its cards can now be used at several Rangoon supermarkets of City Mart, the country’s biggest retailer.
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China scored a diplomatic coup by enticing almost 50 countries including key US allies to join its new development bank.
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Burma’s Ministry of Finance launched a new strategy on Wednesday that aims to expand access to financial services, such as microcredit and insurance, to a broader public in an effort to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty.
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The Toshiba Corporation has been awarded a contract by the Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise to supply four turbine and generator units for the 308-MW Upper Yeywa hydropower project, according to Hydro World on March 30.
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The Karen Human Rights Group says a road planned by the Myanmar government with funding from the Asian Development Bank threatens villagers’ ability to earn a living, according to Karen News on March 30.
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Care needs to be taken to prevent illegal money flowing through the planned Yangon Stock Exchange, or it risks its reputation as a reliable place to do business, according to experts.
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Myanmar is reported to welcome investment from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, according to CCTV in a report on March 30.
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