Business / Trade


Images of Steven P. Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg adorn the walls of Myo Myint Kyaw’s creative digital agency. He says they inspire him. But he imagines neither man ever worked in an environment where Internet connections were so unreliable that a “file transfer” often involved delivering electronic documents across town by taxi.
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Gap Inc. began considering operating in Myanmar almost a year after the United States and the European Union formally eased sanctions on the former pariah state; it took another year of preparation before the company became the first U.S. retailer to make clothes in the country formerly known as Burma. In June, Gap announced it will be putting “Made in Myanmar” jackets and vests on its shelves later this summer.
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Burma faces a “very tough task” to achieve the Ministry of Electric Power’s ambition to develop a modern national energy infrastructure in the next 15 years, an industry report said.
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A leading player in Myanmar’s seafood sector tells Mizzima Business Weekly he’s optimistic about the industry’s export potential if constraints can be overcome.
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The palm oil sector may be set for a take-off in southern Myanmar, but experts are divided on whether the controversial crop can be sustainable in the long term.
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A small group of Burmese women who want to start businesses of their own is being helped by Project-W, part of a so-called start-up incubator in Rangoon. Eleven women were chosen for their business ideas, which range from starting an online shop selling longyis, to a travel agency. The women are currently involved in the six-month project, in which they are being taught business skills and market knowledge, and being advised by local mentors.
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The role of state-owned enterprises came under scrutiny in the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on July 9 after MPs were told that the Ministry of Industry lost K190 billion (about US$195 million) in the second half of the financial year ending March 31.
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The air in the dark, dingy room is thick with the acrid smell of rubber. Aung Nyunt and a half-dozen other workers toil away there day and night, turning discarded tires into flip-flops, buckets and hard-to-find spare parts for used cars.
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The introduction in April of a new tax system that reduces rates on lower-value properties has prompted many owners to register sales and pay taxes, while Rangoon sales in this market segment have increased, realtors have said.
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The Financial Action Task Force has removed 10 countries from its money-laundering and terrorist financing watchlist but Myanmar is among the countries that are still under scrutiny, the international money laundering watchdog said on July 9.
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Four Burmese workers have been killed by unknown attackers over the past 10 days in Malaysia, according to an NGO providing the funeral services.
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YANGON, July 11 — The just-ended 51st annual Myanmar Gems Emporium has fetched 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, up 1 billion dollars compared with that of the previous one, local media reported Friday.
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China continues to be the largest investor in Myanmar with more than US$14 billion of cumulative investment as of the end of June, according to latest data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
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Last week, Burma was accepted as a candidate for the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global anti-corruption scheme that requires member governments to disclose payments earned from oil, gas and mineral wealth. Burma’s EITI arrangement could also be expanded to include hydropower and forestry.
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Two local Kachin women, who have been involved in anti-Myitsone dam activities, say they have had their rice rations cut by China Power Investment Corporation (CPI), the Chinese backers of the Irrawaddy River  hydropower project.
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Two companies have been hired to conduct an environmental assessment on the second phase of the Thilawa special economic zone located southeast of Rangoon, after the first stage of the project was beset by complaints about its social and environmental impacts. (more…)

While local banks may open as many branches as they like, foreign banks entering the market will be initially restricted to one branch if they operate solely as ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ operations, the Myanmar Central Bank has said.
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A Kazakh gas magnate, a furniture maker and two brothers once under international sanctions are part of a colourful cast flocking largely unnoticed to Myanmar’s emerging oil frontier. (more…)

Only a tiny number of people in Myanmar have mobile phones. Even fewer have access to the Internet. But that hasn’t stopped word of BarCamp from quickly spreading. BarCamps–informal gatherings of grassroots geeks who come together to listen to one another give talks on technology–are usually publicized via online social networks. Since the first one in Silicon Valley less than a decade ago these Information Age talkfests have been held in 350 cities. In January of last year Yangon drew the biggest crowd for any BarCamp worldwide, some 6,500 people. More than 5,000 attended this year’s gathering.
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Research firm On Device found users of the mobile Web in Myanmar prefer Viber to other messaging apps and Facebook FB -0.46%. On Device Research
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