Business / Trade


The Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) has thrown its support behind a government-led proposal for a minimum wage in Burma of 3,600 kyat (US$3.60) a day.
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Thailand, Japan and Burma on Saturday effectively launched the US$50 billion Dawei special economic zone by signing an agreement in Tokyo that will have a deep impact on trade and investment in Southeast Asia.
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On Monday the government announced an interim minimum wage proposal for a 3600 kyats (US$3.25) per eight-hour day, a middle-ground proposal after labor unions pushed for a 4000 kyats ($3.60) base rate and factory owners unwilling to proffer anything higher than 2500 kyats ($2.25). Both labor groups and employers have two weeks to lodge objections to the interim proposal before it is introduced across the country.
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday said it recommended the Central Bank of Myanmar’s official reference rate should reflect market conditions, and close the gap with the unofficial market rate.
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Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has confirmed that a director of Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages Myanmar (CCPBM) is also a director and minority shareholder in Xie Family Company, which it says operates a local jade business – an industry sanctioned by the US government.
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The introduction of a new note always comes some uncertainty in the Myanmar market. Yesterday, the first day the newly-redesigned K10,000 note entered circulation, concerns that the note will fuel inflation came up again – though were more muted than on previous occasions.
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Banks are reluctant to allow farmers to take out loans by mortgaging their farmlands, despite a new by-law that will permit this in practice, said U Set Aung, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar, at a public meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on June 29.
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Singapore was Myanmar’s top overseas investor in 2014, accounting for more than half of the over US$8 billion in total inflow, which had doubled from US$4 billion in 2013.
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Burmese refugees in camps along the Thai border are to be given vocational training in an effort to increase the number of refugees willing to return to their home country.
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A belated Thai clampdown on illegal fishing is forcing unlicensed vessels ashore, threatening to paralyse a key industry as the kingdom desperately tries to avoid a European Union ban on exports worth $1 billion a year.
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End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

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The scaffolding gave way on June 20 at a Mandalay hotel construction site, killing two workers and injuring another 18 people. Pictures of the incident were shared widely on social media, instigating concern over safety at construction sites.
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The foreign exchange black market has returned.

Dealers are again selling dollars at the market, rather than the official, price, following a period earlier this month where retail exchanges largely shut down.
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The Myanmar Migrant Network Thailand yesterday called on the Myanmar government to speed up the process of issuing temporary passports to migrant workers, who have reported difficulties under the Thai government’s current “pink card” program.
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These days most global corporations with reputations to defend know the risks of operating in countries where corruption is rife, and there’s a history of oppression, conflict and abuse. So they take advice on operating responsibly, spend fortunes on due diligence and put in place all sorts of human rights, environmental, and anti-corruption policies. This means they can do business safe in the knowledge that the companies they work with won’t harm local people or the environment. Importantly for them, they won’t attract criticism internationally or locally – right? (more…)

Anndin Village Tract locals went to Ye Town Police Station in large numbers to show solidarity with 26 locals who were arrested and taken in for investigation on 13 June before being charged under Article 4.
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KFC will officially open its doors to Myanmar on 7 July with its first restaurant across from Bogyoke Aung San Market, but will begin serving the internationally acclaimed fried chicken to the country’s blossoming middle class on June 30.
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A scheme to regularise Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand seems to be running aground as workers find it is both unreliable and expensive. Holders of the work permits known as pink cards are legally entitled to work in Thailand, and can apply for a work permit, a visa and a Myanmar passport.
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Carlsberg aims to make a splash in the Myanmar beer market with its new US$50 million brewery in Bago Region commissioned in March and launched in early May.
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Importers are calling on customs officials to strictly supervise vehicles as they are brought into the country, ending the spare parts slippage.
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