A Land Eager to Look Rich: Luxury Brands Edge Into Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar — “Every man has a crazy hobby,” said U Thiri Thein Than, an automotive engineer from Yangon who also has a home in Tokyo. “For me, it’s cars and watches.” For years Mr. Thiri Thein Than, 40, has done his higher-end shopping overseas. But in March, he visited a boutique that the Swiss […]

To pay or not to pay? INGOs wrangle over income tax

With a new government in office and the start of a new financial year, international non-government organisations (INGOs) are holding intense discussions over whether their well-paid expat staff should pay income tax in Myanmar. Some have been paying tax for years; others claim to have deals that exempt their foreign staff; and others would not […]

Entrepreneurship week hits nine Myanmar cities

Myanmar’s democratic transition has made chasing down dreams a bit easier for entrepreneurs, according to the president of the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs’ Association (MYEA). The key difference since Myanmar began to open up is that now, with a good idea and enough capital, “you can do it”, said U Wai Phyo at a media roundtable […]

Myanmar Citymart Supermarket chain takes Visa

Shopping is about to become simpler for travellers in Myanmar. City Mart, the country’s largest supermarket chain, has teamed up with Visa and KBZ Bank to roll out card acceptance at selected branches, a first for a supermarket chain in Myanmar. Customers can now pay with their Visa debit and credit cards at City Mart […]

Manhattan prices in Yangon

International NGOs are facing strong criticism in Myanmar not for the work they do, but for the large amounts of donor money they spend on renting offices. Recent reports have found that considerable sums are paid for office space in Yangon, where most organisations have their head offices. Adding to the controversy, some of these […]

Yangon Rental Costs in the Spotlight After Unicef Outcry

YANGON — Following an outcry over the revelation that the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is paying a steep rental fee to a former military official, other international organizations operating in Myanmar are facing calls to be transparent about their rental arrangements in Yangon. Last week, Unicef admitted that it pays US$87,000 per month for […]

Unicef Defends US$90,000 a month rental for Yangon Office

RANGOON — The representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in Burma has claimed the agency got a “good deal” on its new Rangoon office, after it emerged that the agency is paying a large sum in rent to a former military official. On Tuesday, The Irrawaddy published information from sources close to Unicef […]

Zoning plans remain stalled

A zoning and land-use plan to protect heritage buildings and Yangon’s most important religious site, Shwedagon Pagoda, remains locked in endless rounds of discussions more than a year after the laws were proposed. Twenty Yangon townships have been earmarked for heritage protection under the as-yet-unwritten plans, a Yangon City Development Committee official said last week. […]