Myanmar’s New Economic Zone Attracts Foreign Interest But Local Ire

YANGON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Looking north from Myint Win’s farm, across rice paddies and past bamboo huts, a massive new industrial development on the outskirts of Myanmar’s biggest city gleams in the distance. The buildings sprang up during the first phase of developing the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a 6,200 acre (2,500-hectare) industrial […]

New Investment Law Hailed as ‘Essential’ to Development

Business leaders have welcomed the approval of a new investment law that they hope will cut red tape and bring an end to concerns that foreign and local businesses are being treated differently. The Upper House approved the Myanmar Investment Law without amendments last week, and the legislation is due to come into effect in […]

Post-Sanctions Myanmar the New Frontier for Global Business

YANGON/TOKYO — The end of long-standing U.S. sanctions on Myanmar companies linked to the former military government is cause for celebration in both countries, opening up a slew of previously off-limits business and investment opportunities. The U.S. Treasury Department lifted all financial sanctions on the Southeast Asian nation Friday after months of dogged appeals by […]

NLD Lawmaker Claims Foreign Workers are Flouting Visa Regulations, Harming Local Interests

RANGOON — National League for Democracy (NLD) divisional lawmaker U Than Naing Oo called on the Rangoon Division government to investigate the legal status of foreign workers in the city, who he believed were flouting visa regulations and harming local interests. In the Rangoon Division parliament on Thursday, U Than Naing Oo, who represents Pabedan […]

Illegal foreign-run businesses in Yangon MPs’ crosshairs

Amid much talk of luring outside investment to Myanmar, Yangon Region lawmakers have indicated that they want to see greater scrutiny of foreign operators of illegal businesses in the commercial capital. Regional MPs yesterday approved a proposal to debate cracking down on these foreign entrepreneurs next week. Parliamentarian U Win Maung (NLD; Hlaing Tharyar 1) submitted the […]

Myanmar scraps law used to silence dissent

YANGON: Myanmar on Tuesday (Oct 4) scrapped a law used by the former military government to silence political activists, which threatened jail for anyone who endangered public morality or execution for damaging telephone lines. The Emergency Provisions Act, passed in 1950 after Myanmar won independence from Britain, became the military’s weapon of choice to silence […]

Sakura garment factory strike ends with negotiations

The strike at Sakura garment factory is finally over, two months after it began. The truce required the intervention of lawmakers to negotiate a reduction of daily production targets. “Now, we have all returned to work at the factory,” said Ma Thuzar Win, a sewing operator. “Factory officials agreed to pay us our wages again […]

Rangoon Govt Rep Clarifies Development Priorities

RANGOON – The head of Rangoon Parliament’s Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs Committee told the press on Thursday of the divisional government’s priorities for the development of the commercial capital throughout the rest of the year. Daw Sandar Min said that Rangoon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein informed committee members of 24 planned projects […]

Daw Suu – an opponent who prevailed

On Saturday night a slight woman of enormous international stature let a Harvard audience in on a perk of her position: When she is asked to give a speech, the leader of Myanmar said, her staff provides her with talking points. Even better, for her lecture as the Harvard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year, Harvard […]

Duty isn’t enough to boost tax revenue

In the past few weeks, colourful signboards have been erected around Yangon reminding people of their obligation to pay tax. An anthropomorphised cartoon map of Myanmar – eyes wide – proudly gives a “thumbs up” to the message that “every citizen has the duty to pay taxes to be levied according to the law”. After […]