2014 Tourism Receipts Expected to Top $1 Billion

Myanmar’s tourism industry is expected to earn more than $1 billion this year, said U Thet Naign Toe, vice chairman of the Union of Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA). In 2012 and 2013, income from tourism receipts were $534 million and $926 million respectively, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism. Between […]

Myanmar trade deficit rises

YANGON – Myanmar’s quarterly trade deficit reached over US$1.4 billion (45.5 billion baht), as the economy continues to open up to foreign investment, the government said Wednesday. The value of exports — including oil, gas and timber — during April-June was more than $2.2 billion, but $3.6 billion was spent on imports, the Central Statistical […]

Myanmar Bans Foreign Fishing Boats From Its Waters

YANGON — Myanmar has banned foreign fishing vessels from its waters as of the beginning of April amid concerns about overfishing, an official from the Myanmar Fishery Federation (MFF) said. “Fish and other marine resources in our waters were declining. So [Myanmar] banned foreign fishing boats from fishing in our waters to prevent that,” said […]

Yangon Switches On

YANGON — On the industrial outskirts of Yangon, a rusted chimney exhales wisps of white smoke as a three-decade-old gas-fired power station chunters on. Just meters away on the same compound in Thaketa Township, a low mumble, but nothing in the way of visible emissions, is coming from a row of 16 boxed-up gas-fueled engines—Austrian-produced […]

Electricity Rate Hike Could Hurt Competitiveness, Raise Consumer Prices

YANGON — Last week, Parliament approved a government proposal to introduce a long-expected hike in electricity prices per April 1. Business sector representatives now warn that the measures will undercut the competiveness of Burmese industries and lead to a rise consumer prices. Under the new plan, for households using under 100 kilowatt hours, or units, […]

Burma seeks minimum wage amidst labour shortage

As foreign investors in the garment sector trickle into Myanmar/Burma, local research companies and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are undertaking a study that could prompt the country’s parliament to pass a minimum wage law by December this year. The study, for which one local participant is the Myanmar Marketing and Research Development Co (MMRD), […]

Thailand’s True in talks to operate mobile service in Myanmar

BANGKOK/YANGON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Thailand’s True Corp Pcl is in talks with Myanmar’s Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) on jointly starting mobile phone operations in Myanmar, a senior True executive said on Wednesday. “We are in the process of negotiating with YTP. If successful, we need to seek approval from True Corp’s board and then we […]

US Exim Bank Raises Hopes in Myanmar With Credit Offer

YANGON — Local businesses are hoping for more foreign investment in Myanmar, after the Export and Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) began offering credit for trade with the country last week. US businesses are considering their options in Myanmar, after staying away for over a decade due to economic sanctions imposed on […]

Banking on Myanmar’s Future

YANGON — Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank has weathered some severe storms since it was established in 1994, but now stands as Myanmar’s largest privately owned financial institution, with an estimated 94 billion kyat (US$94 million) in capital. Its founder, Aung Ko Win, is a former teacher with close ties to now-retired Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, one […]

Foreign Bank Operations by 2014 “Unlikely”

Foreign banks will be allowed to operate financial services in Myanmar, but this issue is still under discussion and no exact time has been set, a top official from the Central Bank of Myanmar said. “We are still holding dialogues about the issue [of foreign banks operating in Myanmar]. The reports that foreign banks will […]