Why India Isn’t Really ‘Acting East’ in Myanmar

As an ascendant economic and political power, India has long been eager to assert its influence on the global stage, particularly in neighboring Southeast Asia. India’s intentions for foreign engagement are best articulated in its so-called Act East policy, an ambitious effort to elevate Indian influence via economic and strategic links with the subregion. Central […]

Ruili – A Frontier Market Marked by Soft Power

In southwest China’s city of Ruili, the gateway to Myanmar, visitors are surprised by the simple and practical ease with which a seamless international border has been drawn — and managed. There is no pageantry here, no elaborate change of armed guards and no bugles. A simple but prominent yellow line divides Myanmar’s Mangxiu village […]

Traders wish for negotiations with Chinese for blocked bank accounts

Traders want the State to enter into negotiations with the Chinese government over 1,000 bank accounts of Myanmar merchants which are frozen by Chinese banks, merchants said. The Chinese government blocked the bank accounts which are used in transactions in the course of taking actions against illegal importers from Myanmar and Viet Nam. The bank […]

Split visions of Dawei’s future as Thailand, Myanmar restart special economic zone project

The governments of Thailand and Myanmar are set to restart the development of the Dawei deep-sea port and special economic zone, after both countries set up a joint coordinating committee to work out investment details of the project. In 2008, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a massive land area of 200 […]

Yangon govt ‘invests’ Ks70bn in YBS

Yangon Bus Public Company Ltd (YBPC) has deposited Ks70 billion at the Ayeyarwady Bank for the Yangon Bus Service (YBS), according to Myint Thaung, the regional minister for planning and finance. Replying to the question raised by Sandar Min, an MP representing Seikgyi Khanaungto constituency no.1, about investment, profit-sharing and the business plan for the […]

Foreign investment booms in Myanmar telecoms

Overseas companies spent big on building mobile phone infrastructure in Myanmar over the past year, while they took a break from exploring oil and gas. Foreign investment in Myanmar’s transportation and telecommunications sectors surged to $3.08 billion for the year ended March, a 60% jump. In contrast, spending in the gas and oil industry — […]

Oil Pipeline Through Myanmar Highlights China’s Growing Import Dependence

Oil began flowing into a crucial pipeline in Myanmar this week, after years of delay. The pipeline, along with a twin natural gas line running along the same route, is an essential element of China’s strategy to diversify its sources of oil supply. When the pipeline reaches maximum capacity, it could account for as much […]

Yangon and Hong Kong: A forgotten tale of two cities

To many people in Hong Kong, Myanmar might sound exotic and unfamiliar. The fact remains, however, that the country, formerly known as Burma, and our city both used to be British colonies and have close ties with each other. Yangon (also known as Rangoon), Myanmar’s largest city and former capital, was once a key trading […]

China’s climate aid flows into Myanmar

Than Bayar Khon village sits nested in the foothills of the Bago Yoma forest in central Myanmar. The low mountains, once heavily forested with teak and valuable tropical timbers, are now rapidly balding. Despite being only a few kilometres from the major highway connecting the port city of Yangon with the capital Naypyidaw, the three […]

How Did Myanmar’s Reforms Change Its Relations With China?

I first visited Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in February 2013, two months after then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to that country. One thing that has been inscribed in my fond memories of the visit is that many street vendors in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) were hawking T-shirts with Obama’s headshot and a caption above […]