New dawn for remote Andaman Sea island tourism

Few have heard of the Mergui Archipelago, and even fewer have managed to visit the 400km string of scattered islands in the Bay of Bengal’s Andaman Sea. Most of the 800 offshore islands are uninhabited, apart from a few seasonal settlements of the seafaring nomadic Moken, and some Burmese fishing villages The jungle-clad limestone and […]

The complex terrain of Myanmar business

It’s been more than seven years since Myanmar opened up to the rest of the world, leading to growth in business. The emerging country however still has major issues when it comes to suitability for foreign businesses. The world was hopeful. Myanmar would not only open up to the world but also begin the liberalization […]

Cronies Disappointed As US Sanctions Extended

RANGOON — In wake of the extension of most of the US sanctions on Burma on Tuesday, several cronies have remained on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, despite the expectation that they would be removed. Sanctioned businessman Khin Shwe, chairman of the Zay Kabar Group of companies, told The Irrawaddy, “Some people have suggested […]

Civil society condemns crony capitalism

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have unanimously agreed at the Myanmar People’s Forum that a handful of cronies who have close ties with the government are becoming richer thanks to the inflow of foreign investment. The CSOs and attendees to the forum held in the Diamond Jubilee Hall said only cronies got the green light to […]

Aid groups in Myanmar trip over links to elite

YANGON, MYANMAR — Staff hired to work with the U.S. government’s aid agency in Myanmar are preparing to move out of their office following revelations their landlord is a notorious former spymaster who oversaw the imprisonment and torture of thousands of pro-democracy activists. The debacle surrounding Development Alternatives Inc., a company contracted by USAID to […]

Cronies & Coal

YANGON- Cronies have been granted hydropower projects on Ayeyawady and Thanlwin Rivers including the Myitsone dam without public notice. Moreover, 23 firms including cronies’ companies were granted hydropower projects and they were also allowed to generate and distribute power in 84 townships across the nation. The tycoons also received the green light to build natural […]

U.S. Pushes Myanmar Firms to Get Off Blacklist

The U.S. is telling Myanmar companies it once designated as cronies of Myanmar’s former military junta now may be the time to get off the American blacklist. The effort highlights just how much of Myanmar’s economy remains under sanctions and the challenge for companies seeking to wade into the new terrain. State Department officials met […]

Burmese Tycoon Tay Za Under Scrutiny

By Jared Ferrie Myanmar tycoon Tay Za leans back and fulminates against the U.S. government as a playful pet bear cub scrambles up his alligator-skin chair. “They are world police,” he says, complaining that U.S. sanctions are stifling his businesses and officials are scrutinizing his every transaction. As Tay Za speaks, attentive staff intervene occasionally […]

How does one get off the US Sanction List?

Based on the discussion that I had with a US Embassy official in Yangon on their recent activity in inviting Myanmar people (eg Tay Za of Htoo & Company and Steven Law of Asia World) on the OFAC SDN List for a discussion on what they can do to remove themselves from the SDN List […]

U.S. Urges Myanmar Nationals to Work Harder to Get Off Sanctions List

The U.S. is urging Myanmar nationals hit with economic sanctions to work harder to remove themselves from the blacklist, a move that could enable American businesses to access a wider network of contacts in the quickly opening country. The list—administered by the U.S. Treasury department—freezes the assets of around 200 individuals, companies and other entities […]