New Chair of Kyaukphyu SEZ Wary of Chinese Loans

YANGON — Myanmar will endeavor to take on no loans from China to complete the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) but would offer the developer no sovereign guarantees to mitigate risk if it does, said the project’s new chairman, seeking to allay fears of a debt trap. Sean Turnell, an economic adviser to State Counselor […]

An overview of the $9bn China-backed proposal for Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port

In 2015, China’s state-owned investment giant CITIC Group won a tender to build a massive port at Kyaukpyu, a town in the west of Myanmar. The $9bn agreement was struck on the basis of CITIC assuming a 70% share, with the Myanmar government and local operators receiving the remaining 30%. Three years on, however, and […]

Myanmar risks falling into a China debt trap

To understand China’s top priority in Myanmar, forget Beijing’s involvement in the country’s sputtering peace process, or efforts to restart its backed but now suspended US$3.9 billion Myitsone hydroelectric dam, or even securing rights to extract copper at the locally resisted Letpadaung mine outside of Mandalay. Those are all subordinate interests to what China really […]

China firms up ties with Myanmar

China’s emergence as a global player and its generous foreign aid to Southeast Asian countries often leads to claims that its true actions are disguised and really a means to expand its power and influence throughout the region. However, Myanmar has adeptly managed its relations with the Asian powerhouse over the years and, contrary to […]

Myanmar Vows to Improve Company Registry, Cut Red Tape

Myanmar plans to launch an electronic company-registry system this year and boost its efforts to reduce red tape for businesses after it amended its Companies Act last month to attract foreign investment. “Within six to seven months, Myanmar will establish an electronic company-registry system similar to what we have seen in Hong Kong,” Robert San […]

Thailand’s Infrastructure Plans are Good for Trade with Myanmar

​​ Thailand revealed plans to invest in its infrastructure to boost trade with Myanmar. By committing to the initial investment, Thailand has started the process. Both parties must then work together to reap the benefits of the new infrastructure. Border trade makes up a reported 80% of trade between Myanmar and Thailand. It is essential […]

Myanmar Emerging as Key Component in China’s Belt Road Initiative

A recent public speaking trip through Asia discussing the ongoing developments within the China Belt Road Initiative (BRI) exposed a number interesting themes, one of which is the increasing influence Myanmar is having on China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI). Most discussion within the maritime, oil & gas and rail sectors focused on the growing improvements […]

China’s latest Myanmar megaproject courts controversy

Nearly two years ago, Myanmar chose a Chinese consortium led by the state-run Citic to develop a $10 billion port and industrial park that could turn into the country’s largest foreign investment. With Beijing pledging to create 100,000 jobs and transform a poor region, the Kyaukpyu port plan potentially represents a huge win for Myanmar. […]

Bangladesh losing its geo-economic importance to Myanmar

The Rohingya refugee crisis has exposed Bangladesh’s diplomatic weaknesses. No permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has strongly backed Dhaka to solve the refugee problem. China rendered its support to Myanmar at the UN so that the country does not face any immediate threat such as sanction. The United States’ intention to solve […]

Myanmar eyes China’s trade plan for much-needed infrastructure, as crisis in Rakhine goes on

Minister for Construction U Win Khaing told the Asean and Asia Forum in Singapore on Thursday that his country needed to improve its infrastructure quickly to cope with the mass internal migration to its cities. The government had been in contact with various potential partners, including China and Japan, promoting Myanmar as a hub to […]