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Taking a Quantum Leap to Revamp Myanmar’s Economy

YANGON—Since last year, Myanmar officials responsible for drumming up foreign investment have been shuttling between Naypyitaw and Asian countries to pitch the government’s latest legal, procedural, and institutional reforms to potential investors as part of efforts to revitalize the country’s economy. State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi often highlights foreign direct investment (FDI) as […]

China-Backed Venture Proposes $800M Development Near Kyaukphyu Seaport

YANGON—A Chinese petrochemical giant and a Myanmar firm have jointly proposed to the Rakhine State government the development of nearly US$800 million (1.21 trillion kyats) worth of projects near the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ)’s deep seaport and Ramree Island. The centerpiece of the proposal is a new logistics terminal on Maday Island situated 10 […]

Amid Int’l Espionage Concerns, Mandalay to Embrace Huawei for ‘Safe City’ Project

As part of its high-tech makeover to become a “smart city” with a view to enhancing the rule of law and security, Myanmar’s second largest city Mandalay is ready to embrace Huawei, prompting questions about whether upper Myanmar’s business hub will become prone to data theft and state-sponsored spying—both of which the Chinese telecom giant […]

Myanmar’s fuel market: from fanfare to standstill

IN JULY 2017, Frontier reported on the longstanding frustration among drivers in Myanmar at the poor quality of fuel sold at local stations. Just a few months earlier, the Myanmar Investment Commission had abolished a requirement that foreign investors in the sector partner with the Ministry of Energy and Electricity. The larger local players were […]

Gov’t Spells Out Conditions for Signing BRI Deals with China

A senior Myanmar official revealed that the government has drawn up a set of conditions for signing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) related to Beijing’s grand infrastructure projects in the country in order to avoid falling into a “debt trap” with China and to ensure the projects benefit both countries. The conditions include acquiring international financing […]

Myanmar Signs 3 Agreements at Belt and Road Forum

Myanmar’s government signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and an agreement letter with China at Beijing’s Belt and Road Forum on Thursday, detailing strengthened cooperation between the countries on the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), trade and technology. According to the Ministry of Information, Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Prime Minister of […]

Australian Firm Seeks to Reassure Locals on Gas Drilling off Rakhine

YANGON—Australian energy giant Woodside is stepping into war-torn Rakhine State with a plan to begin drilling in two oil-and-gas blocks in the Bay of Bengal. This week the company sought to reassure residents in southern Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu that there was a need for the projects, citing the potential economic benefits and pledging to minimize […]

Yangon’s ‘new city’ plan raises a billion-dollar question

On January 12, the Chinese embassy in Yangon issued a statement that mentioned the US$.3.6 billion Myitsone dam project, suspended by the government since 2011, in a manner that aroused indignation in political circles and among the public. The statement, issued after a visit to Myitkyina by Chinese ambassador Mr Hong Liang, attributed Hong as […]

Investors could channel up to US$4.9 billion into Rakhine this year

Foreign and domestic companies last week signed 28 expressions of interest (EOI) to conduct business worth a potential US$4.9 billion in the state this year. The bulk of the EOIs were signed by businesses in the hotel and tourism sector, said U Kyaw Aye Thein, Rakhine State Minister of Finance, Revenue, Planning and Economy. “These […]

Selling Rakhine to the World

In the wake of the 2017 Rohingya crisis and ongoing fighting between the military and Arakan Army, the Myanmar government is desperate to attract investors to Rakhine State in hopes that they will help reverse the fortunes of one of the country’s poorest regions. To that end, it invited more than 600 of them to […]