Commerce Ministry to Cut Luxury Goods Imports

​​ NAYPYIDAW — Burma’s Ministry of Commerce plans to restrict import of luxury goods including cosmetics in an effort to cut the country’s substantial trade deficit. The ministry also plans a tax on liquor and cigarettes sold at duty-free shops in airports, ministry spokesperson U Khin Maung Lwin told The Irrawaddy. “We will run a […]

Myanmar’s Road Construction Plans: Potholes Ahead

Despite a proven wealth of natural resources and a large, albeit suppressed, domestic market, Western interest in Myanmar has so far been limited. Asia, however, is taking far more notice. While immediate neighbors China and Thailand look to promote their own regional priorities in Myanmar, East Asian nations, such as Japan and South Korea, have […]

Government Fixes Price for Massive Jade Stone at US$6 Million

RANGOON — The price of a massive unearthed giant jade stone in Hpakant Township, Kachin State, has now been fixed by the government’s Myanmar Gems Enterprise as worth around 7 billion kyats (around US$6 million). The 210-ton stone was discovered on Oct. 10 at Yadanar Taung Tann Gems Company’s mine, which is operating in a […]

Govt Unveils Detailed Economic Policies

NAYPYIDAW — Long-awaited detailed economic policies were announced by the government in Naypyidaw today with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi pledging a secure business environment for both local and foreign investors. “I would like to invite all business people to work with us,” the state counselor said. “That is why we host this meeting.” […]

Aung San Suu Kyi Woos Tycoons in Naypyidaw Meet-Up

NAYPYIDAW — State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi reassured some of Burma’s most prominent tycoons that their place in Burma’s economy and society was secure, so long as they backed government policy, left themselves open to scrutiny, and “worked for others.” She stressed that her intention was not to dwell on the past, expressing […]

Investment Law Rules and Regulations Released by March

NAYPYIDAW — Rules and regulations for the newly enacted Myanmar Investment Law will be released in three months at the earliest and by the end of March next year at the latest, according to U Maung Maung Win, deputy minister of national planning and finance. The law, enacted by President U Htin Kyaw last week, […]

Two-Thirds of Disabled Children Not Enrolled in Formal Education

RANGOON — A joint report published by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) has stated that Burma’s national education law needs to be amended, as two-thirds of the country’s 232,000 disabled children do not obtain a formal education. A 122-page report by Unicef and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement was launched in Naypyidaw on […]

Myanmar’s Foreign Policy Rebalance

The country’s shift in its alignments is about more than just China and the United States. Myanmar’s new government is making its international debut. In mid-August 2016, Beijing welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi on her first visit to China since becoming Myanmar’s state counselor and foreign minister. This followed her trips to Myanmar’s ASEAN neighbors […]

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) will lead a six-day business mission to Myanmar from Monday (Sept 12), the first since President Htin Kyaw took office in March. Led by SBF chairman S S Teo, 45 delegates from sectors including property, legal, accountancy, education, publishing, shipping and logistics, construction, civil engineering will visit the […]

In Myanmar, the AIIB Could Buttress China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Framework

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank could come to play a greater role in Myanmar. Is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) just another vehicle for spreading Chinese geoeconomic primacy throughout the Asia-Pacific? Earlier this year, reflecting on the bank’s first projects, I argued that such fears were overwrought. The AIIB, with modest partnership-based undertakings along with […]