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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 […]

Thandwe in Rakhine to receive international-airport status

The government has approved the upgrade of a local airport in Thandwe, Rakhine State to international status, said U Kyaw Aye Thein, Rakhine State Planning and Finance Minister. The decision was made at the Union level after the Rakhine State Government submitted the request to upgrade, he said. The authorities were responding to private sector […]

Despite Critical Remarks, Malaysia Keen to Invest in Myanmar

YANGON—Depite Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks criticizing Myanmar’s political and military actions in Rakhine State, Malaysia will maintain its economic ties with Myanmar, Malaysian Ambassador to Myanmar Zahairi Baharim said at a press conference concerning the upcoming Malaysia-Myanmar Connect 2019 business forum meant to increase economic engagement between two countries. In an exclusive interview […]

China’s Extending Reach in Myanmar

Dissonance in the Hinterlands as China Moves In Myanmar’s dependence on China is easy to see. Brightly colored Chinese company signs and billboards are prominent, Chinese-looking businessmen stroll along the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, and Chinese tourists seem to be everywhere. While I was visiting, a Chinese crew happened to be filming in […]

Rakhine Rebels Eager for Foreign Investment

YANGON—The Arakan Army (AA) has signaled to foreign developers it wants them to invest in Rakhine State, noting that the region is on an essential part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)—the proposed comprehensive trade and logistics route linking China and Europe through Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia. […]

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 […]

Foreign Developer Proposes 7,000-Acre Project in Sittwe

YANGON—Foreign developer Gold Coast KTMG Myanmar has proposed a US$38 billion “new city” project in the suburbs of Sittwe, Rakhine State’s capital. Sittwe is near eight townships in northern Rakhine currently affected by armed clashes. A KTMG delegation met with U San Kyaw Hla, the speaker of the Rakhine State parliament, and a group of […]

Amnesty for Reuters reporters seen easing EU trade tensions

The release of two Reuters reporters and some 20 other political prisoners may help ease tensions with the EU but the government will need to do more to maintain Myanmar’s trade privileges, according to business leaders in Yangon. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, jailed for more than 500 days, were freed on May 7 […]

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 […]

A Conversation With US Ambassador Scot Marciel

On March 8, The Irrawaddy’s editorial team invited US Ambassador Scot Marciel to our office in Yangon to participate in a conversation on a range of issues, particularly the many challenges Myanmar is facing. The ambassador offered his frank views in response to questions from senior editors. Here are excerpts from the interview: The Irrawaddy: […]