Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears

Myanmar has scaled back plans for a Chinese-backed port on its western coast, sharply reducing the cost of the project after concerns it could leave the south-east Asian nation heavily indebted, a top government official and an adviser told Reuters. The Kyaukpyu port is a key part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, aimed […]

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 […]

Myanmar to trim Kyaukphyu cost but drops Annan’s strategic review suggestion

Nay Pyi Taw’s plan to reduce the cost of Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone, including the proposed deep-sea port, will help cap its external debt load and avoid repeating Sri Lanka’s Hambantota’s precedent, according to London-headquartered research firm BMI Research. At the same time, a government committee has dropped any mentioning of commissioning a Strategic Environmental […]

Myanmar shouldn’t write off China without understanding her neighbour

An old Chinese proverb goes like this: “Three men make a tiger.” It means that if an unfounded premise is repeated many times, the premise will be accepted as the truth. Once this “tiger” is invented, it would be extremely difficult to dispel it from people’s minds, especially when we are living in a post-truth […]

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 […]

Myanmar powers up

The government of Myanmar has made energising the power sector an urgent priority, aiming to provide electricity to the whole country by 2030 at the latest. While hydroelectric dams will provide most power, new gas-powered plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) will increase the supply in the medium term. International finance and expertise are being […]

Myanmar GDP Growth to Rebound Despite Rakhine Crisis

YANGON — Myanmar’s economy is set to recover despite a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, while the ruling National League for Democracy — two years after it won its historic election victory — finally prepares a comprehensive plan for economic development. Sean Turnell, special economic consultant to State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, told the Nikkei […]

Myanmar renews SEZ push

Myanmar’s special economic zones (SEZs) are a central part of a revitalised economic strategy in which increased manufacturing activity will play a key role. And breathing renewed life and energy into stagnant or stalled SEZs has moved to the top of the government’s agenda. “SEZs promote the transfer of technology, encourage infrastructure development and attract […]

Myanmar mulls reforms to meet infrastructure funding

YANGON — With Myanmar mired in the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and few signs of any short-term solution, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is struggling to maintain recent efforts to shore up the economy as uncertainty assails investment confidence and domestic sentiment. The government is facing an international outcry over its handling of the Rohingya refugee […]

Govt urged to establish Belt and Road taskforce

From tackling illegal border trade to constructing Kyaukphyu SEZ, the to-do list for Belt and Road in Myanmar is very long. THE Myanmar government is urged to take a proactive role and form a taskforce to carve out its involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). An adviser to the National League for Democracy-led […]