China hardsells big ticket but low on trust, India’s soft power push in Myanmar education and health

As Delhi seeks to expand its engagement with Myanmar, it is in sectors such as education, health and entertainment services that India hopes to make an impact in a country crowded with several international players, and completely dominated by China. In a state-of-the art classroom at the steel and glass Myanmar Institute of Information Technology […]

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 […]

Far from a ‘debt trap’, China’s belt and road allows countries like Myanmar to leapfrog poverty

Andre Wheeler says Western critics overlook the holistic and long-term benefits that China’s multilateral infrastructure investment programme brings to countries like Myanmar. What’s more, they aren’t offering any alternatives A plethora of articles have discussed the risks associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The discussion is often portrayed within a “winners versus losers” framework, […]

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’s $7.5 Billion Myanmar Port ‘Crazy,’ Suu Kyi Adviser Says

The $7.5 billion price tag for a Chinese-built deep-sea port in the Myanmar town of Kyaukpyu was “crazy” and “absurd,” according to a key adviser to Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi. China’s CITIC Group, which won a tender to build the port three years ago, has valued the port and an accompanying special economic […]

Infrastructure, safety standards needed for LPG industry to take off

The government is now more than half way through its term and time is running out for it to make good on its promise to double Myanmar’s supply of electricity within the next two years. But the government is not without backup plans to help it achieve its goals, one of which is replacing the […]

Alibaba buys Rocket Internet’s Daraz to expand its e-commerce empire into South Asia

Alibaba has expanded its e-commerce empire into South Asia after the Chinese internet giant acquired Daraz in an undisclosed deal. Daraz was founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet and today it operates in Pakistan as well as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Rocket said in a statement that Alibaba has acquired the entire Daraz […]