Easing of US sanctions on Myanmar to boost trade and investment

THE US Treasury’s tweaking of its Myanmar sanctions this week will boost trade and investment in the Southeast Asian country, and signals support for the mandate of the new civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, writes Eric Yep. Entities close to the former military junta are still under sanction. But at the same […]

Cronies Disappointed As US Sanctions Extended

RANGOON — In wake of the extension of most of the US sanctions on Burma on Tuesday, several cronies have remained on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, despite the expectation that they would be removed. Sanctioned businessman Khin Shwe, chairman of the Zay Kabar Group of companies, told The Irrawaddy, “Some people have suggested […]

Extension of US sanctions ‘will not hurt us’: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi

NAY PYI TAW: The extension of US sanctions on Myanmar will not hurt the country, said Myanmar’s State Counsellor and Foreign Minister, Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday (May 18). Her first public remarks on the sanctions came at a joint news conference with visiting Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. The US announced on Tuesday […]

Financial system to struggle despite sanctions relief

Amendment to US sanctions against Myanmar aimed at supporting economic growth still leave an array of barriers to trade between the two countries. Effective yesterday, the United States removed three state-owned banks from its blacklist of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), and added two military-owned lenders to a general licence that allows financial transactions with those […]

FDI poised to flow on Myanmar’s political transition

Myanmar’s landmark November polls, lauded by international observers, may have given pause to foreign investors weighing the market — but the country’s political transition could attract a new rush of attention, according to industry experts. Once isolated under the regime of a military junta, Myanmar has made great strides in development under quasi-civilian rule. The […]

Foreign firms take aim at Myanmar’s 4th licence, despite risks

Seven foreign companies have submitted applications to enter Myanmar’s fast-growing telecoms market as the government moves forward on plans to award a fourth mobile licence this year. The companies, which the government did not name, are keen to take a piece of the country’s lucrative mobile segment, which has expanded from 15 million connections to […]

US sanctions force jade into a corner, say traders

Jade traders say US sanctions have forced them to rely on Chinese investors and buyers, who dodge taxes and operate with little to no transparency. If Washington were to remove sanctions, they say, it would speed up reform in the troubled sector. Since the US banned imports of gems and jade in 2003, China has […]

Politics and frontier property markets

Myanmar’s election held on November 8, deemed as the country’s first free election in 25 years, caught the attention of people around the world as Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide. Considering the date from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) indicating the rise in the real […]

Military-linked tycoons claim political middle ground

Despite decades of benefiting from connections within the military and ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), many of Myanmar’s leading conglomerates have claimed to be politically neutral.   Spokespeople for some of the country’s most successful companies including Asia World, Htoo Group, Kanbawza (KBZ) Group and Max Myanmar said as private businesses they had […]

Sanctions fears choke nascent U.S. trade with Myanmar via Asia World Port

Western banks are cutting trade finance in Myanmar after learning that part of the country’s main port is controlled by a man blacklisted by Washington, threatening to stop nascent U.S. economic ties with the Southeast Asian nation in their tracks. U.S. shipments to Myanmar have slowed to a crawl in recent months, after several banks […]