Moscow steps up business with Nay Pyi Taw

At a Russia-Myanmar Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (RMIC) meeting in Moscow last month, Russian commission chair Minister Maksim Oreshkin and Minister for the Ministry of Planning and Finance, U Kyaw Win, signed an agreement to set up a Russia trade representative office in Yangon. The trade representative office should be launched by […]

IFC Approves Support for Controversial Tycoon’s Mandalay Cement Project

The World Bank’s private sector lending arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has given the go ahead to support a multi-million dollar plan to expand a cement factory in Mandalay Region, operated by the Shwe Taung Conglomerate. The firm’s chairman, Aik Htun, had been alleged by US authorities to have had ties to the drug […]

Myanmar has maintained military ties with North Korea, US officials claim

Myanmar’s military was believed in the past to have imported North Korean-made weapons and North Korean personnel also worked in Myanmar Myanmar’s military has maintained ties with North Korea, even though the civilian-led government denies any cooperation, and the Trump administration is pressing for a complete break-off of remaining links, current and former US officials […]

World Bank Arm Defends Mandalay Cement Factory Project Amid Civil Society Opposition

Following an open letter sent to the World Bank’s President Jim Kim by a coalition of community-based organizations opposing a proposed plan to support the expansion of a cement plant in Mandalay Region and the coal mine that fuels it, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) maintains that the project is worthwhile. The open letter was […]

South Korea in Myanmar: Missing the Train to Naypyitaw?

South Korea’s interest in Myanmar lies in its economic assets: cheaper labor costs, a sizable market of around 51 million people, and natural resource wealth. Yet Myanmar has unrealized potential to play a much greater strategic role for South Korea. South Korea’s economic presence in the country is wide-ranging and Seoul has emerged as an […]

Myanmar’s elusive gift from god

Ever since I was a little girl I had dreamed of going to Myanmar’s famed ruby mines of Mogok. My father was a gems dealer and I would spend hours watching him cut and polish the raw stones until they sparkled. Yet however much I nagged, he always refused to teach me the trade. “Gems […]

Myanmar to Ramp up Gem Exports Post-Sanctions

YANGON — Earlier this month, Washington removed all remaining sanctions on Myanmar, including bans on imports of jade and rubies to the U.S. The move was in response to the Myanmar government’s initiative to achieve more democratic society, led by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, since it was launched in March. U.S. establishments are […]

US Urges Burma to end North Korea Military Ties

WASHINGTON — Pockets within the Burma military may still be cooperating with North Korea although the new civilian government and the military leadership oppose such ties, a senior US official said Wednesday. During Burma’s years of international isolation, its then-ruling junta bought defense equipment from North Korea. The US has been pressing Burma to cease […]

Aung San Suu Kyi calls for investment after Obama pledges Myanmar sanctions relief

WASHINGTON: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian country on Thursday (Sep 15) as a way to advance its democratic transition, a day after US President Barack Obama pledged to lift long-standing sanctions on the country. Aung San Suu Kyi, speaking in Washington, said that economic development spurred […]

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 […]