August 13, 2013
Last year around this time, co-blogger Steve Dickinson and I were in Yangon, Myanmar, assisting a company in figuring out whether to go into the country and, if so, how. We were there with Bob Walsh who studied Burmese in the Army and has maintained a close interest in the country ever since and has done several projects there since 2001. Last year a group of clients urged him to go to Myanmar and undertake projects on their behalf, and he hasn’t left yet, and it’s looking like it will be a long time before he does. More…
August 13, 2013
Attempts to bring stability to Myanmar’s strategic northwest Rakhine State could be unraveling after police opened fire on Rohingya Muslims for the third time in two months, reviving tensions in a region beset by religious violence last year.
Villages outside the state capital Sittwe remain volatile after a dispute over custody of a dead Rohingya quickly escalated into a day of clashes on Friday in which police raked Rohingya crowds with gunfire, according to witnesses. More…
August 12, 2013
In its push for greater connectivity with ASEAN countries, India is focussing its attention on a deep-sea port in southern Myanmar that would provide a much shorter sea route to the economically vibrant Southeast Asian region and help boost trade.
The Dawei deep sea port and special economic zone is slated to give a huge boost to connectivity and trade in the Southeast Asian region when it is commissioned in a few years. The $8-billion project is being developed jointly by Myanmar and Thailand. More…
July 18, 2013
Reposted from Mizzima
By Nan Myint
Deputy Minister for Finance and Revenue, Maung Maung Thein confirmed on 15 July that Myanmar will begin implementing a stock exchange market this year.
Earlier announcements state the stock exchange market will be established by 2015, but preparations are already under way.
“Earlier we planned to begin in 2015, but it would be too late. So, we are beginning this year,” says Maung Maung Thein.
The Central Bank of Myanmar is cooperating with the Daiwa Research Institute and Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange to establish Myanmar’s stock exchange. Later this month, Maung Maung Thein says there will be a demonstration on the operation of the stock exchange with the help of a Myanmar IT company. More…
July 8, 2013
Reposted from Eleven
Myanmar will become the second largest market for the Qatari telecom firm Ooredoo, its regional director said at a press conference in Yangon on Friday.
“Indonesia is the largest market for our company. Myanmar will become the second largest. I believe the [Myanmar’s telecom] market is worth over US$2 billion a year,” Nicholas Swierzy, Ooredoo’s Director for Asia Region, told Eleven Media. More…
July 3, 2013
Myanmar’s rapid liberalization will improve geopolitics in Asia
Reposted from Stratfor Global Intelligence
By Robert D. Kaplan
Myanmar’s ongoing liberalization and its normalization of relations with the outside world have the possibility of profoundly affecting geopolitics in Asia — and all for the better.
Geographically, Myanmar dominates the Bay of Bengal. It is where the spheres of influence of China and India overlap. Myanmar is also abundant in oil, natural gas, coal, zinc, copper, precious stones, timber and hydropower, with some uranium deposits as well. The prize of the Indo-Pacific region, Myanmar has been locked up by dictatorship for decades, even as the Chinese have been slowly stripping it of natural resources. Think of Myanmar as another Afghanistan in terms of its potential to change a region: a key, geo-strategic puzzle piece ravaged by war and ineffective government that, if only normalized, would unroll trade routes in all directions. More…
June 26, 2013
Vehicles drive past an advertising board of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), one of the bidders for the telecommunications licenses, in Yangon.
Reposted from International Business Times
By Sophie Song
With Western trade sanctions lifted, Myanmar is now the investment darling of the world — in addition to Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and Unilever (LON:ULVR), IT and communications companies have all set their eyes on the country as one of the last unconquered frontiers of Asia.
With a population of 60 million, Myanmar currently has a mobile penetration rate of 5 percent. Internet penetration is even lower at around 1 percent, according to PC World.
“When was the last time a market of 60 million people fell out of the sky?” said Martin Sorrell, head of advertising and marketing giant WPP Plc, which has invested in media agencies in Myanmar, according to Reuters. “This is one of the last frontiers.” More…
June 21, 2013
Burmese President Thein Sein inspects a thermal power plant in Japan during a visit that focused largely on attracting Japanese investment in Burma’s economy.
Reposted from The Irrawaddy
By William Boot
The winners of next week’s bidding process to build Burma’s wireless telecommunications network will need very deep pockets, according to the latest Monopoly board-game figures for developing the country.
“$50 billion is needed in telecommunications infrastructure if Myanmar [Burma] is to make full use of digital technology to leapfrog stages of development,” say economists Martin N. Baily and Richard Dobbs in a critique of the level and focus of investment in the country.
Perhaps that kind of outlay is not what the dozen or so international telecommunications companies bidding for two network licenses have in mind, but it’s what Baily and Dobbs believe will be necessary to help push Burma firmly into the 21st century by discarding some 20th-century models. More…
June 19, 2013
Reposted from CNN Money
By Steve Hargreaves
Doing businesses in Myanmar — a country that globalization largely missed — has its quirks.
Take Coca-Cola. Taking advantage of newly eased sanctions on the former military dictatorship, Coke (KO, Fortune 500) cut the ribbon earlier this month on the first bottling plant the company has had in the country since before World War II. But in rolling out its product, Coke found itself with a dilemma it seldom has: A lot of people didn’t know what Coke was.
“We had to do taste tests for the first time in years,” said Petro Kacur, a Coke spokesman. “Everybody’s had a Coke, except if you happen to be from Myanmar.”
There are just two remaining countries in the world where one can’t legally obtain a Coke: North Korea and Cuba. More…
June 17, 2013
Reposted from Mizzima
The Singapore-owned Traders Hotel in Yangon will soon have competition in the way of several new international hotels.
By Khin Myo Thwe
Five new foreign businesses were granted permission to invest in Myanmar on June 12, according to the Myanmar Investment Commission.
“Four wholly-owned foreign businesses and one joint venture [JV] business have been given permits,” said Kyaw Zaw Maung, director of the Myanmar Investment & Company Administration.
United Arab Emirates-based Gecko Holdings Ltd and Myanmar-owned Kyaw Win Phyo Co, have formed a JV to establish Mokan, a hotel business. The company will construct hotels in Tanintharyi Region, Kawthaung Township, Kyunphelar and Nga Man Island. More…