June 4, 2013
A sewer stitches accessories at Dear Garment factory last month. Garment exports are expected to exceed $1 billion next year, industry executives say.
Reposted from Myanmar Times
By Myat May Zin
Western garment and footwear brands are conducting due diligence on individual Myanmar factories, the industry as a whole and the government’s political and reform process, industry representatives and officials say.
The brands are drawn by the easing of sanctions, duty-free access to new markets, a new legal framework that establishes basic workers’ rights and nascent efforts to improve working conditions at factories.
Recent disasters at factories in Bangladesh also have them looking for new countries to source from. “I don’t think we have seen the fallout from Bangladesh yet,” said Steve Marshall, the liaison officer of the International Labour Organisation in Myanmar.
Several global brands have contacted his office as part of their research. “Obviously they are concerned about reputational risk,” he said, adding that they are “doing their due diligence, seeking reports on broader human rights and also specifically on labour market issues”. More…
May 23, 2013
Reposted from Bloomberg
By James Rowley & Daniel Ten Kate
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the congressional sponsor of economic sanctions against Myanmar, said he won’t seek their extension in light of the former military regime’s shift toward democracy.
“I will not be making an effort to renew those sanctions this year, based upon consultations with the State Department,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters at the Capitol yesterday after meeting Myanmar President Thein Sein. “We think enough progress has been made in Burma where implementation of the sanctions this year is actually not a good idea.”
Thein Sein’s moves to allow more political freedom and open Myanmar’s economy following about five decades of military rule have attracted companies including Ford Motor Co. (F), Coca-Cola Co. and Visa Inc. He sought the end of U.S. sanctions in a meeting this week with President Barack Obama, a month after the European Union lifted punitive measures. More…
May 18, 2013
Reposted from Financial Times
By Geoff Dyer and Richard McGregor
When Thein Sein arrives in Washington on Monday as the first Myanmar president for almost half a century to visit the US capital, he may discover that the warm welcome also comes with a price tag.
Mr Thein Sein will meet President Barack Obama at the White House and congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, sign a number of trade agreements and be feted at a dinner at the US Chamber of Commerce.
The programme reflects Washington’s support for Myanmar’s democratic reforms after years of self-imposed isolation, as well as the US desire to make sure it can compete in the region with its geostrategic rival, China.
But Mr Thein Sein’s hosts will be looking beyond the red carpet to how Myanmar is handling the wave of competing foreign investment claims, with one early deal in particular – a contract for Yangon’s airport – in the US spotlight. More…
May 16, 2013
US President Obama in Burma
Reposted from Business Standard
Myanmar’s President Thein Sein will embark on a historic visit to America on May 20 as US President Barack Obama continues to encourage reforms in that nation while it ushers in democratic changes.
“The President looks forward to discussing with President Thein Sein the many remaining challenges to efforts to develop democracy, address communal and ethnic tensions, and bring economic opportunity to the people of his country, and to exploring how the US can help,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Thein Sein’s visit underscores Obama’s commitment to supporting and assisting those governments that make the important decision to embrace reform, and highlights the dedication of the US to helping the Burmese people realise the full potential of their extraordinary country, Carney said in a statement. More…
October 8, 2012
Reposted from The Wall Street Journal
By YOREE KOH
Japanese banks considering to offer a $900 million bridge loan for Myanmar
TOKYO—When the world’s top economic policy makers converge in Tokyo later this week, a prominent agenda item alongside the euro crisis and global slowdown will be debt relief for rapidly reforming Myanmar. More…
September 3, 2012
Reposted from IPS News
By Larry Jagan
President Thein Sein of Myanmar reshuffles cabinet
YANGON, Sep 1 2012 (IPS) – After months of speculation and rumours, President Thein Sein of Myanmar (earlier Burma) has created a “super” cabinet to try to salvage his besieged administration – riven with divisions and inertia. More…
July 12, 2012
Reposted from The White House Press Secretary
Today, the United States is easing restrictions to allow U.S. companies to responsibly do business in Burma. President Thein Sein, Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma continue to make significant progress along the path to democracy, and the government has continued to make important economic and political reforms. Easing sanctions is a strong signal of our support for reform, and will provide immediate incentives for reformers and significant benefits to the people of Burma. More…
June 21, 2012
Reposted from the Global Times
The Myanmar government, headed by President U Thein Sein, has proposed a draft five-year national development plan (2011-12 to 2015-16) which will be submitted to the next parliament session due to start on July 4 for approval.
Two annual national plans for fiscal year 2011-12 and 2012-13 have been approved earlier by the parliament, in which some sectors of the ministries have been reduced and the budgets for some sectors increased. More…