Southeast Asia

Foreign firms in Vietnam complain about deteriorating business climate, consider quitting 0

Vietnam InvestorsSource: Thanh Nien News

Many foreign firms plan to pull out or scale down business in Vietnam and go to other countries with better business environments, the Foreign Business Association said.

News website Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon (Saigon Economic Times) reported the association and investors as telling Ho Chi Minh City leaders at an investment conference on August 30 that too many changes in regulations cause difficulties for them. More…

Vietnam would take slower, wiser steps in attracting FDI 0

Vietnam's economy expanded 4 percent in the first quarter, the slowest pace since 2009Source: Viet Nam Net

The head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, when admitting that Vietnam has lagged behind the neighboring countries in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), has reassured the public that Vietnam has become “wiser” in licensing foreign invested projects.

“We have become wiser with stricter regulations, which can explain why the gap between the registered FDI capital and the implemented capital has been narrowed,” Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, said, citing the figure about the disbursement in the first 7 months of the year. More…

Laos tourism can only benefit from talks with Thailand 0

Laos TubingLaos is continuing with its drive to increase trade both within and without the Southeast Asian region. In recent years great strides have been made to increase the commercial growth of this country, once seen as the poor relation in the area. Laos is now trading blows with its partners on a more equal footing.

In the latest move, the country’s neighbor Thailand has begun talks on a plan to double bilateral trade to US$8 billion by 2015 from its figure of $4 billion in 2011. The move has been greeted with optimism in both countries. More…

Laos Economy Is Set For Boom Years Ahead As Increased Infrastructure Helps Expand Trade And Tourism 0

A monk listens to music at a temple in Luang Prabang.

A monk listens to music at a temple in Luang Prabang.

Reposted from the International Business Times
By Sophie Song

Laos, the third poorest country in Southeast Asia after Myanmar and Cambodia, is intent on catching up with its wealthier neighbors as infrastructure develops in the region, facilitating trade with Thailand and China, attracting foreign investment and boosting the country’s tourism industry.

For years, Laos, a landlocked country with a population of 7 million, lagged behind in economic development as its export-driven neighbors benefited from coastlines and their harbors flourished. More…

Myanmar set for stock exchange 0

xnew-york-stock-exchange_720_450.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3EeRe4499vReposted 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…

GM enters Myanmar market 0

Seen in the photo are Zaw Moe Khine, chairman and CEO of Pacific Alpine; Albert Pang, managing director of Pacific Alpine; and Martin Apfel, president of GM Southeast Asia Operations.

Seen in the photo are Zaw Moe Khine, chairman and CEO of Pacific Alpine; Albert Pang, managing director of Pacific Alpine; and Martin Apfel, president of GM Southeast Asia Operations.

Reposted from The Nation

General Motors becomes the first American car maker to make an inroad into Myanmar, with the plan to open the first showroom in the fourth quarter of 2013.

In a statement released today, General Motors Southeast Asia Operations recently signed a letter of intent with Pacific Alpine Pte. Ltd., for the distribution, sale and service of Chevrolet vehicles in Myanmar. Chevrolet models will be sourced from GM manufacturing facilities around the world to meet the specific requirements of Myanmar consumers. More…

How Myanmar Liberates Asia 0

Myanmar's rapid liberalization will improve geopolitics in Asia

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…

Myanmar’s Infrastructure, Following Its Economy, To Be Developed Rapidly – 80% Mobile Penetration In 3 Years 0

Vehicles drive past an advertising board of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), one of the bidders for the telecommunications licenses, in Yangon.

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…

Asia’s Last Economic Frontier Needs Hundreds of Billions of Dollars 0

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.

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…

Myanmar: Tales from the last business frontier 0

Coke-Myanmar-citizenReposted 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…

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