Reposted from USA Today
By Chris Woodyard
It joins other companies in looking to do business in the formerly repressive nation
Ford Motor is formally announcing today that its car and truck lineup will go on sale in Myanmar, joining other American companies rushing to get a foothold in the Asian nation long treated as an international pariah.
Rather than going in directly, Ford says it will partner with a subsidiary of Myanmar-based conglomerate Capital Diamond Star Group. Ford says it will offer a full line of vehicles by the end of the year.
It joins other U.S. companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Caterpillar in coming to the nation also known as Burma that was off limits for years because of human-rights abuses tied to a repressive military junta. With reforms in place under a new government in Myanmar, the trickle could become a stampede of business wanted to tap another promising emerging market. More…
Reposted from Reuters
By Jeremy Wagstaff
(Reuters) – Cellular operator Digicel Group Ltd jumped into Myanmar early and big, hiring staff, funding local sports, negotiating land deals for thousands of cell tower sites and signing up hundreds of partners for retail outlets.
The strategy helped propel it onto the shortlist for a mobile license in one of the world’s last mobile frontiers, putting an operator that ranks 65th globally in terms of customers up against giants such as Vodafone Group Plc.
Whether its strategy pays off or not, industry insiders say, Digicel, largely unknown outside the Caribbean and some Pacific islands, has shaken up a usually conservative industry. More…
Reposted from Myanmar Business Network
The U.S. government was seeking ways and means to make investment in Myanmar, prioritizing the sectors that could bring improvement in daily of ordinary people, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis was quoted by local media as saying Saturday, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.
Addressing the meeting with students and officials of social organizations Friday, Mr. Marantis underlined that the most important point was to realize a market-oriented economic system in Myanmar and that market liberalization was the key to economic development, said the New Light of Myanmar newspaper.
He went on to say that the U.S. government would carry out economic cooperation with Myanmar and work to boost bilateral trade, according to Xinhua. More…
Reposted from The Wall Street Journal
YANGON, Myanmar–The U.S. government was seeking ways and means to make investment in Myanmar, prioritizing the sectors that could bring improvement in daily of ordinary people, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis was quoted by local media as saying Saturday, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua. More…
Reposted from eTravel Blackboard Asia
Investors are turning their attention to emerging markets in South East Asia again, on the back of robust hotel transaction volumes in Asia which hit US$620 million in Q1 2013, up 190 percent from the same period in 2012, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
“Rising visitor arrivals, robust trading performance and positive market dynamics have put emerging South East Asian markets such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar back into the investment spotlight,” Tom Oakden, Executive Vice President, Investment Sales for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels & Hospitality Group revealed at an industry event co-hosted with Ashurst.
Airlift has been the big game changer for many markets in South East Asia and upgraded infrastructure has enhanced the ease of travel and improved links to the rest of Asia. This is evident in the double digit tourism growth witnessed in Vietnam (15 percent), Cambodia (25 percent) and Myanmar (55 percent) in 2012, when compared with 2011. More…
Burmese students access the web at an Internet cafe in Yangon.
Reposted from asiancorrespondent.com
By Chan Myae Khine
Much of the news and debate surrounding Burma these days is on peace and conflict in the nation, and analysis of politics, corruption and civil war. However, issues such as technology and the Internet in Burma seem to fly under the news radar.
The Internet market in Burma is not a vibrant one, but technologists and entrepreneurs are becoming more hopeful that it is just a matter of time before the people of Burma can buy and sell online. Investors are coming to Burma in droves, but so far there is now method of online payment.
There is no online banking system in Burma, although ATMs have been available since last year. PayPal has yet to make its services available in Burma. More…
Reposted from The Nation
By WATCHARAPONG THONGRUNG
Siam Cement Group (SCG) plans to invest US$1.5 billion (more than Bt43 billion) in cement and power plants and logistics facilities in the region, especially Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia.
The group yesterday announced the restructuring of its business with the merger of its cement, building-materials and distribution arms into a new unit called SCG Cement-Building Materials.
SCG president and chief executive officer Kan Trakulhoon said the move was in line with the group’s strategy to expand its cement and building-material business into the region to cash in on the coming Asean Economic Community, as well as to promote its investment flexibility.
The regional investment includes a $400-million cement plant in Indonesia with annual capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015. More…
Reposted from Myanmar Times
By Aye Thidar Kyaw
Domestic banks are preparing for joint ventures with foreign lenders, several banks reported last week, even though they will not be allowed until the Central Bank of Myanmar is made independent.
A spokesperson at the deputy director general level of the Central Bank in Nay Pyi Taw said joint ventures would be allowed once the Central Bank Law was enacted by parliament and the bank is made autonomous. However, parliament will not sit again until late June. The spokesperson added that bank officials are already writing the rules and regulations for when the law, which was returned to parliament by the President’s Office for review, is passed by parliament.
“Our rules and regulations need to protect domestic banks but at the same time we need to open up to international banking because our banking sector has been left behind for 50 years,” he said. The Central Bank will approve foreign banks in four stages, he said: representative offices, joint ventures, subsidiaries and wholly owned branches. More…
Reposted from Myanmar Times
A man looks at notices pinned to a board outside the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration one-stop investment shop in Yankin township last week.
By Aye Thidar Kyaw
One-stop service for investors has arrived. Investors who had to grapple with red tape in five or more separate ministries can now get everything done at the new Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
DICA opened on April 10 at 1 Thitsar Road, Yankin township, Yangon.
Representatives of the ministries of agriculture and irrigation, environmental conservation and forestry, mines, industry, and fisheries and livestock will be available to discuss their various laws, rules and regulations. More…
Reposted from BSS
YANGON, April 22 (BSS/Xinhua) — Myanmar port authorities will build 14 more jetties at Yangon Port in addition to the 18 existing ones, in a bid to double the freight handling, official media reported today.
Of the 14 planned jetties under the government’s port development project, seven are to be built through joint venture and foreign aid, Transport Minister U Nyan Tun Aung was quoted by the New Light of Myanmar as saying.
U Nyan Tun Aung, in an inspection tour to the Yangon port, said Myanmar port would become crucial in Southeast Asia after the country’s Dawei Deep Seaport and Kyaukbyu Deep Seaport come into operation.
Yangon port handles 85 percent of export and import of the whole country, he disclosed, adding that the state will be responsible for 25 percent of the jetty construction, while the rest will be left to private constructors. More…