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…
Reposted from Mizzima News
Myanmar is on course for a big jump in textile exports to Europe following the return of trade privileges by the European Union (EU), according to the Thailand Textile Institute.
The lifting of the ban on Myanmar under the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) would rapidly drive up Myanmar’s exports of textiles, it said. The institute did not predict the size of the increase, but said it would be significant.
Myanmar’s textile exports rose 18% last year over 2011, totalling US$946 million (27 billion baht).
The EU reinstated trade benefits to Myanmar on April 22 in the wake of democratic reforms after years under the rule of a military junta. Garments are a key industrial sector of the country. Myanmar was struck off the GSP list in 2003 to a protest against the country’s dictatorship. More…
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…
Burma is a land of treasures, such as the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon
Reposted from GT Global Trader
By Eric Jackson
When a repressive regime comes to an end, there is always optimism inside and outside the country that it will herald a bright new dawn of freedom and economic growth.
Sometimes these hopes are realised, as was the case with countries such as Panama after the fall of Manuel Noriega and his drug-running henchmen in 1989.
However, as Egypt and Libya have demonstrated, the opposite can often apply. So when, a few years ago, the military relaxed its grip on power in Burma and elections were held in which Thein Sein became president and long-term political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest, the world held its breath. More…
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…
Workers tailor and arrange clothing at a garment factory at Hlaing Taryar Industrial Zone in Rangoon.
Reposted from Irrawaddy
RANGOON — Foreign investment in Myanmar was almost five times higher in the last fiscal year than the previous year, figures published on Monday showed, and a senior investment official said much of it went into garment manufacturing.
“Local and foreign investment in Myanmar increased by five times in 2012/13,” official newspapers reported President Thein Sein as saying in a speech in Mandalay on Sunday.
“Over $1.419 billion foreign direct investment was made for 94 enterprises while local investors made 1.1 trillion kyat (US $1.3 billion) for 65 enterprises, creating a total of 82,792 job opportunities,” he said. More…
Reposted from Myanmar Business Network
The Myanmar government is prepared to relax limits on foreign ownership of breweries on a case-by-case basis, as it seeks to improve the appeal of the country to foreign investors, says a senior beer industry executive.
The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) offered four licences in January for international breweries to operate domestically.
Under the Foreign Investment Law, which the MIC oversees, each foreign brewer must enter a joint venture with a domestic company and can own a 51% majority stake in the Myanmar operation. Two of the four licences have been issued so far. More…
Reposted from RTT News
Heineken N.V. announced that it has entered into a local joint venture deal with privately-owned Alliance Brewery Company Ltd to brew and sell Heineken beers in Myanmar. Alliance Brewery Company Ltd is majority-owned by Aung Moe Kyaw, a local entrepreneur and established leader in the spirits industry.
The new joint venture company, APB Alliance Brewery Company Limited, has been approved by the Myanmar Investment Committee. APB Alliance Brewery Company will build a new greenfield brewery in the country.
As per the terms of the deal, Heineken, through its subsidiary Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, will have a controlling 57 percent stake in the new joint venture company and be responsible for overall management, providing brewing and technical expertise, procurement of ingredients and the licensing of brands. More…
Reposted from Mizzima
By Rosie Gogan-Keogh
Despite Myanmar’s comparatively low beer sales, the largely untapped industry is set to grow rapidly with four new brewery licenses offered by the government.
Speaking at the Myanmar Consumer Summit at Yangon’s Park Royal Hotel on Thursday, Myint Zaw, senior CEO of Myanmar Brewery Ltd, said, “There is huge room to grow for hard liquor and beer in Myanmar. Every year the market growth has been quite significant.”
However, expansion in the industry is limited with companies needing to invest massively in marketing, while most expand into the soft drinks market to make real gains, he said. More…
Workers installing gas pipeline near Kyaukmyaung Village of Rakhine State’s Ahn Township
Reposted from Eleven Myanmar
Myanmar is standing as leading natural gas exporter among Asian countries and tenth places in world ranking, according to statistics from natural gas export.
Myanmar signed a 30 year agreement with Thailand and has exported 640 million cubic feet of natural gas from Yatanar oil and natural gas offshore field to Thailand daily since 1998. Yatanar oil and natural gas offshore field distributes 180 million cubic feet per daily to local use.
Similarly Myanmar has exported 430 million cubic feet of natural gas from Yetagun oil and natural gas offshore field to Thailand daily. The field has been operated by Petronas Carigali Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd. and has sold natural gas to Thailand since 2001. More…