Myanmar’s policies need to be clear to improve business confidence: survey

DESPITE EXPECTATIONS for the business landscape to improve, Myanmar still lacks transparent economic policies that urgently need to be set in every sector, according to a recent business-confidence survey conducted by Roland Berger, an international consultancy firm that has been working in the country since 2013.

Kyat sinks to record low

The kyat has sunk to an all-time low of Ks1,376 per dollar, partly due to next year's car import policy, a currency exchange source says.

“The US dollar closed at Ks1,363 yesterday. This morning it opened at Ks1,368 and reached Ks1,376 at about 2pm. Dollars are partly in demand to import cars. The export rate is Ks1,385,” a foreign exchange specialist on Bo Aung Kyaw Road said.

MIC to prioritise needy townships

Under the new Myanmar Investment Law, investment promotion plans will identify zones 1, 2 and 3 to prioritise the townships most in need, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration under the Ministry of Planning and Finance. 

For income tax exemption under the new law, underdeveloped regions are designated as zone 1, the regions with moderate development zone 2 and developed regions zone 3. 

The price of USD reaches Ks 1363

The US dollar has dramatically increased against the Myanmar kyat selling at Ks 1,363 per USD as of December 6, said a source from a private currency exchange business.

Foreign exchange rates have been going up since December 3. On the morning of December 6, the US Dollar Index was 99.96 points and reached 100.09 points by evening.

The price of the US dollar shrank in the world market, but it became stronger against the Myanmar kyat. By November 10, the price of the US dollar reached a record high within nine years.

Visa bullish on nationwide growth in Myanmar

S ONLY 0.5 per cent of the population has access to electronic payments so far, Visa Inc, the global payments firm, sees a lot of room for improvement in Myanmar.

Arturo Planell, Visa country manager for Myanmar, said at a press conference last week that the number of Visa cards in the country had increased by 80 per cent last year, and he expected the growth to continue this year.

He declined to reveal the exact number of Visa cards in Myanmar, due to business confidentiality.

Yangon master plan to be finalised this month

THE MASTER plan for Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial hub, is scheduled to be unveiled by the end of this year, according to Phyo Min Thein, Yangon region chief minister.

Phyo Min Thein said at Vice President Myint Swe’s meeting with Myanmar businesses last week that the plan would consist of building a new deep-sea port, a new economic zone, the New Yangon project, and a variety of residential housing – low-cost, mid-range, and high-standard.