MIC discusses nationwide extension of industrial zones

The Myanmar Investment Commission is discussing the nationwide extension of industrial zones with region and state governments and will invite new investors and developers, said Aung Naing Oo, the director-general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

The MIC has already received proposals from companies in Hong Kong and South Korea for the establishment of garment industrial zones in the country. The MIC is in talks with region and state governments over the allotment of land plots for the industrial zones.

MJN circulates petition against Aim Star Network

The Myanmar Journalist Network will file a complaint to the Myanmar Press Council over a comment made by an official from Aim Star Network Co Ltd.
In a video clip that recently went viral on social media, Aim Star Network managing director Joseph Wu [A1] said at a ceremony that media personnel from Myanmar are not professional or ethical.
“They work as media men because they have nothing to eat. There is no reason to trust them,” Wu said.
The MJN has begun to collect signatures for the petition that it will later submit to the MPC.

Hoteliers denounce requirement to rename hotels in Myanmar language

The appearance of a photo of a government directive that requires small hotels, motels and guesthouses to write their names only in Myanmar language had sparked criticism from hotel owners.
The directive from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, dated September 22, details instructions for the aforementioned establishments in Bahan Township that operate under licences from the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) to comply with the new rule by September 29 or face penalties.

Japan to invest in Myanmar health, sports sectors

The Myanmar government plans to open training school for medical professionals in Nay Pyi Taw, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency will assist Myanmar with the construction of the new school. Upon completion, the school is expected to offer courses on pathology, microbiology and biomedical engineering with Japan’s participation, and the two countries will also partner up to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Rural areas remain mobile black spots

Although the mobile penetration rate has improved this year, telecoms companies are struggling to provide services in remote areas, especially where there is unrest.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications said mobile penetration had reached about 90 per cent, although this was mostly limited to urban areas.

The firms said building masts in remote areas was hampered by adverse weather, transport problems, unreliable power supplies and conflicts.

Eight firms get all clear to open

The Myanmar Investment Commission has granted permits to eight companies, including cement and clothing manufacturers, potentially creating an estimated 4,700 jobs.

There are four foreign companies, three joint-ventures and one domestic, publicly owned company.

The four foreign companies which got the green light for the establishment of cut-make-pack (CMP) clothing factories are Timbermar Apparel Co, Ltd, Prettex Co, Ltd, Myanmode Co, Ltd and Oumi Fashion Co, Ltd.

Trade with US reaches $134m

Trade between Myanmar and US reached US$134 million by September 9 this fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

“The country’s export earnings exceeded US$76 million while imports reached US$58 million,” said Khin Maung Lwin, assistant permanent secretary from the ministry.

Bilateral trade was US$550 million in 2014-15, the ministry said.

Myanmar mainly exports agricultural produce, marine goods and industrial finished products to the US and imported largely personal goods and raw materials.

Indonesia set sign rice import deal

Myanmar is due to sign a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia to export 500,000 tonnes of rice a year until 2019, according to Ministry of Commerce.
“There is a new minister of commerce in Indonesia and it has requested to postpone the deal for the time being. We are scheduled to go to Indonesia this month to sign agreement,” said assistant secretary of the ministry Khin Maung Lwin.
About 90 per cent of rice exports currently go overland to China but the Myanmar Rice Federation is looking like to increase sales to Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan.

Minister unveils Myeik strategy

Regional firms will be given priority in a business plan to turn a new tourism page in the Myeik archipelago, Taninthayi Region, says minister for hotels and tourism Ohn Maung.

He said: "We have targeted the development of the Myeik archipelago to which rich people usually come on vacation. I will go there next month to discuss the plan with the regional government. We will include the natural resources and forestry ministers.

New Myanmar investment law is the ‘right move’

INTERNATIONAL lawyers have welcomed Myanmar’s new investment law, saying it will create a better investment environment for both local and foreign investors once enforced.

Jo Daniels, managing partner of Baker & McKenzie Myanmar, said at a media roundtable that the new law could be one of Myanmar's most significant legal reforms once approved by the parliament. While praising the move, she believes much of the benefits still hinge on the enforcement efforts of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).