Yangon ports implement round-the-clock clearance

FROM last Thursday, customs clearance became available round the clock at all ports in Yangon, but it has come at a cost.

It was announced last week that customs clearance for outbound and inbound shipments would be available 24 hours at all ports in Myanmar, including Yangon Port that is run by Myanmar Port Authority, and all the other ports in Yangon - 2 Asia World ports, Myanmar Industrial Port, Myanmar Integrated Port Ltd, and Thilawa Port.

Previously, clearance was available from 9am to 6pm, leading to congestion.

Online import-export licence system coming in June

The commerce ministry will introduce an online import-export licence application system for around 50 commodities on June 7, said ministry deputy director Myo Khaing Win yesterday at a workshop on the “fully online licence system” at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

“We will launch it on June 7. Farm products and construction materials will be the main commodities on the list. In addition, the list covers some personal goods and CMP products,” he said.

Yangon govt seeks to draw people to circular trains

In an attempt to encourage commuters to use circular trains, Myanma Railways will upgrade the circular train system in Yangon, according to Nilar Kyaw from the Yangon Region department of electricity, industry and transportation.

Responding to a proposal to rapidly solve traffic jam problems in Yangon at the second regular session of Yangon Region parliament on May 26, Nilar Kyaw said around 70,000 commuters use circular trains daily. This accounts for one per cent of the total population of Yangon.

International firms invest in Thilawa SEZ

Foreign investors, including the US, Australia and France, are making investments in Yangon’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone through Japan and Singapore.

Zone (A) of the Thilawa SEZ was developed on 211 hectares, and businesses are already up and running there. Myanmar and Japan agreed to develop another 500 hectares as Zone (B) on September 23 last year. The zone will be ready for businesses to open by the end of this year, according to Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development Ltd.

Rice exporters look to Indonesia and Korea

To increase rice exports, Myanmar is looking to Indonesia and South Korea, says Khin Maung Lwin, the assistant secretary at the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar exports 90 per cent of its rice overland, mostly to China, with a bulk of sea exports going to Africa. 

More than US$20 million was earned from rice exports this financial year until May 13, according to the ministry. 

Tax cuts offered for investment in poor states

The Department of Investment and Company Administration says it will give special rights, such as tax exemption, to investors in less developed regions like Rakhine, Chin and Kayah states.

Director-general Aung Naing Oo said the Myanmar Investment Bill, which is being drafted to merge the Foreign Investment Law with the Myanmar Citizens Law, would include incentives.

Dollar rise drives inflation

The rising value of the US dollar is increasing the price of imports, jeopardising agricultural loans and forcing up inflation.

Economist Than Soe said: “Prices for all imported goods have gone up. We mainly rely on imports. Basic commodity prices have increased. Some people are trying to speculate against the kyat as the central bank may circulate new bank notes.”

Rakhine demands new ferries

The residents of Rakhine State are demanding ferry services resume to southern districts along the coast and replace the 20-year-old boats, sources say.

The sinking of Aungtakhon Mark 2 that killed over 160 people in March 2015 caused state-owned boats to halt operations. Residents have struggled with transport since and demand the government resumes services.

The hovercraft are too expensive for most residents.