May 27, 2015

3,000 Low Cost Houses to be Built This Year

To fulfill the need for accommodation, 3,000 low-cost houses will be built in rural areas, according to an official from the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Department director U Maung Win told Myanmar Business Today that the houses will be built in 411 villages across 14 states and regions.

“This houses are not for sale and dedicated to those citizens who lost their homes because of natural disasters or fire, and they will be built by using funds from the government.”

The government will spend over K8.76 billion for the houses this year.

U Maung Win added, “The number of houses will depend on requests submitted to the officials of respective states and divisions, and will be allocated accordingly.”

The government started the housing program in 2012-13 fiscal year and is projected to spend about K14.84 billion for 5,907 houses in 953 villages over the course of the first five-year project.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Dutch Airline to Launch Direct Flight to Yangon

The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is planning to launch a direct flight between Amsterdam and Yangon early next year amid growing tourists from the Netherlands, state-run media reported.

The report quoted the Department of Civil Aviation as saying that the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands plans to fly three times a week between the Dutch capital and Myanmar’s former capital with Boeing aircrafts.

If the flight is economically viable, the airline would extend direct flight to Mandalay and Naypyitaw as well as the number of flights to Yangon, it added.

Myanmar is currently getting monetary assistance from the Netherlands for tourism development.

Foreign investment in hotel and tourism sector reached $2.15 billion as of February, according to official statistics.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Yangon’s Bus Privatisation to Go Ahead This Month

Privatisation of Yangon’s bus lines will be implemented in two phases starting from this month, a Ministry of Commerce official said.

A public company will be set up, where government will have a 40 percent stake and the rest will be offered to the public through shares – at K100,000 per share. The public will also be able to supply buses instead of money to receive shares in the company.

Dr Maung Aung, an advisor to the Ministry of Commerce and the head of the privatisation project, said, “We need to repair some roads. Bus stops and ticket centres should be built, so it will take some time to begin operations.”

The first phase will be implemented over a five-month period and cost over K25 billion, he said. The government has allotted K10 billion for implementation of this system and the public company will get K15 million in loans from private banks.

“Bus owners are invited to participate in the privatisation of Yangon’s bus lines,” Dr Maung Aung told Myanmar Business Today.

He said that the plan is necessary due to Yangonites’ dependency on the bus transport system. “Bus drivers here do not follow regulations and drive selfishly. That’s why we are founding this company, so that bus drivers will get paid on a monthly basis and may follow the regulations.”

The initial bus lines will operate on Pyay and Kabar Aye Pagoda roads, and from Shwepyithar, Hlaingtharyar, Parami, Dagon and Thilawa industrial zones. Dr Maung Aung added that buses will be stationed in Mingaladon for them to avoid entering into downtown areas.

The new bus company will order only left-hand drive vehicles and a ticket system will be adopted so that no assistant to the driver is required, Dr Maung Aung said.

U Tayote Lay, owner of No.48 bus line, said, “We are still waiting on the confirmation of the regulations and eager to see how the system will function.”

U Myo Myint, managing director of Bandoola Transport Co Ltd, said, “It is a good idea to reform the bus transport system and we welcome the initiative. Neighbouring countries have been doing this and they have been successful. This would reduce accidents and improve travel safety.”

The current bus lines will still be allowed to operate even with the new system in place, authorities said.

Currently, there are over 3,600 buses with over 360 bus lines in Yangon, transporting over 2 million passengers daily.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Bangkok Bank geared for June 2 opening

Bangkok Bank will become the fifth foreign bank to operate in Myanmar, once its branch opens doors on June 2.

The Thai bank announced yesterday that the Central Bank of Myanmar has granted it the permission to open a branch in Yangon to provide financial services to foreign-invested companies and domestic banks.

Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to receive a foreign bank branch license from Myanmar’s government.

“The new branch will play a key role in promoting and developing the local financial system to support the growth of high-potential businesses and industries, especially by connecting with Bangkok Bank’s international network to provide a full range of services to customers and investors doing business in Myanmar,” Chartsiri Sophonpanich, the bank’s president, said in a statement.

The branch will provide a full range of financial services covering deposits, business lending, trade services, transferring funds and foreign exchange services for foreign-invested companies and domestic banks in Myanmar in both foreign currencies and Myanmar Kyat.

Bangkok Bank’s Yangon branch will be headed by Kanet Buranasin, now a senior vice president of the bank. The branch’s marketing manager will be Tossatis Rodprasert, now an assistant vice president of the Thai bank.

A total of nine international banks were awarded banking licences on October 2014, allowed to operate limited banking services in the country for the first time in decades.

Before Bangkok Bank, four banks have opened their branches.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) and Sumitomo opened their branches in the last week of April. United Overseas Bank Group (UOB)’s branch was opened in May but became the first to offer onshore financing to Rangoon Excelsior Co Ltd, a hospitality company.

The other four banks are expected to open their branches later. The Central Bank of Myanmar requires all nine banks to open branches within a year after the licences were awarded.

All the foreign banks target to offer services mainly to foreign companies which are pouring investment into the country.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year, Myanmar targets foreign direct investment of US$6 billion, with confidence that the target will be surpassed.

In the previous fiscal year, FDI into Myanmar reached $8.01 billion though the target was only $5 billion, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media

Japan to help Myanmar lanuch new postal services

Japan agreed Tuesday to help Myanmar launch new postal services in the hope of making its postal system more convenient for users.

Based on a memorandum signed Tuesday, Japan will support Myanmar in introducing money transfer services at its post offices and other services using information-communication technology, officials of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

The two countries signed the first memorandum on postal business in April last year, enabling Japan to start offering its technical expertise to Myanmar by sending experts from Japan Post Co.

The move has helped Myanmar improve over-the-counter services at its post offices and shorten the period of postal delivery, according to the ministry.

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi said she expects the postal-related business in Myanmar to provide "a lot of business chances" to Japanese companies.

Source: Bangkok Post

May 23, 2015

Ministry of Energy: Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise invites Expression of Interest for JV project of laboratory services for petroleum and petrochemical products

For more information, please contact evi@myanmar-business.org

Ministry of Energy: Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise invites for Letter of Expression of Interest for JV Project to construct LPG Terminal and Supply Chain of LPG Business

The scope of business shall include the construction of new LPG terminal (i.e storage tanks, jetty, etc.) on available land area in No.1 Refinery (Thanlyin) and the supply chain of LPG business of importation, storage, wholesale distribution and marketing.

More more information on the opportunity, please contact evi@myanmar-business.org

 
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