Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

China looks to secure majority stake in Myanmar port
5 May 2017 – China is looking to take a stake of up to 85 percent of strategically important sea port, Kyauk Pyu on the Bay of Bengal. China is keen to gain preferential access to the US$7.3 billion deep sea port in Myanmar as it is the entry point for a Chinese oil and gas pipeline and the port will give it an alternative route for energy imports from the Middle East bypassing the Malacca Straits. The proposal is led by China’s CITIC Group and is part of a consortium of companies.
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Large transnational consumer goods company announces joint venture in Myanmar
4 May 2017 – Unilever is entering a joint venture with Europe & Asia Commercial Ltd. in Myanmar to gain a larger market share in the country. Unilever’s President of Southeast Asia said that Myanmar is one the fastest growing and most promising markets in Southeast Asia. The two companies, which have a combined annual sales of over US$109 million, will engage in manufacturing, marketing and distribution of home and personal care products in Myanmar.
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French and Myanmar Chambers of Commerce sign MOU
8 May 2017 – Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French Myanmar Chambers of Commerce and Industry to deepen economic ties. While currently, investment by French firms in Myanmar has only accounted for 1 percent of total FDI, this figure is likely to increase rapidly. Julien Esch, President of French Myanmar CCI, said that the most promising areas for bilateral cooperation were infrastructure, hospitality and tourism, oil and gas, electricity and energy, construction, healthcare and food production. However, Esch noted that while efforts to simplify the process of doing business will lead Myanmar to becoming an investment hub in Asean there were still a lot of things to be done under the National League for Democracy in Myanmar.
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Foreign and Internal Affairs

Myanmar forges diplomatic ties with the Vatican
4 May 2017 – In a surprise move after Pope Francis met with the Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Vatican and Myanmar established full diplomatic relations. The states will each appoint full-fledged ambassadors soon. This comes after Francis issued statement, in February, criticising the treatment of the Rohingyas, saying they were being persecuted because they wanted to live their culture and Muslim faith. During her visit to the Vatican, Francis gave Suu Kyi a copy of his 2017 message for the Church’s World day of Peace, titled “Non-violence: a style of politics for peace”. Myanmar has about 700,000 Catholics according to the country’s cardinal, Charles Maung Bo.
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Malaysia still off limits for Myanmar workers
5 May 2017 – U Myo Aung, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population in Myanmar, has said that they will not allow Myanmar workers to go to Malaysia until they have received the go ahead from the Myanmar Ambassador in Malaysia. He said that they were worried about the political situation in the country and will not allow workers back into the country until things were stable. On the other hand, the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) has said that due to the five month-long suspension many job offers have expired. MOEAF have said that many Myanmar workers have gone to Malaysia illegally because of the ban and that before the ban around 3000 Myanmar workers were going to Malaysia for work every month.
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