Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar to take advantage of its strategic location to build maritime hub
(10 July 2017) Myanmar plans to take advantage of its strategic location between China and India to become a maritime hub in Asia. At the 15th ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference in 2017, Myanmar Deputy Minister of Transport of Communications Kaw Myo said the nation’s transport infrastructure will be improved through regional and international cooperation. Managing Director of Myanmar Port Authority (MPA) Ni Aung said maritime trade is vital to boost Myanmar’s economy. Myanmar currently has nine ports catering mainly to seaborne and coastal areas.Yangon handles 95% of maritime import and export cargo from trade with 10 countries including ASEAN nations and China.
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Myanmar tycoon says Aung San Suu Kyi has neglected economy
(6 July 2017) One of Asia’s wealthiest man, Serge Pun, has commented that Aung San Suu Kyi has neglected Myanmar’s economy and much needed economic reforms. Myanmar’s economic growth is still strong, though it has weakened since Suu Kyi took power. Meanwhile, foreign direct investment has plummeted and GDP growth also fell to 6.3% in the past year. Suu Kyi has been focusing on Myanmar’s peace process but according to Pun, the government needs to realise the importance of a vibrant economy because without it, peace may not be sustainable.
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Myanmar to call for consultations for new ports
(8 July 2017) The Myanmar government will open consultations with regional authorities to initiate six new inland water port terminals, four on Ayeyarwaddy River and two on Chindwin River. Union Minister of Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung said the ports are important to transform Myanmar’s economy, which in turn will enhance regional development, create job opportunities and provide sustainable economic growth by easing the transportation of goods and people within Myanmar.
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Foreign & internal affairs

US urges Myanmar to allow UN fact-finding mission
(11 July 2017) The United States urged Myanmar to allow a United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate the allegations of killings rape and torture by authorities against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state. In March, the de facto leader of Myanmar’s civilian government Aung San Suu Kyi rejected the allegations of abuse, opposed the mission established by Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council and, on 30 June, a Myanmar official refused entry to the U.N. investigators. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called for the international community to stand together and urge the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the fact-finding mission.
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Government implements asset disclosure for senior public servants
(11 July 2017) The Myanmar government initiated steps to curb corruption and improve civil service efficiency by enforcing senior officers to disclose their assets. The Civil Service Reform (CSR) strategic action plan, contains initiatives to improve government efficiency through training, having effective whistle blowing mechanisms and introducing new technologies to minimise opportunities for bribes. State Chancellor Aung San Suu Kyi said the civil servants have a responsibility to report to higher authorities and ministers if bribery is suspected. UNDP Country Director Peter Batchelor added that the Anti-Corruption Commission’s mandate and the Official Secret Act will both be reviewed to ensure effectiveness.
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