Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

DICA rejects criticism on delay in new companies law
(18 December 2017) The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) has rejected criticism of an eight-month preparation period to implement a major law reform. The new legislation combines elements of the 1914 Companies Act and the 1950 Special Companies Act and significantly eases restriction on foreign business activities allowing any Myanmar company to have up to 35 percent foreign ownership while retaining its status as a domestic entity. The Asian Development Bank which supports the change in the law emphasised that smooth implementation is crucial. Under previous legislation, companies with even a single foreign-held share were regarded as foreign and subject to a range of restrictions.
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Myanmar rice exports reach a record high
(19 December 2017) Demand for production of rice in Myanmar has risen to its highest level in 50 years. The rise in exports is due to a higher demand from African countries and government-to-government facilitated agreements between Myanmar and Sri Lanka as well as Bangladesh. Dr. Aung Thu, Myanmar Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, said that the country has exported over 2 million tonnes of rice worth US$600 million in the first 8 months of the current fiscal year.
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Hotel and tourism sector in Myanmar attract local investments
(17 December 2017) Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) mentioned that at the end of November 2017, a total of 115 local investments worth over US$686 million (934 billion kyat) took place in the hotel and tourism sector. This sector stood at number four, garnering 9.52 percent of all local investment. Foreign investment in the hotel and tourism sector stands sixth among sectors at 4.01 per cent. The government has made the tourism sector an investment priority as it has the potential to create jobs and bring in foreign currency.
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Mobile money service gain attention in Myanmar
(14 December 2017) The use of mobile money services offered by telecommunications operators has been increasing throughout Myanmar. These digital money transfer services do not require bank accounts to move cash from senders to receivers. The two leading telecommunication operators in Myanmar, Telenor and Ooredoo have been providing their mobile money services in the country. Telenor’s Wave Money service is available in 265 townships with 13,800 Wave Money shops, while Ooredoo’s M-Pitesan service is available in 55 cities with 3000 Wave Money shops.
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Myanmar to become a member of Asian Payment Network
(19 December 2017) Myanmar will become a member of the Asian Payment Network (APN). U Mya Than, Non-Executive Director and Former Chair Person of Myanmar Payment Network (MPU), said as a member of APN, Myanmar will have more opportunities to utilise the network’s card system for payment involving cross-border trade between Asian countries. The MPU was established in 2011 and aims to transform Myanmar from a cash-based to cashless society by harnessing an inter-bank electronic payment network among member banks.
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