Myanmar Monitor


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Economy, Investment and Trade

JICA lends over US$40 million to SMEs between 2015 and 2017
(10 January 2018) According to the Myanmar government Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has loaned over K60 billion (US$44.4 million) between 2015 to 2017 to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country. JICA lent to SMEs through the Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank, Myanma Apex Bank, Myanmar Citizen Bank, Co-operative Bank, Kanbawza Bank and AYA Bank.The JICA SME loan is preferred by SMEs because it only demands an 8.5 percent interest rate compared to 13 percent interest rate offered on commercial loans by other banks.
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Real estate agents see positive prospects for property market
(9 January 2018) Real estate agents are saying the prospects for the Myanmar property market are positive for 2018. Their optimism is based on two factors – the implementation in late 2017 of the Condominium Law and a rise in the number of housing loans. The new Law allowed foreigners to develop property, subject to approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission and they will also be able to pre-sell before completion of the property. Property market players are expecting more foreigners to take advantage of the new rules in 2018.
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Telecommunications sector will continue to grow in 2018
(10 January 2018) Aung Naing Oo, secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) said that the country saw the largest investment in its communications sector in 2017 and 2018 will continue to see encouraging investment in telecommunications and communication services. “The telecommunications sector is improving continuously. It is value added, of course. More telecommunications services will come this year’ he said. However he added that due to incidents in Rakhine State the country expects to see less investment from Western countries this year.
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Internal affairs

Government plans change in leadership for states and regions
(9 January 2018) Monywa Aung Shin, secretary of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) Central Information Committee, said that the government is likely to replace some of its state and region ministers and chief ministers starting as soon as next week. This comes after announcements of coming structural reforms within the party ahead of the 2020 elections and calls for the government to replace key posts in order to improve its performance. NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win has previously said that NLD would carry out reforms based on the lessons learned from its mistakes over the past two years.
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Peace dialogues postponed again
(9 January 2018) The government and ethnic leaders postponed a Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee meeting this month, where stakeholders would discuss setting a date for the upcoming session of the Union Peace Conference (UPC), partly due to the suspension of the Shan national-level political dialogue. The Myanmar Army is said to have obstructed the consultations of the dialogue in the Shan state. The UPC is the national level platform for the peace talks which takes into account the feedback from consultation and dialogues at the state level.
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