Myanmar Monitor


Photo credit: The Myanmar Times

Economy, Investment and Trade

Foreigners can now invest in Myanmar’s private education sector
(23 April 2018) The Notification 7/2018 issued by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) on 20 April 2018 has given the permission to foreign investors to make full capital investments in Myanmar’s private schools. Foreigners can now fully own and run private schools with a teaching curriculum provided by the Myanmar Ministry of Education (MOE) or an international curriculum syllabus. International service providers can now pump in investments in basic education schools, technical, vocational and training schools, higher education institutions, subject-based schools and private schools appointed by the MOE. According to Myanmar Teachers Federation (MTF), as there are no effective educational laws in the country yet, Myanmar education law should be revised to incorporate rules on the new foreign private investment. Currently, private education in Myanmar is governed by the 2011 Private School Registration Act.
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Myanmar to establish new industrial zone for Korean companies
(25 April 2018) To draw further foreign direct investments (FDI) into Myanmar, the country’s Minister of Commerce has welcomed South Korea to set up industrial zones in the country. The Myanmar-Korea industrial zone’s focus will be to set up an automotive hub to manufacture and assemble Korean vehicles for export purposes. The new Myanmar – Korea industrial zone project is expected to be completed by 2025 and will attract investments of up to US$200 million. Korea is the sixth largest foreign investor in Myanmar and according to official government statistics, South Korea’s total investments in Myanmar between 1988 and December 2017 amounted to US$ 3.8 billion. Currently, The Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH), in partnership with the Ministry of Construction, is already building a $120 million, 2.4 square metre industrial complex in Hmawbi township and there are six Korean companies that have set up their factories at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
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Myanmar government to fund telecommunications in rural areas via tax collection

(24 April 2018) Myanmar government will be raising funds from a tax on telecommunications operators to expand the country’s telecommunication network to remote areas that do not have coverage beginning June 2018. The Telecommunications Law, section 54 states that the Ministry of Transport and Communications can establish and supervise a Universal Service Fund to fulfil basic telecommunication services in the public interest in any location by implementing universal service plans. The ministry has targeted for 94 percent communication coverage for the population by the first quarter of 2019 and then further increase to 99 percent through the Universal Service Fund. Myanmar’s Department of Post and Telecommunication expects the Universal Service Fund to collect 2 percent from operators income. Currently, nearly 90 percent of the country’s population has access to telecommunication networks.
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Myanmar and Vietnam set target to increase bilateral trade by 2020

(24 April 2018) Myanmar and Vietnam have negotiated to raise bilateral trade exceeding US$1 billion in trading value by 2020. Currently, Vietnam is the ninth largest trading partner to Myanmar and according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), bilateral trade between Myanmar and Vietnam has reached US$830 million in the fiscal year of 2017-18, representing a 50 percent increase from the previous year. In addition to that, a memorandum of understanding has been inked between MOC and the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to raise exports of Myanmar agricultural product to Vietnam. Under the MOU, Vietnam will now buy Myanmar’s beans and pulses, rubber and corn.
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Yangon looks to Foreign investors to develop New Yangon City project
(24 April 2018) The Yangon Region Government is now courting foreign direct investments to develop the New Yangon City project. Encompassing Phase 1 and Phase 2, the total area of New Yangon City will cover 1,500 square kilometre, by which the infrastructure works related to Phase 1 of the New Yangon City project are expected to exceed US$1.5 billion. There have been proposals to construct two bridges, new roads in the city and a request to lease over 2,000 acres of land for development within the new city. When complete, the new city will help sustain Yangon’s growing population and solve important issues such as employment and housing. On 31 March 2018, the Yangon government launched the New Yangon Development Company (NYDC) to develop the project. Development will be based on the Public-Private Partnership model, with businesses contributing in equity investments. The project planners aim to rival the likes of China’s Shenzhen, South Korea’s Incheon and Malaysia’s Iskandar.
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