Myanmar Monitor


Photo credit: Phoe Khwar

Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar stands to benefit from US-China trade war
(21 June 2018) According to Myanmar’s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), many Chinese companies have stated interest to open manufacturing and production facilities in Myanmar after the United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on up to US$50 billion products from China on 15 June 2018. Chinese companies plan to set its facilities in Thilawa Special Economic Zone, which provides power and transport infrastructure for ease of doing business. DICA is ready to respond to these queries as it is a good opportunity for the country to bring in foreign direct investments (FDI). Thilawa SEZ Management Committee is hoping that this move will see a transfer in technological expertise to local entities. Out of 94 firms, there is only one Chinese company in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone. China’s’ is one of the largest investors in Myanmar, with over US$20 billion worth of investments in the last 30 years.
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Myanmar exports products worth US$2.4 billion in April and May 2018
(15 June 2018) Myanmar exported US$2.4 billion worth of products in April and May 2018 and of that amount, Myanmar obtained US$538 million from Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment exports and US$433 million from natural gas. This is higher compared to the same period in 2017, with Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment recording US$277 million while natural gas was at US$254 million. In the 2012-2013 financial year, CMP garment export was at US$1 billion but in the 2017-2018 financial year, it reached US$3 billion. As for natural gas, export recorded an increase due to rise in natural gas price. Myanmar also imported US$3.4 billion worth of products in April and May in this fiscal year. The total trade volume for this period is US$5.8 billion.
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China stops rice imports from Muse due to the freezing of bank accounts
(16 June 2018) Chinese merchants have stopped its rice imports from the China-Myanmar border due to the freezing of merchants’ bank accounts. Also, remittance services have been shelved since 12 June 2018 due to issues related to money transfer. According to Myanmar Rice Federation, the country’s rice export has declined since April and May 2018 due to cuts made by China to its Minimum Support Price (MSP). To address the matter, Myanmar’s Commerce Ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Yunnan’s provincial government to export rice, sugar, maize and other agriculture-based products to China in June. Under the MoU also, Myanmar will import farm utensils, steel, and electronics, equivalent to the export volume from China.
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Traders allowed to register for customs exemption under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)
(19 June 2018) The Ministry of Commerce issued regulations that allow traders, who register its Registered Exporter System to be exempted from customs under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) with the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. However, only traders without any criminal record and those able to verify the origins of the exported goods are qualified for the application. The GSP is a US trade program aimed to encourage economic growth in developing countries through the favoured duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 elected beneficiary countries and regions.
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Foreign Affairs

The European Union (EU) urges Myanmar government to investigate sexual violence cases in three states
(20 June 2018) The European Union (EU) has asked the Myanmar government to investigate alleged cases of sexual violence in Kachin, northern Shan, and Rakhine, as armed conflicts in these states have intensified. The EU urged the government to investigate the cases and also ensure there is accountability in the country. The appeal was made as the world commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. EU said it is the duty of all countries to assist victims and hold those responsible into account. The three states have seen cases of human rights abuse and violence in 2018 forcing people to flee their homes for safety.
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