Myanmar Monitor Weekly


Source: AFP via Getty Images

Investment and Trade

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government pushes for more investment
With a refugee crisis in the country, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is implementing policies to attract more foreign investment. In an attempt to revive foreign direct investment, which fell 65 percent last year to US$3.3 billion, the government is preparing two laws which will take effect in June 2017. The first, a revamp of the companies law, will allow overseas investors to own 35 percent of equity in a local company before it is considered a foreign-owned company. Additionally, foreigners will also be allowed to buy shares on the Yangon stock exchange. The second, a new law in the works, will allow foreign companies to be eligible for tax incentives without first seeking approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission. This was announced by Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
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A push for more business between Thailand and Myanmar
Thai businesses are pushing for more ties with their peers in Myanmar in five main areas namely agriculture, border trade, energy, industrial development and tourism. At a meeting held in Yangon on 3 February, the council set up five panels to look into the challenges in each area and how to address them. Chairman of Thai-Myanmar Business Council, Panitarn Pavarolavidya, said that more port and rail development is needed in Myanmar to boost trade. He added that Thai businesses also proposed Myanmar scrap the visa requirement for Thai visitors.
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Internal Affairs

Police to be questioned over alleged crimes against Rohingyas
In response to the report by the U.N. human rights office which alleges that Myanmar’s security forces had committed mass killings, gang rapes of Rohingyas and burned Rohingya villages, the military-controlled Home Ministry, is setting up a team to investigate the police. The U.N. report stated that these actions “very likely” amount to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied the allegations of human rights abuses saying that there has been a legal counterinsurgency campaign under way in Rakhine State since nine policemen were killed in October of 2016.
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Former military officer ordered Myanmar lawyer’s assassination
The president’s office said that the murder of a Myanmar lawyer and advisor to de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was ordered by a former military officer. Aung Win Zaw asked his younger brother Aung Win Khaing to assassinate Ko Ni for a sum between 800 to 1000 lakh kyats (US$58,000 to US$73,000) late last month. Ko Ni was a vocal critic of the army’s grip on power under Myanmar’s new elected government and an important advocate for the country’s Muslim minority. He had reportedly been pushing for changes to the constitution.
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Foreign Affairs

Malaysia NGOs send aid to Rohingya in Myanmar
A Malaysian ship carrying 2,300 tonnes of food, medical aid and clothing for tens of thousands of Rohingya was allowed to dock at Thilawa port, close to Yangon, on 9 February to deliver its cargo. The ship was greeted by health workers and activists as well as Myanmar’s social welfare minister. However, there were also Buddhist monks protesting and other demonstrators who were waving national flags and signs reading: “No Rohingya” at the port. A representative from the coalition of Malaysian NGOs who organised the shipment said that they were handing over the aid in good faith. The Myanmar government will be flying the aid to Sittwe, which is nearest to the conflict zone to distribute it among both Rohingya and Buddhists.
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