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Old July 10th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #61
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Apartment Rent in Rangoon Doubles

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By NAYEE LIN LATT


Many apartment rental rates in Rangoon have doubled in recent months, a result of the destruction or closing of dangerous buildings and the new Strand Road project.

An official at the Rangoon City Development Committee said 25 buildings in different townships—seven in Pabedan, six in Latha, four in Botahtaung and eight in Tarmway—will be remodeled or destroyed. Work on five building in Pabedan Township has already begun, he said.


People living in those buildings were asked to move out and many have been searching for new apartments in nearby areas, said a real estate agent.

“The rent for a ground floor apartment on No. 34 street was 60,000-70,000 kyat (US $62-72) before, but it has jumped to more than 100,000 kyat ($104),” he said. “For those who have shops in their apartments, they have to look for places nearby to
maintain control of their business.”

Popular areas where people are searching for apartments include Seik Kan, Pabedan, Latha, Botahtaung and Kyauktada townships.

Residents in Rangoon said that even though it is low season now for the real estate market, the market is tight because many more people will have to move out from soon-to-be demolished buildings.

“The rent for apartments near Pabedan electric market has doubled,” said a salesperson in an electronics store. “Those who have to rent a new apartment nearby their old building have no choice but to pay, no matter how expensive the rent will be. Brokers' fees have also increased.”

In the meantime, many people in downtown Rangoon who don't have businesses to maintain are being forced to move to the suburbs because they can't afford the new rates.

Rental rates in North Dagon Township and Yuzana Garden City are 30,000-40,000 kyat (US $31-41) for a ground floor unit and about 20,000 ($20) kyat for a first or second floor apartment.

“The building I am in will be demolished under the new strand road project,” said a woman living in the Botahtaung navy compound. “I have looked for a new place, but the rent is too high for us, a civil-servant family. The rent for even the highest floor is about 40,000 kyat, and we would have to sign a six- month or one year contract. We will move to the suburbs.”

Because of the road project work in the area, rental rates in Botahtaung, Seik Kan, Ahlone and Kyeemyindaing townships have increased around 20,000 kyat ($20), she said.


http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=18896
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:30 AM   #62
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Myanmar ripe for Vietnam foray:experts
Quote:
Tea is one of several products that Vietnam can export to Myanmar, and gain early inroads into the market, experts have said.

Now is a good time for Vietnamese companies to start exporting to and investing in Myanmar as the closed economy has a huge demand for consumer goods, experts say.

When Myanmar’s economy is officially open, it will be difficult to enter the market because of tough competition, the Vietnam Economic Times on Thursday cited experts as saying.

Vietnam's ambassador to Myanmar, Chu Cong Phung, said that with local production able to meet just 10 percent of demand, Myanmar has to depend heavily on imported goods. Vietnamese products have many opportunities to enter this market, he said.

According to the customs department, trade between Vietnam and Myanmar reached US$93 million last year, down 14.1 percent compared to 2008. Vietnam was the 14th largest exporter to Myanmar and main shipments were steel, drugs, medical equipment, production materials and cosmetics.

Bilateral trade recovered this year, reaching $70 million in the first five months, double that of the same period last year.

As importers in Myanmar are also exporters, they will not have problem making and receiving payments, Phung said. But since the economy is still closed, prices in Myanmar are lower than in the global market, he noted.

Vietnam has invested $173 million in 20 projects in Myanmar, much higher than the $30 million recorded prior to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Myanmar this April.

Experts said despite the potential, Vietnamese investors should pay attention to certain difficulties in Myanmar including a highly bureaucratic economic system based on subsidies and the lack of a banking system to support payments.

Hoang Huy Ha, of the Bank for Investment and Development said his bank will open a branch in Myanmar soon with a capital of $200 million to facilitate trading between the two countries.
http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pa...715173928.aspx
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:29 AM   #63
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PTTEP to sign gas deal with Burma

Bangkokpost Published: 29/07/2010 at 01:16 PM


PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) will on Friday sign an agreement to purchase natural gas from M9 or Zawtika Field with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the national oil firm of Burma, Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said on Thursday.

Mr Wannarat said he will visit Burma tomorrow to witness the signing of the deal.

“This is a good news for Thailand as PTTEP has ssuceeded in finding an overseas energy source to ensure energy security for the country,” the minister said.

The M9 field has an estimated total natural gas reserve of 1.4 trillion cubic meters. MOGE will supply 240 million cubic metres a day to Thailand and another 60 million for domestic sales, according to Mr Wannarat.

Under the 30-year agreement, MOGE will start supplying natural gas to PTTEP in 2013.

He said the gas pact will ensure sufficient natural gas for the production of electricity for domestic use and for vehicles running on natural gas.

The natural gas to be supplied by the Burmese state firm would help reduce imports of bunker oil by about 2.4 billion litres a year and save the country about 400 billion baht annually, he said.

This deal would also lengthen the Trans-Asean gas pipeline from the current 2,800km to 3,020km and help ensure energy security in the Asean region, Mr Wannarat said.

stolen from Napoleon

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Old August 3rd, 2010, 09:12 AM   #64
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Laos, Burma links approved

Bangkokpost Published: 3/08/2010 at 12:00 AM


The Thai government approved infrastructure investment projects yesterday in Laos and Burma worth a combined 4.2 billion baht.

The first project is the two-lane R11 Lao road construction linking Baan Thad Thong of Nong Khai province with Baan Namsang of Saengthong city in Laos covering 56 kilometres. This project is valued 1.39 billion baht with construction from 2011-2014.

Tharadol Piempongsan, deputy secretary to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said the road will be built along the Khong River in Laos to enhance tourism between the countries.

The second project is an extension of 7.5 km of railway from Tha Nalaeng in Laos to Vientiane worth 1.65 billion baht. Rail already links Thailand's Nong Khai province with Tha Nalaeng. The extension is planned for construction from 2011 to 2014. This project will benefit tourism and transportation between the two countries.

Mr Tharadol said the Thai government will grant 30% of the amount required for these projects with the remainder allocated through soft loans carrying an annual lending rate of 1.5% for 30 years.

In a related development, a committee to develop economic co-operation in neighbouring countries chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Trairong Suwankhiri agreed yesterday to grant 1.16 billion baht to improve the existing 18-km road from Myawaddy-Tanintharyi and build a new 28.6-km road from Tanintharyi to Kaukarek district in Pa-an, the capital of Kayin State. These projects will take place from 2011-2013.

Mr Tharadol said the project will boost border trade between Thailand and Burma, particularly through the Mae Sot border checkpoint that generated trade of 25 billion baht last year.

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...294511&page=32

from thai forum posted by napoleon
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Old August 18th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #65
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Chinese FDI tops $8bn in Myanmar this year
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 15:00 Tom Keane and Khaw Thu .

Myanmar recorded more than US$8 billion in new foreign direct investment from China in May 2010, official figures showed, boosting total contracted FDI since 1988 by more than 50 percent.

The $8.173 billion was spread across four projects in the oil and gas, electric power and mining sectors. Mainland China inked two power investments, while Hong Kong signed contracts for mining as well as oil and gas, figures from Myanmar’s central statistical organisation show.

The projects are believed to include two hydropower dams in Kachin State, valued collectively at $5.03 billion, China National Petroleum Corporation’s oil and gas pipeline connecting Rakhine State in western Myanmar to China’s Yunnan province ($2.146 billion) and Norinco’s planned development of the Letpadaung copper deposit near Monywa ($997 million).

All are essentially mainland Chinese companies.

The new investments reflect China’s increasing influence in Myanmar, particularly in major projects in the energy sector.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You need energy to drive an economy. This has made China move pre-emptively and acquire energy resources before other countries.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dr Maung Aung, a senior researcher at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said he expected China to overtake Thailand as the largest foreign investor in Myanmar “in the near future”.

Though Thailand still tops investors, with $7.447 billion spread across 60 projects, mainland China ($6.364 billion, 31 projects) and Hong Kong ($3.653 billion, 34 projects) have a larger combined total – in excess of $10 billion. Little more than four years ago, China had officially invested just $194.22 million in Myanmar.

The UK (mainly through the British Virgin Islands) and Singapore lag well behind at $1.81 billion and $1.6 billion respectively.

U Min Win Myint Aung, former director general at the ministry of electric power, said China’s booming economy had forced Beijing in recent years to secure energy resources outside of its borders.

“You need energy to drive an economy. This has made China move pre-emptively and acquire energy resources before other countries,” he said.

“As Myanmar is rich in energy resources and close to China, Chinese companies are investing in energy projects to import power to China”, particularly in Kachin and Shan states.

The new investment increased total FDI by more than 50 percent to more than $24.1 billion. Prior to May 2010, foreign companies had signed contracts worth $16 billion with the Myanmar investment commission since the current foreign direct investment law was introduced in 1988.

However, a significant proportion of those investments have yet to be completed, or in some cases started. Both the Tasang and Hutgyi hydro-
power projects, which will see Thai and Chinese companies dam the Than Lwin River, have only recently gotten under way despite the contracts being signed in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

However, most of China’s major investments in Myanmar are made by state-run companies, and immediate profits are not necessarily a high priority.

Derek Tonkin, chairman of NetworkMyanmar, said he expected the investment to be realised.

“I have no reason to doubt that the bulk of the investment contracted by Chinese state companies will be realised.

“The record of Asian private companies is less encouraging – it is suspected that some investment permits are acquired by promoters whose sole intention is to sell the investment on at a profit, such as by investing through an offshore company whose shares can be sold to anyone anywhere while the corporate entity ... remains the same,” he said

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.p...this-year.html
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Old August 21st, 2010, 11:14 AM   #66
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E.Timor seeks 'strong' commercial ties with Myanmar
(AFP) – 20 hours ago


DILI — East Timor's president said Friday his country is seeking to improve relations with Myanmar, including commercial ties.

"We want to increase our relations," President Jose Ramos-Horta said after meeting Myanmar's foreign minister during a visit that drew protests over human rights abuses in military-ruled Myanmar.

"This is in accordance with Timor-Leste policy, which aims to improve relations with neighbouring countries," Ramos-Horta said, referring to his country by its official name.

"And in order to improve commercial ties, Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Zacarias Da Costa will visit Myanmar with a business representative soon. The aim is to start a strong commercial relationship with Myanmar," he said.

Ramos-Horta said East Timor had also urged Myanmar's military regime to open a dialogue with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"Timor-Leste's position, and also that of the international community and ASEAN, is that if the dialogue occurs, then it should aim to free her to become a regular citizen," he said.

The visit by Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win was marked by protests, with clashes breaking out between police and human rights activists demanding Suu Kyi's release.

Dozens of protesters gathered at Dili airport as Nyan Win arrived Friday to meet with Ramos-Horta and other senior officials, protest organisers said.

Scuffles broke out as police seized banners and other written material condemning human rights abuses in Myanmar, where Nobel laureate and democracy leader Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for years.

"We are here to bring support to our friends in Burma in their struggle to release political prisoners and to stop continuous human rights violations there," rally coordinator Carolino Marques said, using Myanmar's old name.

"Aung San Suu Kyi must be released immediately and the military junta must be toppled as soon as possible."

A tightly controlled election scheduled in Myanmar on November 7 has been been condemned by activists and the West as a sham aimed at cementing decades of military rule.

Suu Kyi, who has spent much of the past 20 years in detention, is barred as a serving prisoner from standing in the election.

Her National League for Democracy -- which won the last election in 1990 but was not allowed to take power -- it is boycotting the vote.

Nyan Win is expected to leave East Timor on Sunday.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...RAf_U4YzGtwKRQ
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Old August 24th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #67
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Tourist arrivals soar in first half of 2010
By Zaw Win Than
August 23 - 29, 2010

TOURIST numbers are up again this year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. During the first seven months of 2010, 161,322 visitors entered the country, 37.4 percent more than in the same period last year.

The figure for 2009 – 227,400 visitors – was itself a 25pc increase on the 170,812 recorded for the year 2008.

And travel professionals are predicting a busy and successful October-to-March tourist season, despite some cancellations being reported following the August 13 announcement that an election would be held on November 7.

“I believe arrivals will increase hugely in the coming peak season because even now, in the low season, we have a lot of bookings. I heard most hotels are fully booked for October and November,” said U Hla Aye, managing director of Shan Yoma Travel and Tours.

He said tourism would not be impacted by the November election, citing changes this year that have helped encourage more foreign visitors. These include the introduction of a visa-on-arrival system, the establishment of direct flights to Hanoi and more competition on the Yangon-Kuala Lumpur route.

On March 2, Vietnam Airlines began direct Hanoi-Yangon flights, and will introduce direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Yangon from October. The visa-on-arrival service, described by many travel professionals as a breakthrough, was launched on May 1. Meanwhile on July 20, Malaysia’s Air Asia started direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Yangon.

“Vietnamese visitors have been increasing since direct flights began, and tourists from Europe and elsewhere who are in Vietnam can come here [more easily],” said U Hla Aye.

Most visitors to Myanmar – about 109,641, or 67pc of the total – were from Asian countries: 31,795 from Thailand; 19,580 from China; and 10,206 from South Korea.

“In June and July, we received cancellations from Germany for October and November because of concerns over the election, even though the election date was not known at that time,” said a spokesperson for a leading tour company in Yangon.

“We informed our customers of the election date when it was announced [on August 13] and so far we have not received any cancellations. However, we have received [more] bookings for the second half of the season, January to March,” he said.

A total of 33,953 tourists from European countries visited Myanmar from January to July, representing over 19pc of total arrivals. The largest group of European visitors was from France, with 7380 visitors, followed by Germany with 5678 visitors and Italy with 3925 visitors.

Independent travellers, known in the industry as Foreign Individual Travellers (FIT), made up the majority of the increase, with arrivals jumping 53.4pc to 89,645, compared to the 58,456 recorded for the same period in 2009.

Package tour customers were up 52.1pc to 14,555, compared to last year’s 9570. There were more modest rises among travellers with business visas and social visas of 18.2pc and 11.2pc respectively, the figures show.

“The coming tourist season is very promising. The elections won’t hinder tourist arrivals unless something happens to the entry visa for security reasons,” said another tour operator in Yangon.

“The election is only for November. I still see promising signs for October, December and the rest of the season. In general, it’s really okay this year in terms of tourism,” he said.

“We’ve got a number of bookings for October and occupancy is extremely good for the coming peak season,” said Daw May Myat Mon Win, director of sales and marketing of Chatrium Hotel in Yangon.

“Compared to last year, we’re receiving more business and corporate travellers. We expect our occupancy will be up by 20pc compared to last year,” she said.

Daw Susie Moe Aung, sales director of Park Royal Hotel, said: “We’ve received quite good bookings for October to December and onwards. This year we expect occupancy to be 18pc higher than last year. Obviously we’re hoping to see a tremendous increase in tourist arrivals this year.”

Myanmar tourism suffered from a number of factors over the past two-three years, Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, the recession and the airport takeover in Bangkok in late 2008.

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/news/537/news11.html
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Old August 24th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #68
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Hajj charter flight bookings open
By Cherry Thein
August 23 - 29, 2010

TRAVEL companies and airlines have begun promoting charter flights to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

Myanmar Airways International marketing executive Daw Aye Mra Tha said the airline is offering five direct flights to Jeddah, which is the gateway to Mecca, in November and December.

MAI will use a 430-seat Boeing-747 for the flights, which will depart daily from Yangon from November 4 to 8. Return flights from Jeddah will depart daily from December 16 to 20.

“The charter flights will help Hajj pilgrims from Myanmar avoid having to transfer in Bangkok,” she said on August 11.

In November 2008, thousands of pilgrims were left unable to travel to Mecca in time for the start of the Hajj when protestors closed Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

The airline offered charter flights to Jeddah for the first time in 2009. “We had full bookings for our first packages last year and hope to have the same this year as well,” Daw Aye Mra Tha said.

Gulf Travels and Tours on Sule Pagoda Road will provide two direct charter flights between Yangon-Jeddah and one on the Mandalay-Jeddah route for Hajj pilgrims, a spokesperson said.

U Ko Ko Latt, the company’s managing director, said flights from Mandalay were already fully booked and there were just 100 seats left on Yangon-Jeddah flights.

“We expect to be full to capacity for our three flights and have already issued tickets for 457 of the 1000 or so bookings we’ve taken so far. This is the third time we’ve had direct flights to Jeddah and the passengers say they really appreciate the service because they can save time and money,” he said.

Gulf was the first Myanmar company to offer the Hajj service, offering two direct flights to Jeddah in 2008. In 2009 it operated five flights to the city.

This year the company will lease a 456-seat Boeing-747 with flights departing Yangon on November 6 and 7 and returning flight from Jeddah on December 15 and 17. The flight from Mandalay will depart November 3 and return on December 14.

A spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian embassy said on August 19 it usually issued about 3000 visas each year to enable Myanmar to undertake the Hajj.

Hajj is considered one of the five pillars of Islam and a religious duty that every able-bodied Muslim must carry out at least once in their lifetime, provided they have the financial means.

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/news/537/news10.html
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Old August 26th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #69
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Myanmar suspends visas on arrival before election
By Aung Hla Tun, Reuters

YANGON - Army-ruled Myanmar has suspended visas on arrival for tourists from September ahead of its first elections in two decades, officials said on Monday, potentially restricting access to the country for foreign observers.


The reclusive country began offering visas to arriving tourists in May to lift tourism. But the scheme will be suspended on Sept. 1, a government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.


The Nov. 7 parliamentary poll, the first nationwide elections since 1991, are widely dismissed by critics as an elaborate charade aimed at cementing the army’s grip on power and attracting investment.


“We think the real motive for this measure could be to prevent outside reporters and monitors from entering the country ahead of the Nov. 7 elections,” a private tour operator said.


Total tourism arrivals in Myanmar during the fiscal year 2009-2010 stood at 300,000, up from 255,288 a year earlier.


Many foreign journalists traveled to the country on tourist visas during a monk-led political protest in 2007 and when Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008. The regime offers few opportunities for foreign observers to visit the country. Journalists and observers granted official visas are accompanied by minders.


The Association of South East Asian Nations has offered to send regional observers to Myanmar during the elections but there has been no official response thus far.


Last week, authorities published opaquely-worded rules that imposed tight controls on political campaigning.


Analysts say the regime plans to retain its political stake by backing several small parties and one large organization, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is made up of serving ministers recently retired from the army.


Critics expect the ruling generals to tightly control campaign activities of their opponents to ensure its proxies win most votes so the assemblies, of which 25 per cent will be reserved for the armed forces, will be dominated by their allies.

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/M...680/story.html
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Old August 31st, 2010, 12:14 AM   #70
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Oh well, a "managed" democratic election is better than no election at all.
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:07 AM   #71
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Myanmar could become a top rice exporter - trade

YANGON/BANGKOK, Aug 30 - Military-ruled Myanmar, once the world's biggest rice exporter, is taking steps to revive the sector after years of mismanagement and could become a top exporter again in a few years, officials and traders said.

Under British colonial rule, the former Burma shipped 3.4 million tonnes in 1934, its best year.

The government helped set up the Myanmar Rice Industry Association this year through a merger of rice associations and a think tank grouping economists and technocrats, while handicaps such as as poor port facilities are being tackled. [ID:nSGE61A0E2]

"Problems relating to mismanagement and other obstacles will be reduced very soon and we could see Myanmar as one of the world's top 10 rice exporters in a few years," said Prachuab Supinee, a Thai trade diplomat in Yangon.

It won't be plain sailing, and local operators are worried about immediate prospects, with exports suffering this year from delays in the issuing of export licences and a lack of government incentives for farmers to grow more rice.

According to data compiled by private surveyor SGS (Myanmar) Ltd. and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Myanmar has exported just 301,984 tonnes of rice this year, compared with 794,800 tonnes at the same point in 2009.

It exported 1.09 million tonnes of rice in 2009, up from 547,000 tonnes in 2008.

"Incentives for the growers are diminishing year after year. The authorities often try to control rice prices in the consumer market by all possible means," complained So Myint, a Yangon-based farmer from Kunkyangone Township.

OUTLOOK

Diplomat Prachuab said development of trade facilities, including ports and logistic systems as part of the agreement covering the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) implemented this year, would enable rice exports to be processed more smoothly.

Trade ties between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and South Korea had brought seeds, funding and research to help rice production, he added.

Myanmar produces around 30 million tonnes of paddy each year, much the same level as Thailand, the world's biggest exporter, but Thailand exports 8.0 to 10.0 million tonnes a year.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Myanmar has a population of around 50 million -- estimates vary widely -- and consumes around 56 percent of its rice production, around 17-18 million tonnes.

That, in theory, leaves up to 12 million tonnes of paddy, which equates to around 7 million tonnes of milled rice, for export each year.

However, much goes into neighbouring Bangladesh through non-recorded border trade and the statistics show just 500,000-800,000 tonnes of rice shipped out of Yangon port per year.

The bulk of the rice left after exports and domestic consumption is kept in granaries for seeds for the next crop.

"Rice exports through Yangon port are rising and it wouldn't be difficult for Myanmar to become a major exporter of rice again as its rice surplus is expected to rise every year," said Paka-on Tipayatanadaja, an analyst at Kasikorn Research Center.

Kiattisak Kanlayasirivat, a trader at Novel Agritrade in Bangkok, said Myanmar's rice was competitive in terms of price, being offered at around $350 per tonne, compared with $450 for the same grade in Thailand and Vietnam.

"Trading houses have bought a lot of Myanmar rice to be delivered to clients in Africa in the past few years and they were expected to continue to buy," he said.

http://news.alibaba.com/article/deta...-top-rice.html
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #72
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S Korean investment in Myanmar rises sharply in four months17:52, September 06, 2010 Windowslive Delicious

South Korea's investment in Myanmar has risen 10 times in the first four months of the fiscal year 2010-11, hitting 2.658 billion U.S. dollars as of July 2010 since 1988, the local Weekly Eleven News reported Monday.

The sharp increase of South Korea's investment has prompted the country to rise up to the position of 5th from 10th in Myanmar's foreign investment line-up.

The Korean investment grew from 239.318 million dollars in March, at the end of 2009-10.

S. Korea poured its investment in the sectors of mining and oil and gas.

According to official statistics, Thailand, China, China's Hong Kong, Britain, S. Korea and Singapore have topped Myanmar's foreign investment.

As of July 2010 since 1988, Thailand has invested 9.568 billion dollars, China 6.415 billion dollars, China's Hong Kong 5.904 billion dollars, Britain 2.659 billion dollars, S. Korea 2.658 billion dollars and Singapore 1.592 billion dollars, the statistics show.

Myanmar has absorbed 15.84 billion U.S. dollars' huge contracted foreign investment in the first four months of the fiscal year of 2010-11, registering the highest annually throughout Myanmar's foreign investment over the past 22 years.

The four-month investment has brought Myanmar's total foreign investment to 31.895 billion dollars up to July 2010 since 1988 when the country opened to such investment.

The last total figure was registered as 16.05 billion dollars up to March, the end of 2009-2010.

Sectorally, the total investment as of July 2010 since 1988 has been registered as 13.447 billion dollars for the oil and gas, 11. 341 billion dollars for electric power, 2.395 billion dollars for mining, 1.662 billion dollars for manufacturing and 1.064 billion dollars for hotels and tourism.

Source:Xinhua

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90...3/7131529.html
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Old September 7th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #73
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Air Mandalay set for relaunch
By Zaw Win Than
September 6 - 12, 2010
A REBRANDED Air Mandalay will resume domestic flights by the third week of September after being grounded for almost two months, the company’s chief operations officer told The Myanmar Times last week.

The airline will resume flights using two ATR-72s – one newly acquired and one refurbished – that will feature new livery, Mr Selvakumar said.

A third aircraft, a refurbished ATR-42, will be added to increase the airline’s passenger capacity and destinations as the tourist season advances, he said.

“We will add more flights to major tourist destinations such as Bagan, Mandalay, Heho and Sittwe,” said Mr Selvakumar. “We believe tourism is growing fast and the tourism industry needs safe, reliable and comfortable flights. Myanmar is a big country, and the most effective way of travelling is by air.”

The airline suspended domestic services on July 22 when its sole operating aircraft was sent to Bangkok for major servicing.

Mr Selvakumar said he didn’t expect the two-month stoppage would affect the airline’s image.

“Air Mandalay has a good name. We will be providing new improved onboard services and we are confident ticketing agents and passengers [will support us],” he said.

The airline also plans to restart flights to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand following a two-year suspension.

“We will reintroduce our flights to Chiang Mai with ATR-72 aircraft every Friday and Sunday starting from the end of September,” Mr Selvakumar said. “If the demand is there, Air Mandalay will add more international routes in the near future.”

Ticket prices would be in line with those of other domestic carriers, he said, but promised improved services, including an online reservation system.

“We are evaluating the booking system now to introduce a new online reservation system. This system is still under development but we hope to introduce it before the end of this year,” he said.

Before the stoppage the airline was operating flights from Yangon to Nyaung Oo, Mandalay, Heho, Tachileik, Thandwe, Sittwe, Dawei, Myeik and Kawthoung.

He said the airline may continue to expand its fleet if there was sufficient demand.

“Air Mandalay is prepared to invest in more aircraft to support the needs of the tourism industry and at the same time meet increased demand from Myanmar citizens.”

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/news/539/news016.html
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Old September 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #74
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Yangon’s middle range developers halve projects on demand fears
By Htar Htar Khin

BUSINESS might be brisk at the high end of the condominium and apartment development spectrum but middle- and low-end firms said they are cutting back the number of projects they take on.

U Lazarus, the managing director of Yadanar Shwe Htun Construction, said his company and others that cater to middle income earners, are focussing their efforts on sites in good locations – such as Bahan, Kamaryut and Mayangone – that are the most likely to be profitable.

“Middle-class developers like us are being selective and choosing to focus on sites at specific locations, rather than develop a lot of blocks at once.

“If we build blocks away from commercial areas it’s hard to generate sales and we’re left with surplus apartments,” he said.

U Lazarus said that developers sometimes get caught up in competition to buy plots or – as happened when the Yangon City Development Committee identified up to 250 “dangerous” buildings earlier this year – and buy sites that might not be profitable.

“Projects require an investment of between K100 million and K1 billion, which is why we must carefully the sites we want to develop.

“This year we’re only working on 25 projects, while at this time last year we had 50,” he added.

U Ko Ko Lay, director of Three Friends Construction, said his company had also halved the number of projects it was developing this year.

“Even though the construction industry has recovered from the impact of the global economic crisis, it’s still a tough environment for mid-level developers because overhead costs such as advertising and labour are about 15 percent higher than last year,” he said.

“We’re facing thin profit margins this year and have shelved nearly 10 projects in Thingangyun and South Okkalapa townships by August,” he said.

U Ko Ko Gyi, the director of MMB Construction, said in his opinion the global financial crisis was still hurting business and curtailing demand in the middle-level marketplace.

“Middle-level developers have to be careful and choose sites that will make money,” he said, adding that his firm has mothballed 90pc of its projects.

However, the same is not proving the same for high-end firms like Shine Construction and Naing Group.
Shine Construction’s assistant general manager, U Soe Min Naing, said the company is enjoying strong sales and is actively expanding, with 10 more sites on the drawing board than last year.

He said the company offers a wide range of apartments selling from as low as K10 million up to K800 million.
U Yan Aung, the marketing manager of Sai Khung Noung agency, said: “Eighty percent of buyers want locations in developing and commercial areas such as Bahan, Mayangone, Kamaryut, South Okkalapa and Thingangyun townships.

“Developers usually expect returns about 15pc higher in those townships than other locations.”

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/business/538/buiz006.html
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Old September 14th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #75
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China-Myanmar economic cooperation gains momentum: media
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YANGON, Sept. 14 (PNA/Xinhua) -- China-Myanmar relations and economic cooperation are gaining momentum as bilateral friendship is improving significantly, hailed the official daily New Light of Myanmar Tuesday.

Noting that China is Myanmar's second largest trading partner for long and the third largest investor now, the editorial of the daily said "the two neighbors are building strategic trust between them by exchanging goodwill visits of state leaders and holding hear-to-heart discussions about important issues in international conferences".

In a bid to boost bilateral trade turnover, the two countries will supervise Myanmar-China economic cooperation projects by forming working groups between them, it said, adding that bilateral cooperation in the energy, hydropower, oil and gas and infrastructural sectors has proved successful.

The editorial cited the Chinese side as saying that China is inviting Myanmar companies to establish a foothold in the Chinese market to promote export and encouraging strong Chinese companies to make investment in Myanmar for economic growth of the country.

The editorial disclosed that the two sides now have compared notes on construction of Shweli-Kyaukphyu road and railroad and Kyaukphyu port; assistance to be provided for Myanmar's industrial development, joint measures to avoid environmental deterioration in implementing the projects; establishment of Myanmar banks in China and encouragement to Chinese companies to invest in Myanmar.

On Monday, Myanmar official media also hailed the recent state visit of the country's top leader Senior-General Than Shwe to China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, saying that the visit has provided further impetus for mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and paukphaw (fraternal) relations between the two neighbors.

According to official statistics, in 2009, China-Myanmar bilateral trade totaled 2.907 billion U.S. dollars.

Up to January 2010, China's investment in Myanmar amounted to 1. 848 billion dollars, accounting for 11.5 percent of Myanmar's then total foreign investment.
http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=...d=4&rid=300544
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #76
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Myanma Airways to replace old aircraft
By Zaw Win Than
September 13 - 19, 2010
STATE-RUN Myanma Airways will take possession of three newly acquired aircraft in time for the coming peak tourist season, a spokesperson said last week.

The spokesperson said the airline would replace five ageing Fokker F-27s and F-28s in its fleet with three 50-seat “turboprops” from China, without specifying the manufacturer.

The purchase will also coincide with the 62nd anniversary of the airline’s establishment later this month, he said.
“Myanma Airways is proud to be celebrating our 62nd anniversary on September 15. From this anniversary we are planning to provide better services for passengers with new aircraft … to meet international standards,” the spokesperson said.

The airline operates flights to 26 domestic destinations using eight aircraft: two ATR-72s, one ATR-42, three Fokker F-28s and two Fokker F-27s.

“The old Fokker F-27s and F-28s will be replaced by the three new turboprop aircraft,” he said.

He said Myanma Airways is also planning to fly to regional destinations “in the near future” after a 17-year hiatus but did not specify when flights would begin.

The airline stopped international services on August 15, 1993 following the establishment of Myanmar Airways International (MAI), which Myanma Airways has a 20-percent stake in. Kanbawza Group purchased the other 80pc in January.

“We plan to buy new jet aircraft to expand to regional routes in the future. First we will buy the new aircraft and then we will fly to market-oriented destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand,” he said.

MAI flies to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Gaya in India and has announced it plans to begin flights between Yangon and Guangzhou in southern China by October.

The spokesperson said Myanma Airways not only services domestic destinations but also carries out airport services, such as ground handling and air cargo services, which were proving to be a lucrative source of income.

“Air cargo is a great business that we can earn a lot of profit from. Yangon International Airport has a lack of facilities for air cargo and now we are starting to develop different air cargo warehouses for hard items, livestock and fisheries products and medicines at the airport. As this is at a very early stage of development we can’t provide the full details of the project at the moment.”

Myanma Airways was formed in 1948 as Union of Burma Airways. Domestic scheduled flights to 19 destinations commenced in 1948, with six nine-seater De Havilland Dove aircraft.

In 1950 scheduled flights to Bangkok, Calcutta and Chittagong began and the airline’s network expanded to Penang and Singapore with new Handley Page Marathon aircraft in 1953. Flights to Kathmandu, Dhaka, Hong Kong and Jakarta were later added.

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/news/540/news021.html
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #77
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Foreign direct investment in Myanmar climbs again
By Stuart Deed
September 13 - 19, 2010
CONTRACTED foreign direct investment climbed by more than US$2.3 billion in June, figures released in September by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) show.

The June investment, which brings total FDI for the year to nearly $10.713 billion, were made by Chinese firms, including the major figure of $2.251 billion that is listed under Hong Kong on the CSO site.

A further $50 million was invested by mainland Chinese companies. Both of the investments recorded in June were in the oil and gas sector.

The CSO figures show that new FDI this year has been in the energy and mining sectors. Foreign investment in the oil and gas sector to the end of June was worth $4.686 billion, while hydropower investment was slightly larger at $5.030 billion and mining accounted for $997 million.

FDI recorded so far in 2010 comprehensively dwarfs figures from recent years. In the whole of 2009, less than $80 million was recorded.

But 2010 has seen a surge in Chinese interest in its southern neighbour, with a flood of deals signed. In May alone more than $8 billion in investment accords were signed, which boosted total contracted FDI since 1988 by more than 50 percent.

The $8.173 billion was spread across four projects in the oil and gas, electric power and mining sectors, with the two power investments coming from mainland China and the mining and oil and gas FDI from Hong Kong, figures from the CSO show.

The projects that materialised in the CSO figures in May were believed to be two hydropower dams in Kachin State, valued collectively at $5.030 billion, China National Petroleum Corporation’s oil and natural gas pipeline from Rakhine State to Yunnan Province ($2.146 billion) and Norinco’s planned development of the Letpadaung copper deposit near Monywa ($997 million).

http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/business/540/biz008.html
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #78
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Burma plans Phuket resort flights


A Burmese airline is launching twice-weekly flights between Rangoon and the Thai resort island of Phuket.

A spokeswoman for the airline told the Myanmar Times the service will begin in early December on Mondays and Fridays.

Each flight will accommodate around 100 passengers.

Air Bagan also announced plans to increase the number of flights on its existing route from Rangoon to the northern Thai town of Chiang Mai.

http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au...57.htm?desktop


Air Bagan will launch twice-a-week flights between Yangon and Phuket beach in December. The Phuket route will use a Fokker aircraft with a capacity for 100 passengers. The privately run airline also plans to open new routes to Bangkok; Siem Reap, Cambodia; Kunming, China; Kuala Lumpur and Singapore ''in the near future,'' the Myanmar Times reported

http://phuketwan.com/tourism/bangkok...y-today-12988/
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 01:43 PM   #79
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India ‘Committed’ to Building Rail Line up to Burma Border

India is committed to building a railway line up to the border with Burma at Moreh at a cost of almost US $650 million, the New Delhi minister for railways said.

The 200-kilometer line is planned to extend from Moreh to Jiribam on the western side of India’s Manipur State, where it will connect with the Indian federal system, said minister Rajan Velu in a parliamentary answer this week.

The state-owned Rail India Technical and Economic Services company (RITES) has completed a feasibility study for the line and recommends development to proceed, at a budget of $649 million.

The line would be part of an agreement between India and five members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) for a commercial line linking the Ganga River in India and the Mekong.

Burma has previously agreed to build its section of the line and refurbish existing track between Tamu and Segyi, but no news of this development has been given.

RITES said it estimated the cost of the line’s development on the Burmese side at $358.5 million, reported the Times of India.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=19500
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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #80
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Mutual trade with Myanmar up 58%

HA NOI — Two-way trade revenue between Viet Nam and Myanmar increased by more than 58 per cent year-on-year to US$73 million in the first eight months of the year, according to statistics from the Myanmar Customs Office.

Viet Nam's exports to Myanmar accounted for roughly $23 million, up 67.1 per cent over the same period last year. Main export staples included steel, accessories used in garment and textile manufacturing, medicine and healthcare equipment, vehicle tyres, construction materials and fertiliser.

Meanwhile, the country spent roughly $50 million on mainly timber, rubber latex, agricultural products and raw seafood.

Viet Nam is currently the 14th largest exporter to Myanmar. However, the Vietnamese ambassador to Myanmar Chu Cong Phung said there was a golden opportunity for domestic enterprises to increase their market share given the offers and favourable conditions the Myanmar Government has made for foreign traders and investors.

The Myanmar Government has recently promulgated numerous policies to encourage foreign trade and investment, including mandates for establishing wholly foreign-invested companies and streamlining application procedures for business visas.

Phung said that as just 20 per cent of domestic demand of the 58 million-strong market was met by domestic production, Myanmar left significant room for imports.

Vietnamese products such as electric lamps, medicines and aluminium products have so far taken a firm foothold in the Myanmar market. Dien Quang brand, for example, has become the second-best seller of electric lamps, earning up to $1.5 million in monthly export revenue.

Though the price of Vietnamese goods in Myanmar may be higher than that of Chinese because Vietnamese businesses have to pay more shipping costs, Phung said that this could be dealt with, given the success of two consecutive trade fairs held by Viet Nam in Myanmar. — VNS

http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/E...mar-up-58.html
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