Category Archives: Investment

INVESTMENTS BY TWININGS TO HELP IN THE GROWTH OF TEA COMMUNITIES

INVESTMENTS BY TWININGS TO HELP IN THE GROWTH OF TEA COMMUNITIES

Determined to ameliorate the living conditions of the communities living around and in the tea gardens of Assam, Twinings has committed to renew its partnership with Unicef for an additional five years of funding toward the communities of tea gardens in Assam. During their eight long years of association, this partnership has empowered more than 34,000 women by heeding to their vital health needs.

With more than 63 tea gardens in Assam, the communities living there are most vulnerable due to the lack of appropriate healthcare facilities to women, adolescents and children. Thus, Unicef -Twinings association has embarked on a social protection mission in the quest to uplift and improve the lives of women and children living around Assam’s tea gardens which are responsible for more than 50 percent of tea production in India.

It is reckoned that with better health services and safe environment around, the likelihood of children – both boys and girls going to school would increase, impacting their future in a positive way. Executive director of Unicef UK Mr. Mike Penrose expressed, “Children growing up in Assam’s highly marginalised rural tea communities face huge problems. They are vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and abuse, often leave school early and suffer from poor health.”

The social upliftment being aimed through this collaboration involves active engagement with the tea producers and government at the local, state and central level.

With their support and collective efforts, Twinings – Unicef intends to promote kitchen gardens, educate the adolescents on better hygiene, sanitation and important life skills. Twinings CEO Mr. Bob Tavener expressed, “It includes advocacy with both state and national government, that should lead to long-term, tangible change for the communities living and working in the region and is an important part of driving positive change for the communities from which we source around the world.”

Continuing with its resolve to relieve the tea workers of Assam, the renewed partnership between the British owned Twinings and the Unicef is a testimony to this resolve and commitment driven towards improving the standard of living of the tea communities of Assam.

MYANMAR’S HEALTHCARE SEGMENTTO RECEIVE AID FROMINDIA’S EXIMBANK

MYANMAR’S HEALTHCARE SEGMENTTO RECEIVE AID FROMINDIA’S EXIMBANK.

India’s Exim Bank under its Market Outreach Programme has evinced interest to invest in the healthcare sector of Myanmar. Post its liberalisation, interest from the global sphere in Myanmar’s investment landscape has revitalised, making the country more engaged and interested in the buzzing economic prospects offered by the word outside.

To fiscally benefit and support Myanmar’s health segment, a delegation from India’s Exim bank reached Myanmar early February as part of the bank’s Market Outreach Programme. This programme was undertaken to help the people of Myanmar receive better medical facilities in their own country. India has been well equipped in treating health problems owing to its advanced medical expertise and knowledge. This arrangement aims to provide affordable and efficient medical attention to the ailing people of Myanmar and prevent the urgency to travel to countries abroad for an expensive medical treatment leading to outflow of foreign capital from the reserves of the country.

Along with it, the opportunity to finance Indian investment in Myanmar was reckoned tantamount to Government of India’s Act East Policy. The delegation, on studying various sectors in the region perceived healthcare domain as the most significant segment in need of private sector investments. The Market Outreach Programme was carried out by the Exim Bank at Hotel Sule Shangrila, in association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The delegation to Myanmar was led by the Deputy Managing Director of Exim Bank of India Mr. Debashish Mallick. Members from Indian private sector hospitals, medical equipment and devices manufacturers, pathology labs, and hospital management companies were part of the delegation.

MYANMAR GETS NEW TELECOM NETWORK – MYTEL

MYANMAR GETS NEW TELECOM NETWORK – MYTEL

With an extensive telecom sector already placed in Myanmar, country’s new and fourth telecom operator announced its presence at its launch ceremony held in Kempinski Hotel at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. With its predecessors – MPT, Telenor and Qatar positioned well in the telecom market, Mytel is all set to carve a niche for itself by reaching out to 92 percent of the country’s population with rural population in major focus.

Chief Communication Officer Mr. U Zaw Min Oo expressed, “In villages, people use more voice service than data. In regards to making profit in rural areas, I am afraid even the existing operators are not making profit from the rural areas. But we are trying.”

In a joint venture with Myanmar and Vietnamese firms, Mytel is owned by

Myanmar National Telecom Holdings Public Company Limited, Star High Pubic Company Limited and Viettel Global, with their percent stake as 23, 28 and 49 respectively.

While presiding over the launch ceremony of Mytel, Myanmar’s commander-in-chief Mr. Min Aung Hlaing talked about the lifestyle changes and the improved socioeconomic status of the people as a result of telecommunication systems.

It is estimated that Mytel SIM cards would be out in the market by March on 3G and 4G networks. Believers of Mytel intend to make their telecom operator the second largest in the next three years and first in the next five years.

The Commander-in Chief of Defence Senior General Min Aung Hlaing made the first call to Vietnamese Defence Minister Mr. Ngo Xuan Lich through Mytel operator.

Mytel intends to make use of the Asia- Africa- Europe submarine cables and reduce service charge to have an edge over its competitors.

With 1100 employees and more to get inducted as it begins its operations in March, it aims to cover 92 percent of the population, wherein 99.3 percent would be urban population and 66 percent would be rural population in voice calling service and 78 percent of the country’s population in data service.

With a 15 year term license and 18 branches across the country, Mytel plans to invest $2 billion in telecommunication and information technology to provide its services across Myanmar.

Investors to Reap from Myanmar’s First Socio-Economic Report

A compendious report outlining Myanmar’s historical, social and geographical data has been compiled and jointly published in detail by The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) and the German International Cooperation (GIZ).

Mr. U Thitsar, a private sector specialist at the World Bank commented on the beneficial nature of the report, “This report is extremely comprehensive. It contains information from demographic to topographical conditions in Myanmar. It includes data on the various regions where it is densely populated, for example.”

The report titled ‘The Socio- Economic Atlas of Myanmar’, is a complete manual giving an in-depth analysis of all regions of Myanmar – population density, area occupation, distribution of wards, villages, townships across all the regions and the spread of religion in all the states.

The Socio-Economic Atlas of Myanmar is an engaging encyclopaedia for all the investors, inviting them to take learned and wise investment decisions. Its conduct examining the investment potential of the country in great length is inclined toward helping foreigners in their investment plans in Myanmar, and to beef-up foreign direct investments in the country.

This thorough compilation of varied data pertaining to Myanmar has put to rest all the complications and inconveniences that used to accompany a foreign investor in trying to procure appropriate information on Myanmar. Now, instead of physically travelling to relevant departments or sectors to hunt for details, all the data is a readily available resource, complied into an accessible publication for all the interested investors in Myanmar.

It also serves as an exhaustive knowledge bank for all the policy makers, engaged in public projects. Composed of all the information relating to infrastructural necessities, Mr. U Thitsar remarked, “Take urban planning projects for example. Which locations should they develop? Which locations have the densest population? As the report also includes information on infrastructure requirements such as roads and bridges, it would greatly benefit policy makers.”

Israel Supports Myanmar in Agriculture

Israel Supports Myanmar in Agriculture

Israel’s Ambassador Mr. Daniel Zohar Zonshine in a very confident and undeterred pose expressed his interest in continuing to support the agricultural sector of Myanmar even amid the outbreak of an indurate political occurrence, sweeping Myanmar to the den of criticism.

He established investor’s protection and security as the pivotal premise in being able to pave way for a robust and engaging economic relationship between Israel and Myanmar. In other words, an economic environment that has the potential of attracting the interest and confidence of an investor should be the primary goal. He acknowledged that an investor’s security generates and accelerates the investment canvas of a country and thus, Myanmar’s investment interactions should be recognised in this light.

Israel Supports Myanmar in AgricultureIsrael’s involvement in reforming and realigning the agricultural sector of Myanmar’s is over 20 years old. Its support in providing advanced technological know-how and proficient expertise has helped Myanmar in redefining its agricultural scale.

In the past, Israel has successfully conducted agriculture – training programmes for Myanmar students, allowing them to study and work in private rural settlement areas. Getting paid for their research projects which range from greenhouse activities to husbandry farming, has been encouraged too.

Being an agriculturally driven economy,the Israeli efforts in welcoming the Burmese students to their pool of technology, and exposing them to their level of efficiency and farming practise, Myanmar’s future in agriculture seems positive and supported. The training camp running for 11 months ensures an evolved youth who is well versed in all stages of agriculture; from planning, preparation, cultivation to harvest and post-harvest etcetera.

While remarking on the collaborative relation with Myanmar in the agricultural sector, Mr. Zohar Zonshine also noted, “Agriculture is a chain: by strengthening one link, you may not necessarily get better results unless the whole chain is improved. It has to do with agriculture research, access to technology and finance, and farmers being able to access information, data, and infrastructure. Other areas to have added value are developing the processing industry – it gives more jobs for people who cannot continue with agriculture, and leaves more added value in the country.”

It is in the best interest of both the countries to aid in training and capacity building aspects of human resource engaged in agricultural work. The ambassador also mentioned about an Israeli company’s presence in Myanmar – Netafim, helping Myanmar with its drip and micro-irrigation products. Thus, an active exchange of expertise, skills and technical know-how has helped Myanmar’ agriculture sector improve and develop.

Japan to Aid North-East India’s Infrastructural Interests

PM Modi and Mr Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan and India – Mr. Shinzo Abe and Mr. Narendra Modi respectively

Japanese involvement in India’s keystone infrastructural projects has significantly contributed in supplementing India’s growth stories. Its efforts and interest remain relentless and persistent as it embarks upon developing and boosting infrastructural prospects in the North – East of India while leveraging on the North-eastern pool of resources and its proximity to the South-East Asian countries.

With India being weighed as the gateway to the South East region, and also actively interested in pursuing its Act East policy, Japan’s interest in providing its technical know-how, expertise and experience in the realm of connectivity based infrastructure: roads, railways, electricity, disaster management, forest resource management and so on, is loud and clear.

Against this backdrop, the Coordination Forum for Development of North – East has been set up by India and Japan to expedite infrastructural development in the North Eastern part of India, after the Ministry of Development of NorthEastern Region (DONER) recognizes the priority areas that require immediate attention and operations.

The India – Japan Cooperation Forum for Development of NorthEast included officials from external affairs, finance, road transport, power as important participants, along with Japan Embassy’s ambassador, Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu and DONER Minister, Mr. Jitendra Singh, who inaugurated the forum.

The relationship between Japan and India has strategically gained significance and both the countries look forward to an engaging people-to-people and cultural exchange platform to seek, supplement and strengthen developmental opportunities while maintaining and building historic relations.

As per the International Community, Japan and India have the potential to be mutually-giving partners, with the surfeit of North-Eastern manpower available to boost Japan’s economy and Japan’s intrinsic and engaging interest in developing the NorthEastern part of India.

First Foreign Company Set to Build Oil and Gas Supply Base in Myanmar

Oil and Gas Supply Base

Singapore‘s MOSB Limited -Myanmar Offshore Supply Base, has been granted authorization to set up an oil and gas supply base, becoming the first overseas company to do so in the Mon State of Myanmar.

Myanmar has welcomed this project with great energy and enthusiasm as it gets approved and endorsed by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

With this arrangement, the oil and gas industry in Myanmar is expected to boom and impact the communities around by furnishing employment opportunities as well as aid in providing infrastructure, health and education facilities. Also, the travel time shall get substantially reduced, thereby, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

The Executive Chairman of MOSB, Mr. Leonard Oh, stated, “The planned offshore supply base would reduce the traveling time for oil and gas companies with Myanmar operations, who would otherwise have to travel to Singapore or Thailand.”

Contributing to the growth and expansion of Myanmar’s economy, MOSB’s efforts and commitment to boosting business shall involve its investment in refining the expansive and widespread infrastructure, transportation and the associated telecommunications.

U Zaw Min Oo, Village Head of Waeka Li Village, Mon State believes, “This will support the local communities by creating a lot of job opportunities, and will most definitely improve our standard of living in many different ways.”

The joint venture between Two Fish Supply Base Limited of Myanmar and 2 Fish (SG) Pte Ltd of Singapore is represented by the MOSB company, engaged in abetting the growth plans of Myanmar.

Myanmar Prioritizes Ten Areas for Investment

Ten Areas for Investment

Liberalization has long awaited the economic gates of Myanmar. With political dynamics steering towards democratization, the economy’s transition from being centrally controlled to a market-oriented one has been a laudable move.

The investment climate has been impacted most favorably, fueling the economic environment around with a sense of excitement, inspiration and unprecedented growth.

To encourage and ease the facilitation of business activities and operations, Myanmar’s new Investment Law got enacted and approved by the cabinet in the beginning of 2017. This law was originally drafted in 2013, with the aid and experience of experts and International Finance Corporation (IFC). It also endows within its ambit the details of the Foreign Investment Law drafted in 2012 and the Citizens Investment Law of 2013

The enactment of the new Investment Law and the entrepreneurial environment has led the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) to prioritize areas for investment by foreign and local businessmen.

These areas include – agriculture, livestock, fishery, export promotion, import substitution, power, logistics, education, health care, affordable housing construction and establishment of the industrial estate.

Myanmar’s untapped economic potential, along with its geographical proximity with major South-East Asian economies, with lowest population densities in the region and an abundance of the vast reservoir of natural resources makes Myanmar’s investment landscape an attractive proposition for the investors.

Myanmar could Lead Maritime Trade of Asia

Myanmar could Lead Maritime Trade of Asia

Myanmar has launched itself on the global podium, carving an aggressive and assertive entrepreneurial spirit. Its resoluteness to connect and attract foreign investment prospects to revive its strained economic model is a quite palpable post its political transition.

The Port and the Shipping Industry is being rendered as the immediate and the most significant means to integrate Myanmar with the global economy, leveraging its strategic geographical placement in between the most populous and the second most populous country in the world; India and China.

Mr. Kyaw Myo, Deputy Minister Transport and Communications, remarked at the 15th ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference 2017, “The development of ports and shipping industry would be a driving force for Myanmar’s integration into the global economy. Myanmar’s transport infrastructure had reached the low end of the Asian benchmark due to our poorly targeted investment for many years. Now, it is time to improve our transport infrastructure effectively and systematically with regional and international cooperation.”

The boom in the transport infrastructure, its revision and the revamping of guidelines are imperative primary moves to bring about improved connectivity – intra and inter-region, which would facilitate domestic growth, and advance integrative international possibilities. Apart from strengthening and developing infrastructure, it’s enabling and empowering prospects of job creation, easier access to regions, promotion of economic trade and prosperous growth potential, the facelift of transport framework has been rendered as an important segment in accelerating Myanmar’s economy.

In the recently conducted –15th ASEAN Ports and Shipping Conference 2017, discussions pertaining to the essential role played by maritime trade to revitalize Myanmar’s economy permeated the entire conference session. The need for an efficient and well-planned connectivity mapping the regions internally is essential for foreign companies to reach effortlessly and seek new market gains and collaborations. This is being embraced as the cornerstone development in affirming Myanmar as the new and captivating hub of Southeast Asia trade.

Carving out a mutually beneficial relationship with domestic and foreign ports, while engaging in port development activities, greater stress has also been laid on peripheral facets such as security challenges, environmental impact and navigation accessibility.

The Managing Director of Myanmar Port Authority – Mr. Ni Aung exclaimed, “As a member state, we participate in ASEAN initiatives for the acceleration of economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community by improving all aspects of transportation, specifically port development.”

The Yangon port, being the chief port of seaborne trade has been controlling 95% of the maritime export and import exchanges. Moreover, with nine ports handling seaborne and coastal trade, and with the construction of advanced terminals and multiple facilities in the areas of Yangon and Thilawa, the maritime cargo traffic has effectively enhanced.

Endowed with the capacity to accommodate as many as 36 vessels at the same time, the Yangon ports are being significantly harnessed to trade directly with 10 of the major trading economies like Malaysia, Iran, India, Singapore, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand.

“Maritime transportation has been able to serve more than 85% of the nation’s trade,” said Mr. Myo Nyein Aye, deputy manager of MPA.

This indeed has been the gamechanger in boosting Myanmar’s economic landscape, fabricating and fueling an investment-friendly environment in building and developing ports. Relentless involvement of the private sector companies and aid from international finance institutions are deemed to further the prospects. As part of the current consultations on driving commerce in the country, employment of six new inland water port terminals has been ambitiously considered, with dependence on Myanmar’s new Investment Law for funds. The new ports include four on the Ayeyarwady River and two on the Chindwin River.

These ports will ensure rapid connectivity to more and bigger markets, and provide door to door system facility while experiencing reduced transportation costs and enlarged shipping capacity. In other words, these ports have been and will be the potential economy-transformers for Myanmar, generating jobs, accentuating regional development with improvement in living standards and bridging the gaps between the haves and have-nots.

Steering its course to growth, development and integration with the global economy, Myanmar’s sea and river ports have an absolute advantage of establishing Myanmar as the hub of trade in Asia.

UK Interested in Boosting Myanmar’s Transport Infrastructure

Mr. Andrew McNaughton - UK's Prime Minister
Mr. Andrew McNaughton – UK Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Infrastructure

Myanmar has transitioned into a land buzzing with business opportunities, with economic avenues expanding and exhorting the attention of global companies. The latest entrant to revise and revamp the infrastructural paradigm of Myanmar is the United Kingdom. The UK has expressed interest in supporting the large-scale infrastructural requirements of Myanmar, specifically its transportation unit; railway networks, airports and rapid transit system.

This welcoming news was brought to light after UK‘s Prime Minister‘s Business Ambassador for Infrastructure – Mr. Andrew McNaughton, visited Myanmar to explore opportunities at the infrastructural front for UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT) and UK companies.

According to Mr. McNaughton “The immediate opportunity for the UK to provide support would be in transport and in particular, mass transportation rail projects and the airport development program.”

Leveraging its strength, experience, expertise and Myanmar’s immediate need for infrastructural investments, UK business companies are enthusiastic about effectuating their economic and commercial interests, at the same time, acknowledging the potential urbanization process and infrastructural development that Myanmar will significantly be impacted with.

Myanmar is looking forward to capitalizing on sources to generate financial assistance to meet its infrastructural needs. For this purpose, a robust logistics sector with a sound legal and regulatory framework is an essential and a necessary requirement to be able to build internationally aligned market structures and attract capital investments thereof.

On this, Mr. McNaughton remarked, “The establishment of a market structure requires significant development of regulations and legal structures to be able to establish an environment to contract with international organizations. UK legal, financial and support services companies have extensive experience of working with governments around the world to establish such structures.”

He also lauded British technical and technological know-how which could assist preciously in Myanmar’s railway and airport projects.

In railways, he measured and estimated upgradation of long, intercity lines connecting the major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, and revamping the Yangon mass rapid transit. This arrangement aims to decongest the traffic and also boost the growth of the city to 10 million by 2040. The plans also involve the introduction of two new metro lines and development of two airports namely: Mandalay International Airport and the new Hanthawaddy International Airport in Yangon. The mid-term objective is to grow cross border international trade as well as support regional airport program.

Thus, infrastructural scope in Myanmar is colossal and plays a planetary role in the urbanization process and in boosting the economy of Myanmar. As per business experts, refinement of transportation infrastructure is the fundamental requisite in attracting inward investments, retention of human capital and in escalating trade possibilities, leading to sustainable prospects and future-oriented growth.

Remarking upon ‘more opportunities and a few challenges’ in the MyanmarUK potential alliance, Mr. McNaughton exclaimed, “As an outcome of the Brexit process, the UK government and individual businesses are seeking to establish long term relationships beyond the European Community. This is being done without having to consider the views of 26 other member states. This creates agility and a momentum that can only be an advantage to the region.”