Business

Price hikes in southern Shan keep local tourists away

Despite the increase in foreign tourism in Taunggyi, Inle, Kalaw and other destinations in southern Shan State, price hikes have kept many local visitors away from these places, according to sources in the travel and tourism sector.

“Hotels in Inle are expensive. Those in Kalaw are more expensive. So we cannot offer packages to all classes of people, [especially] local people]. It costs at least over US$100 to visit Taunggyi,” said a representative of Caravan Myanmar Tour Co.

Comments invited on new investment law

The public is invited to offer input on a draft of the revised Myanmar Investment Law, which has been uploaded to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) website.

DICA is updating the current law with the assistance of the International Finance Corporation. The draft has been written in English for international readers, and a Myanmar version will soon be available.

Myanmar’s irresponsible borrowing

Myanmar borrowed about US$9.6 billion from 19 international financial institutions up to the end of 2013.

Myanmar was $5 billion in debt before 1988, when General Ne Win came to power, and $3 billion in debt from 1988 to 2011. Under the new government, Myanmar has borrowed nearly $1 billion. Thus, Myanmar’s debt has reached $9.6 billion. About $4 billion, or 42 per cent of these loans, came from the People’s Republic of China.

Myanmar becomes a major producer of heroin: TNI

The Transnational Institute's recent report says Myanmar has become a major producer of heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and drug injection has been blamed for the spread of HIV/ AIDS.

According to the report, drug production and consumption trends have changed over the years. Myanmar, currently the second largest producer of raw opium after Afghanistan in the world, is now facing several serious drug-related challenges.

Plan to collect Vat for industries operating on CMP system

The Yangon region government plans to collect value added tax (Vat) instead of double taxation for the industries operating on CMP (cutting, making and packing) system, said Zaw Aye Maung, minister of the Rakhine Ethnic Affairs and Labour for Yangon region.

JICA to offer SME Loans

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is planning to provide loans for small and medium- sized enterprises (SME) in Myanmar, according to the vice president for the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

Bagan night mall planned

A night mall is planned in Bagan, an ancient city in the Mandalay Region, where visitors can find traditional handicrafts, regional products and clothes as well as traditional food, said Tint Swe, chairman of Myanmar Restaurant Association (Bagan).

He said that the night mall was an initiative of the regional minister. The association also mulls another one in Nyaung U, another township in Mandalay.

US$25 bn trade expected this fiscal year

Trade should top US$25 billion before the current fiscal year ends March 31 with most of that completed by the end of this month, the Ministry of Commerce reports.

Myanmar is trading with its partners – China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Indonesia, the United States, Hong Kong, Germany and the United Kingdom – both through border routes and sea lanes. Export earnings from both routes have so far amounted to $9.9 billion while $14.6 billion was spent on imports.

Customs seizes Ks 241 million in contraband

Authorities in the first 20 days of February have seized more than Ks 241 million in contraband at ports, airports and border crossings, the Customs Department reports.

Officers made 19 seizures during that period while monitoring goods arriving in the country at those locations, including Yangon International Airport, Customs said. Contraband included Dell computers, communication devices, construction materials and tools, and machine parts, the agency said.

Myanmar Kyat weakening against US dollar

The Myanmar kyat hit Ks1,041 against the US dollar on Wednesday, sharply above the official rate of 1,027, according to money exchangers.

The Central Bank of Myanmar’s official rate for the day was Ks1,027 per dollar, but the currency was actually sold at 1,041. Buying rate was 1,038.

The dollar has moved up against the local currency compared to the rate in January.