Thailand, Myanmar swiftly resolve trade dispute

Myawaddy – Border authorities in Myawaddy banned imports of all goods from Thailand in response to Thailand’s ban on fuel exports to Myanmar on the morning of March 24.

“The fuel export ban was imposed by lower authorities. Myanmar banned all Thai goods so that senior Thai authorities would learn what happened. We decided to ban their imports as they always impose such bans on us,” said Major Naing Maung Zaw from the No 3 Border Guard Force (BGF).

Bean farmers trained to meet EU's criteria

Local bean farmers are being trained to meet strict criteria to market their produce as the European Union's Generalised System of Preferences guarantees strong market and decent prices, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

"We export beans to India through sea freight but we can't use the same method when it comes to the EU. The EU pays more than the other markets but its limitations are stricter also," said Win Myint, a senior official of the ministry.

Tightened rules in Thailand hit oil transportation to Myawady

Fuel stations in the border town of Myawady are fretting about fuel shortages following Thailand’s stricter rules on fuel transportation across the Moei River.

Thilawa factories to create 5,000 jobs

Six factories now under construction in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will create as many as 5,000 jobs, according to Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH).

The factories are expected to be completed within six months, with some operational by the end of this year, MTSH says. All the factories are to be operational within 18 months.

Speculation raises property prices in Hpa-An industrial zone

Industrial property prices in Hpa-An have been increasing over the last several months, even though few factories are being established there, according to realtors.

“The industrial zone was developed with many purposes, including job opportunities for young people. It is also to develop regional areas. People with cash speculated and bought property in areas where the government planned to develop industrial zones. The government has to find out who is speculating and then grant land to potential investors,” a businessman said.

Myanmar Kyat continues weakening against US dollar

The Myanmar kyat continues to slide against the US dollar in market trading while the official rate remains significantly lower.

The Myanmar currency hit Ks 1,083 against the US dollar on Monday, according to a money market report. The Central Bank of Myanmar opened at Ks 1,027 per dollar.

The ongoing trend of a weakening Kyat is attributed to the high demand for the dollar.

China top trading partner of Myanmar

China is the top trading partner of Myanmar out of the 12 major trading countries, according to a report provided by the Ministry of National Planning & Economic Development.

Myanmar’s major international trading partners are China, Thailand, Singapore, Indian, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Germany, Indonesia, US and United Kingdom.

Sea trading declining

The Ministry of Commerce reported that sea trading has declined, resulting in a loss of over US$1 billion compared to the previous fiscal year.

In the current fiscal year the income from sea trade amounted to over US$6.652 billion compared to the previous year’s record of US$ 7.900 billion with a loss of US$1.248 billion.

There are two types of international trading currently practiced: by sea and through the land borders.

JICA to offer two-step loan for SMEs

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will disburse a US$40 million loan to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a two-step loan scheme next month, according to the Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB).

Under the scheme, the JICA offers loans to the government and then the government disburses loans to banks. The banks will offer loans to the SMEs.   

Stock exchange to start with shares only

At first, the Yangon Stock Exchange will mainly allow shares to be traded, with a market in loan agreements and derivatives to follow after some time, said Dr Maung Maung Thein, deputy minister of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue.

“We will start with shares in the beginning. Afterwards we will slowly move towards the bond market. The next stage will be to operate derivatives and futures markets,” he said.