Welcome to the Myanmar morning news roundup by AEC News Today, your one stop for Myanmar news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities.
Border Guards Arrest Rohingya Figureheads for Skipping NVC-Related Meeting
The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) arrested six Rohingya figureheads in southern Maungdaw for skipping a meeting held on Sunday (on Feb 19) in relation to National Verification Card also called NVC, it has been reported.
— Rohingya Vision
Less developed areas given priority, president says on tour
The National League for Democracy-dominated government is giving priority to the less-developed areas across the country in order to improve people’s lives, President Htin Kyaw said.
Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory to step up production of IV medication
The Myanmar Pharmaceutical Factory (Insein) is opening a new unit to increase production of intravenous medication in Kyaukse, Mandalay Region.
Minister to highlight child right issues
The Minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement promised at Parliament on February 15 that he would emphasize child rights in the future.
Illegal timbers seizures double in Taninthayi
The amount of illegal timbers seized in Taninthayi Region is already two times higher than this time last year, according to police records.
CSOs granted observer roles at peace conference
The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee decided on February 6 to grant civil-society organisations an observer role at the Union Peace Conference (also known as the 21st century Peace Conference), scheduled late this month in Nay Pyi Taw.
Myanmar firm set for return to Ambiente next year
Thanks to the firm’s satisfactory business performance over the past two years, Bella Interiors, which produces a spectrum of Myanmar crafted rattan furniture and accessories, hopes to return to the Ambiente, an annual global consumer-goods platform held in Frankfurt, next year.
Myanmar: Yoma’s $718m realty project takes off; Yangon low-cost housing scheme
Yoma Central, previously known as the Landmark, is set to kickstart its $718-million real estate project in Yangon. In another realty related development, the ministry of construction is planning to finish 8,000 low-cost apartments in Yangon.
— Deal Street Asia
Bangladesh calls for efforts to curb Rohingya influx
Bangladesh’s foreign minister called on the international community on Monday to address Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya Muslim minority, tens of thousands of whom have fled in recent months to Bangladesh from its mainly Buddhist neighbour.
— Channel NewsAsia
Rakhine resuscitate dead airport
The Rakhine State government, in Myanmar, has invited private developers to accelerate construction of an airport at the ancient city of Mrauk U in northern region of the state.
— TTR Weekly
Myanmar: Dual pricing a pain point
Myanmar Tourism Federation and the Tourism Authority of Thailand recently signed a MoU to promote tourism between the two countries under the tagline Two countries – One Destination, but will it resolve major paint points?
— TTR Weekly
Tun Foundation celebrates best of Myanmar literature
Writers and scholars were celebrated for their achievements at the 11th annual Tun Foundation Literary Awards ceremony at the Myanmar Banks Association on February 18.
— Myanmar Times
Central Bank may liberalise trade financing for foreign banks
The Central Bank of Myanmar may allow foreign banks to launch trading services if local banks are unable to facilitate trade financing for importers and exporters, Central Bank director general U Win Thaw told the Myanmar Times.
— Myanmar Times
Water taxi service to launch in early May
Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein has announced that the city’s new water taxi service will launch in early May.
— Coconut Yangon
YBS card payment system to be implemented in April
When the Yangon Bus Service launched a little over a month ago, one of the main proposals that the Yangon government drew up was the implementation of a digital payment system over the next few months. While the Yangon Regional Transport Authority seems to still have their hands full with making sure all the bus lines run smoothly and that old vehicles are upgraded as necessary, it seems like the Yangon government still hasn’t given up on the card system, which they plan on having set up by the end of April.
— Coconut Yangon
Top Myanmar retailer to launch e-wallet with Thai technology
Win Win Tint, founder and managing director of CMHL, said in an exclusive interview that the firms recently signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture. According to the pact, T2P will share its experience in developing both fintech and customer-loyalty programmes of the retailer by providing the technology to run its loyalty and online wallet platform.
14,000 Tonnes of Wood Set for Tender
Myanmar Timber Enterprise plans to call an open tender for about 14,280 tonnes of wood and timber, the tender committee said yesterday.
Iconic European Car Brands Open Service Centres in Yangon
Myanmar Mini and Volvo owners can now rest easy knowing where to next book their high performance vehicles in for a service after the two iconic European car brands launched official service centres in Yangon.
Mon Chief Minister to quit posts, party
Following complaints over his leadership, Mon State Chief Minister U Min Min Oo has resigned from his posts in the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.
— Myanmar Times
Foreign visitor arrivals in Mandalay up 25pc
Tourist arrivals in Mandalay Region increased by about 25 percent in 2016, and there are plans to attract more visitors, said U San Yu, deputy director general of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism for upper Myanmar.
— Myanmar Times
YESC stepping in to provide electricity
Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) has pledged to support the electricity infrastructure for developers in Yangon.
— Myanmar Times
Shipment of teak and tamalan seized at port
Despite the efforts of the timber trade and government to stamp out illegal practices and eventually negotiate a VPA with the EU a shipment of around 500 tons of illegal teak and padauk/tamalan were recently seized in Yangon Port.
ADB Trade Finance Program Marks Milestone with First Transaction in Myanmar
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Trade Finance Program (TFP) has issued its first guarantee for Myanmar, supporting the import of fertilizers from Italy. The guarantee was issued in favor of Banca Popolare di Sondrio in Italy in respect of the payment obligation of United Amara Bank (UAB), one of TFP’s local partner banks in Myanmar.
Myanmar, Laos Vow to Enhance Bilateral Cooperation in All Sectors
Myanmar and Laos have vowed to enhance bilateral cooperation in all sectors with a specific focus on the socio-economic development of border inhabitants, according to sources with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Rohingya women who spoke out on rape, murder ‘pursued by Myanmar officials’
If you believe the Myanmar government, the military “clearance operation” in northern Rakhine state, which began after an attack on a police post in October, officially came to a halt on Thursday.
— The Sydney Morning Herald
India looks to expand energy ties with Myanmar
India plans to sell refined crude oil products to Myanmar as part of New Delhi’s efforts to deepen ties with its eastern neighbour, which is expected to see strong demand for fuels as it builds new roads, factories, utilities and airports.
— Times of India
Myanmar sees rare series A investment as startups finally take off
Ever since Myanmar opened up its economy following one of Asia’s most brutal dictatorships in 2010, everything from politics to culture and business in the once-isolated nation has radically changed. From being virtually off-grid, Myanmar has seen mobile usage rocket. This largely untapped market of 60 million people has caught the interest of entrepreneurs and investors alike.
— Tech in Asia
Myanmar seeking $128m loan for Dawei road link, says Thai minister
Thailand is considering a request from Myanmar for a US$128 million loan to build a road from their shared border to the Dawei Special Economic Zone, a Bangkok newspaper reported last week.
— Frontier Myanmar
Myanmar fire spreads to China
A fire starting in Myanmar spread across the border to China, raging through forests in two townships and into a protected nature reserve, local forest fire control authorities reported yesterday, according to the ECNS website.
Turkey sends aid to Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said Monday that it had delivered food to 18,500 displaced Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar this month.
— Anadolu Agency
Feature photo: Richard Todd
The Myanmar morning news roundup is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.