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Business News in Brief

Military-owned enterprises to lose privileges in mining sector

Myanma Economic Holding Ltd (MEHL) and Myanma Economic Corp (MEC), owned by the Ministry of Defence, will not have any special privileges in the mining sector including the lucrative jade and ruby industry, local media reported, citing director general Win Htein of the Ministry of Mining. “They won’t have any privileges any more. They will have to take part in the competitive bidding against others when their current mining licenses expire soon,” he was quoted as saying.

Local airline to launch Myeik-Bangkok Flight

A local firm will launch bi-weekly charter flights linking Myanmar’s southeastern archipelago of Myeik with Thai capital Bangkok this month, according to a local media report. Union Express Charter Airline, a joint venture between Myanmar Union Express Aviation Group and Myeik Public Corp, will operate the flights using a 168-seater Boeing737 to link Bangkok and the coastal city in Tanintharyi division, which was recently opened up for tourism. Flights will run every Tuesday and Friday, costing $140 for a return ticket, the report added. Prior to the flights, Myeik residents had to travel to Bangkok via Yangon.

Japan to give ¥4b to streamline taxation sector

Japan has pledged to spend almost ¥4 billion to streamline Myanmar’s tax sector, according to the Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance. The Japanese government will provide ¥3.9 billion for the Single Window Project which aims to modernise the taxation system by using auto-clearing for commodities. An agreement regarding this between the two governments was signed last month.

Thilawa SEZ Holdings to pick independent director

The government has asked the Thilawa SEZ Holdings Co Ltd to appoint independent directors who won’t hold any shares in the company. The Myanmar government owns ten percent of the company while 41 percent is privately owned, with a handful of influential companies investing over K39 million ($40,206) in the shares. The remaining 49 percent is owned by Japan. “We will hold a shareholder meeting and appoint the directors,” U Set Aung, chairman for Thilawa SEZ Administration Committee, said.

Myanmar relaxes journo visa rules for ASEAN Summit

Myanmar has simplified entry visa procedures for foreign journalists seeking to cover the upcoming ASEAN Summit in the country later this month, the information ministry said. Under the new scheme, the one-month multiple entry visa rule for foreign reporters has been simplified. Visas can be extended twice. Journalists were advised to re-apply for a new visa after three months at the Myanmar embassies which issued their first visa. Foreign correspondents based in Myanmar will be allowed to extend their visa in every six months, according to the new plan.

Yatanarpon Teleport seeks foreign partners

State-owned telecommunications services provider Yatanarpon Teleport is in discussion with four foreign companies to establish a public-private partnership, local media reported. True Move from Thailand and Axiata from Malaysia are reported to be favourites. The joint venture will be 51 percent owned by Yatanarpon Teleport and 49 percent by the chosen foreign firm. Yatanarpon Teleport currently provides mobile services and internet provision.


MOGE calls rigs upgrade tender

State-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) under the Ministry of Energy is now planning to upgrade its own drilling rigs with a range of capacity for shallow, medium and deep wells, and aims to cooperate with local and foreign partners to participate in future drilling activities. MOGE said all interested local and foreign companies are “warmly invited to come and discuss for potential business cooperation” at MOGE office at Complex 44 in Nay Pyi Taw.

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