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Business News in Brief

Military-owned shipping line to buy 3 vessels

The military owned Myanma Five-Star Shipping Line, the lone oceangoing shipping line in Myanmar, will buy three more vessels this year to add to their 22-ship fleet, a senior official of the shipping line said. Established in 1959, Myanma Five-Star Shipping Line was transferred to Myanma Economic Holding Ltd under the defence ministry in a sweeping privatisation scheme in 2010.

Ten foreign insurance firms awaiting permits

Ten foreign insurance companies from the UK, France, Australia, Singapore and China are waiting for permission to operate in Myanmar. The insurance industry, a government monopoly in the past 60 years, was opened to 12 local private companies in September 2013.

Industry body seeks to abolish 10pc customs duty on cellphone imports

The government has been requested to abolish 10 percent customs duty on the import of mobile handsets, general secretary of Myanmar Computer Entrepreneurs Association said. At present, 10 percent customs duty, 5 percent commercial duty and 2 percent advanced taxes are levied on handset imports.

Myanmar to consult international firms on foreign banks’ operation

Myanmar is planning to hire international consulting firms to allow operation of foreign banks in the country, Central Bank Deputy Governor Set Aung said.

Yangon to have underground rail, sky trains by 2025

An underground rail service and high-speed sky train system will be introduced in commercial city Yangon in 2025 to sort out the worsening traffic congestion, Rail Minister Than Htay said. The underground rail and the sky train will be implemented in cooperation with the JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency), and will be 10.5km and 11.3km respectively.

Dealers see bigger market for Myanmar rice after China cancels Thai plan

Local experts and dealers say Myanmar rice can expect a bigger market in China, which cancelled a plan to buy more than one million tonnes of Thai rice.  Chit Khine, chairman of the Myanmar Rice Industry Association, said the rise in rice exports from Myanmar to China will be mainly through border trade.

Military to surrender over 150,000 acres of seized land

The Commander-in-Chief has approved the military’s relinquishing 154,116 acres of the seized farmland, Deputy Defence Minister Major General Kyaw Nyunt told the Parliament. The military does not have any more scheme to seize land, he said.

Myanmar to adopt metric system

The Ministry of Commerce is preparing to adopt the International System of Units (SI or metric system) as the country’s official system of measurement in a bid to streamline the weight measuring process in exporting agricultural products such as rice, beans and, Dr Pwint San, deputy minister for commerce, said.

Myanmar to privatise airport in Mon state

Myanmar transport authorities will privatise Mawlamyine airport in southeastern Mon state by inviting tender. Under the airport upgrading program, local companies will be allowed to operate the Mawlamyine airport business, state-run media said. The upgrading plan will include construction of a recreation center, restaurants, stores and money exchange counters. The tender invitation will be closed at the end of this month.

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