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Investment and Finance Update

Minister Encourages Local Businessmen to Expand Business Boldly

Commerce Minister U Win Myint has encouraged local businessmen to expand their businesses boldly to seize better opportunities during the economic boom expected in 2015.

Taxes will be reduced and relaxed further, he said, offering other necessary assistance to exporters and importers.

Draft of New Foreign Investment Law to be Submitted to Parliament
 

The draft of the new foreign investment law will be submitted to the upcoming parliamentary session, due to resume this week, a senior Investment Commission official said.

Drafted on the advice of International Finance Corporation, the new law, once enacted, will supersede Myanmar Foreign Investment Law (2012) and Myanmar Citizens Investment Law (2013).

Myanmar Plans to Add 4m Mobile Phone Users in 2014
 

Myanmar plans to expand its mobile network to accommodate 4 million new subscribers, comprising GSM and 3G, during 2014, bringing the total number to 10 million users, a senior ministry official said.

Suu Kyi Says Next Govt Needs to Tackle Stalled Dam Project

In her regular biweekly interview with the Radio Free Asia, major opposition NLD leader Suu Kyi said the next government will have to tackle decisively the issue of the stalled controversial mega dam protect on Ayeyawady River, her party’s mouthpiece the D-Wave journal reported.

It was irresponsible of present government to have left it to the next government, she added.

Myanmar President Says 2014-15 GDP Seen Around $67 Billion

Myanmar’s GDP for fiscal 2014-15 is estimated to be around $67 billion (K66.19 trillion), President Thein Sein said at a Financial Commission Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw.
He also said salaries of government employees will be raised by K20,000 per month with effect from April 1.

Five Sub-Committees Formed for Review on Constitution Changes
 

Five sub-committees have been set up among the 109-member Parliamentary Committee to review over 300,000 points of suggestion received from the public on amending the constitution, the Voice Daily reported citing a Committee member.

He said these committees will have to review the points within a week and submit their report at the upcoming parliament by end January.

Foreign Trades Grow by $4 billion in 9 Months

Total trade volumes as of end December during 2013-14 (April-March) fiscal year grew by $4 billion compared to the same period last fiscal, according to commerce ministry data.

Total imports and exports during the first nine months were $9.83 billion and $8.81 billion respectively.

Next Year’s Budget Deficit Estimated at $2.75 billion

The deficit of next year’s budget is estimated to be about $2.75 billion, officials reports say.

Allocations on education will be increased to 5.93 percent from 5.34 percent and on the health sector to 3.38 percent from 3.15 percent.

Suu Kyi Says 2014 More Important Than 2015 for Myanmar
 

Major opposition NLD party leader Aung San Suu Kyi said 2014 will be far more important than 2015 for political and economic development in Myanmar although most potential foreign investors are watching out for the situation in 2015.

The Nobel peace laureate, speaking at a mass meeting during her tour of Chin State, said the trees grown in 2014 will flower and bear fruit in 2015, obviously referring to the constitution amendment in 2014 in time for the 2015 general elections.

Myanmar Gets Over 82,000 Business Visitors in 2013

More than 82,000 tourists visited Myanmar with business visa-on-arrival last year, according to the Yangon international airport’s immigration department.

Since June 2012, Myanmar has allowed visa-on-arrival to 26 countries, including regional neighbours. An additional 22 nations, most of them European countries, were added to the list in February 2013, making the facility available for 48 countries.

The majority of the business tourists were from Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and Spain, according to the statistics.

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