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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Semen Indonesia’s $300-m Myanmar investment faces delays
Semen Indonesia may have to postpone expansion into Myanmar until next year due to prolonged negotiations with its local partner, a company executive said, according to Indonesian media reports. Finance director Ahyanizzam said that despite a suitable partner having been found, discussions regarding the ownership of the joint venture have not proceeded as expected as both the parties want a majority ownership in the venture. The Indonesian cement giant didn’t disclose the name of its local partner.

Parboiled rice exports to rise more than 15 times next year
Annual parboiled rice exports will increase to 500,000 tonnes next year from about 30,000 tonnes when all the factories under construction are ready to manufacture, local media reported, citing Secretary General Ye Min Aung of Myanmar Rice Federation. There will be 31 parboiled rice factories in the country in 2015. Demand for Myanmar’s parboiled rice is growing speedily, especially in Russia and Western Europe, according to reports.

Indian insurer to open office in Myanmar
India’s state-owned New India Assurance has announced it will open a representative office in Yangon, following its registration at the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration on September 5. Established in 1919, it operates insurance businesses in 23 countries, including Japan, Hong Kong (China), the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Kuwait and Dubai. There are already 13 foreign insurance companies’ representative offices in Myanmar.

Myanmar set to allow permanent residency to foreigners
Myanmar will begin accepting applications for permanent residency starting from the last week of October, under a new by-law drafted by a top-level government committee, according to the Ministry of Immigration and Population. Foreign nationals whose applications are approved will be allowed to stay in the country for five years initially, and this can be extended by five more years, officials said.

Japan to start buying Myanmar rubber in October
Japan will start buying rubber from Myanmar in October if it meets the quality standards required by its market, according to the Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association. Khine Myint, the association’s secretary, told local media that Japanese buyers had been analysing the quality of rubber produced in Myanmar since last year, in preparation for imports. Japanese experts have also provided technical advice to rubber plantations, he added.

Myanmar to send commercial attaché to US
Myanmar will send a commercial attaché to the United States to promote economic ties, local media reported citing officials from Ministry of Commerce. They said commercial attaches will also be sent to Russia and Malaysia and that nine are already working abroad, including in Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore and Thailand. The commercial attachés will be tasked with encouraging foreign investment in Myanmar, ministry officials said.

MAI to launch direct flight to S Korea
Myanmar Airways International (MAI) will launch a direct flight between Yangon and South Korea starting October 26 in a bid to facilitate the South Korean business travellers and tourists destined to the Southeast Asian nation. MAI will operate the direct flight five times a week, the firm said. MAI currently operates seven international routes, flying from Yangon to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Gaya, Guangzhou, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

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