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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Gov’t pans out scheme for Dawei SEZ

Myanmar will start implementing the Myanmar-Thai Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the country’s southern Tanintharyi region by building compressed natural gas (CNG) power plants, a minister said. Using imported CNG, the first plant will generate 15 megawatts (MW) and the second phase will yield 450MW later, U Aye Myint, minister for labor, employment and social security and chairman of the Central Working Committee for Implementation of Dawei SEZ, said.

Ooredoo to support Myanmar Mobile Education (myME) project

Ooredoo said it has agreed a partnership with the Myanmar Mobile Education Project (myME), which aims to contribute to the education of children working in teashop restaurants in urban areas of Myanmar. myME’s mobile classrooms provide children an opportunity to learn basic literacy, maths and computer skills. Ooredoo’s support will include the continued operation of existing buses as well as salaries for teachers and coordinators. Currently two buses as classrooms are in use, with over 200 students spending a minimum of two hours per day learning either in the tea-shop itself, or on the bus. The Ooredoo sponsored classroom, to be rolled out early in 2015 will increase this number to over 300 students.

Myanmar offers e-visas to 24 more nations

Tourists from 24 more countries were included in Myanmar’s e-visa applications system, which went live this year in September. Citizens from Austria, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mongolia, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Venezuela were added, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Production at new gas fields to start in 2018

Extraction at newly discovered gas deposits is expected to start in 2018, a local oil and gas firm’s official said. Tin Maung Tun, senior project manager of Parami Energy, said the government is eyeing three energy sources to allay the country’s power shortage, namely coal, hydropower and natural gas, local media reported. However, he did not reveal which exploration blocks will be ready for extraction.

Gov’t starts granting publishing licences again

The government has begun issuing publishing licences following a six-month break after by-laws were enacted relating to the Printing and Publishing Enterprise Law. The Ministry of Information announced that local and foreign companies could apply for publishing licences for all publications, including newspapers and journals, from October 15. According to the new rules, approval will be granted within three weeks and publishing should begin within three years of the licence being granted. Previously only valid for one year, licences will now be granted for five years and can be cancelled if material is deemed to damage religion, encourage crime or be pornographic.

FDI surpasses Gov’t target in six months

Foreign Direct Investment into Myanmar has crosses the government’s initial target for the whole 2014-15 fiscal year in only six months, a government official told local media. FDI reached $4.09 billion at the end of September, according to data from the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA). The Myanmar Investment Commission earlier said it expects FDI to reach between $4 and 5 billion this fiscal year, however, pouring investments in manufacturing, energy and telecommunications have helped Myanmar cross the target with half of the fiscal year to spare. Investments in the telecoms sector garnered $818 million, one-fifth of the total, while oil and gas sector brought in about $700 million.

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