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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Austria to cooperate in energy sector

Myanmar has sought cooperation with Austria for the development, operation and transfer of Deedoke Hydropower project in Mandalay region, official media reported. Ministry of Electric Power and Austria-based ANDRITZ Hydro GmbH, a global supplier of electromechanical equipment and services for hydropower plants, signed a memorandum of understanding regarding this in Naypyitaw. Under the MoU, ANDRITZ Hydro will establish a 66 megawatt low-head power plant through a joint venture. In May, Ministry of Electric Power and Austria’s Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology signed an MoU on technology cooperation.

E-government project spends over $16 million

More than $16 million has been spent by 65 regional and state governments on the e-government project since 2011-12 fiscal year, said Thaung Tin, deputy minister for communication and information technology, according to local media reports. Currently, a roadmap is being devised and infrastructure developed along with applications which can be used by all ministries, he added. The project is expected to be finished by next March, the minister said.

Ministry extends reduced registration fee period for vehicle imports

The authorities will extend the period of reduced registration fees for importing vehicles through the used car substitution plan, which allows car owners to replace old vehicles with newer ones. The period will be extended by three months and end on March 31 next year, said deputy minister for rail transportation Chan Maung at a parliament session, local media reported.

Myanmar eyes 5 million international arrivals next year

Myanmar’s international arrivals are expected to exceed 5 million next year as the country’s private sector strengthens its overseas marketing, including in Thailand, Thai media reported. Last year, more than 3 million tourists visited Myanmar, with ASEAN markets accounting for about 70 percent of the arrivals, followed by European markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany. A similar number of tourists is officially expected this year. In July, arrivals came in at 195,446, rising from 175,636 in June. January was the year’s best month to date, at 269,045 arrivals.

President calls for contribution to socioeconomic development

President U Thein Sein has called for contribution of all citizens to the country’s socioeconomic development in accordance with the long-term goals of all-round national development and economic and social reform, state-media reported. Addressing the Workshop on Urban and Housing Development Policy and Projects held in Naypyitaw, U Thein Sein said that the government has been implementing people-centred development tasks to promote socioeconomic progress since it took office.

Almost 7,000 tourists use e-visa

About 7,000 foreigners entered Myanmar using e-visas in the last two months, according to the Immigration Department at Yangon International Airport, local media reported. The e-visa system was launched on September 1, and as of November 1, it was used by 6,934 tourists. As of September 1, the e-visa was available to tourists from 41 countries, and in October was extended to 24 more countries. Of the 6,934 tourists, 1,010 were from the US, 737 were from the UK and 451 from France. The e-visa system was expanded beyond Yangon International Airport to airports in Mandalay and Naypyitaw in mid-November. The e-visa is only available to tourists, and it allows 28 days in Myanmar at a cost of $50.

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