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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Over 95,000 use business VOA during Jan-Oct

The Department of Immigration said 95,713 foreign visitors obtained business visa-on-arrival (VOA) at Yangon International Airport during January to October. Chinese visitors topped the list followed by the Japanese. Myanmar began issuing business VOA for nationals from 26 countries in June 2012, and expanded the list to another 22 countries. From June 1, 2013 to August 31, about 130,000 visitors obtained business VOA, immigration data shows.

Myanmar delegation meet Assam gov’t officials, businesspeople

A Myanmar delegation recently met Assam government officials and business leaders to discuss investment opportunities in the neglected northeastern state of India. According to an official release, the delegation was led by Tha Aye, chief minister of Sagaing region, and La John Ngan Sai, chief minister of Kachin state. The delegates discussed business potentials in the region and the way to harness them, and talked about possibilities of active cooperation education, power, tourism and food processing sectors, the release said.

Three new overpasses for Yangon for $53m

The authorities will build three new overpasses in Yangon during 2015-16, according to officials. The overpasses are proposed to be built at Myaynigone, Eight Mile Junction in Mayangon township and Kokkine in Bahan township, local media reported. The total budget for the overpasses will be over K53 billion ($53 million). Yangon currently has three overpasses – Hledan overpass was completed in April 2013, Bayintnaung overpass in October 2013 and Shwegondine overpass in December last year.

Thai jeans maker eye Myanmar growth

Thailand-based Mc Group, which makes Mc-branded denim jeans, will open new outlets through its authorised sales agent across Myanmar as part of its growth push in the country. Mc Group Chief Executive Officer Sunee Seripanu told Thai media that Mc Group has 40 percent market share in Myanmar and has seen 75 percent growth at its 16 outlets in the first three quarters of this year. The firm sells its products in Myanmar through HBT Co Ltd, which imports Mc jeans from Thailand through Mae Sot border point.

Over 30,000 tonnes of logs seized

More than 30,000 tonnes of illegal logs were seized during surprise checks in the first seven months of this fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, local media reported. Between April and October, the ministry seized 7,200 tonnes of teak, 12,383 tonnes of other hardwood and 11,701 tonnes of other wood logs. A total of 3,877 Myanmar citizens and nine foreigners were arrested in connection with illegal smuggling during this period. The log smuggling industry is soaring due to ever increasing demand from Chinese buyers.

Real estate sector FDI crosses $1 Billion

Foreign investment in Myanmar’s real estate and housing sector has soared to $1.3 billion as of October with Singapore and Hong Kong investors topping the list, according to Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). However, in the last three years electric power sector has been the leading FDI receiving sector in Myanmar, followed by commodity and telecoms, local media reported.

MIC still mulls mega hydropower project

The 1,360-megawatt Hatgyi hydropower project, which is a joint venture between local firm IGE Co and Chinese firms, has not yet been given the go ahead and the case is still under observation, said Aung Naing Oo, secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), at a press conference. IGE Co, however, received permission for eight projects apart from Hatgyi dam in partnership with Chinese companies, including hydropower projects like the 7,000-MW Mongton dam on upper Thanlwin river and the 1,200-MW Naungpha dam.

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