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Myanmar Business News in Brief

S Korea to step up cooperation

Myanmar and South Korea are to step up development cooperation, focusing on agriculture, livestock breeding, industrial and rural development sectors. During his recent visit to South Korea, President U Thein Sein discussed with his counterpart Park Geun-hye on improvement of SME industries for production of value-added agricultural and livestock products; promotion of trade, investment, culture, education and health sectors; development of ports, waterways, electricity and energy sectors.

YESB to be corporatised

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will transform Yangon Electricity Supply Board (YESB) into a corporation next year, said Vikram Kumar, resident representative of IFC in Myanmar. The process would take a few months if it ran smoothly, he said, depending on the speed of the government’s decision. The IFC has been providing assistance to YESB since March.

Indonesian tin miner drops Myanmar smelter plan

Indonesian tin miner PT Timah Tbk has decided to call off a plan to build a tin smelter in Myanmar as it could not find an ideal location for the plant and due to concerns over the security condition, Kontan reported, citing Corporate Secretary Agung Nugroho.

Myanmar firm plans Thai listing

A local tourism firm in Myanmar with expected market capitalisation of over $300 million is planning to raise funds from a primary listing on the Thai stock market in 2016, according to Thai media reports. Adisorn Singhsacha, managing director of Twin Pine Consulting, which is acting as the financial adviser for the listing, told Bangkok Post that his firm is considering fund-raising options for the Myanmar company. Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission recently said it will relax rules and regulations for foreign companies listing on the Thai bourse. The amended rules are expected to take effect next February.

Yangon airport sees more tourist arrivals in 11 months

The number of tourist arrivals through Yangon International Airport reached 931,236 in the first 11 months of this year, up from about 700,000 in the same period of last year, according to official data. Thailand stood first with 148,260 visitors, followed by Japan and China. According to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism, tourist arrivals in Myanmar hit 1.6 million in the first seven months of this year, and are expected to surpass 3 million by the year-end.

Myanmar, Thailand set to resume Joint Trade Commission

Myanmar and Thailand will resume the Joint Trade Commission in January in a bid to cement economic cooperation and boost bilateral trade, Thai deputy commerce minister Apiradi Tantraporn said, according to Thai media reports. The two nations’ leaders will chair the JTC meeting, which had been suspended for much of the year because of the political turmoil in Thailand. With the upcoming Asean integration, Thailand and Myanmar aims to tighten cooperation, mainly cross-border trade and promoting special economic zones in border provinces between Mae Sot and Myawaddy, she was quoted as saying. The agenda for the January meeting, which will be held in Thailand, is to exchange trade information and promote growth via trade activities; reduce duplicated customs procedures; and promote more trade and investment after completion of the second Friendship Bridge and four-lane roads linking the countries next year. Cross-border trade between Thailand and Myanmar stood at $5.2 billion in the first 10 months of the year, 7.8 percent higher than in the same period last year.

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