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Business weekly 28 March

Burma energy drink firm signs Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC on Friday announced the launch of a new regional partnership with Cobra Energy Drink, which sees the brand become the official energy drink of the club in Burma. The partnership will include a new TV campaign featuring Liverpool players and competitions for fans to win Liverpool merchandise. “Liverpool FC is one of the most popular football clubs in Myanmar, which is very much a nation of football fanatics,” said Billy Hogan, chief commercial officer at Liverpool.


Chevron inks oil deal with MOGE

Chevron Corp. announced on 24 March that its subsidiary, Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co, has entered into a production-sharing agreement with state-run Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE), to explore for oil and gas in Block A5 off the Arakan coast. The US firm also produces natural gas from the Yadana and Sein fields in the Andaman Sea, and has a 28.3 percent non-operated interest in transporting most of the natural gas to power plants in Thailand.


Arakan gas and oil gets US$1 billion investment

More than US$1 billion dollars is to be invested in oil and gas extraction off of Burma’s western coast. Britain’s BG Group and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd won the rights to two shallow sea and two deep sea offshore “blocks” in Arakan State, also known as Rakhine State, in an auction last year. Reuters quoted an energy official as saying that observation and exploration work at the area will take another seven or eight years. The two companies signed product sharing contracts on 20 March.


98.5% of Burma’s workers have no social welfare

Some 98.5 percent of all workers in Burma are living without any social welfare benefits, according to Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Human Settlement Win Maw Tun. She made the remark to reporters while concluding a ceremony for 10 workers who had been injured or died in work-related accidents in the region. She suggested that each workforce take steps to get insurance.


Indian support for IT in Burma

Indian-Burmese collaboration on information technology is set to ramp-up with a Mandalay IT institute, modeled on and implemented by the International Institute of Information Technology in Bangalore, the heartland of India’s booming IT industry. The partnership also aims to increase Burma’s skills capacity, with Burmese being sent to India to boost entrepreneurship and language skills. India’s ambassador to Burma has announced the twinning of Calcutta and Dagon universities, both specialising in IT, according to a report in state-run Global New Light of Myanmar.


Mystery illness wreaks havoc on shrimp industry

Burma’s shrimp industry is being threatened by an unknown disease that causes the death of the crustaceans in their early stages. Along with Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, shrimp farms in Burma have been affected for more than two years, according to Hnin Oo of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation, who says that the losses are putting off investors. Experiments are being carried out to find the cause. The industry’s 2014-15 profits are expected to be US$80 million less than last year, according to Myanmar Business Today.


adbheadquartersADB predicts 8.3% growth in Burma for 2015

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday predicted economic growth in Burma will surge by over eight percent for the next two years as it urged the nation to press on with reforms before landmark elections. It estimated that gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fiscal year 2016 would “remain close to this pace”.

Read more: HERE


Salary increases confirmed for civil servants, govt heads

Burma’s Finance Minister Win Shein announced a plan to increase the salaries of government workers from April this year. Speaking in the union parliament on Thursday, he said the lowest paid civil servant, who currently earns 70,000 kyat (US$70) per month, will have their salary raised to 120,000 kyat, while those in the highest pay grade, senior officials taking home 250,000 kyat, will see their monthly salary double to 500,000 kyat. He added that government employees will, however, have to forfeit the 30,000 kyat (US$30) stipend they currently enjoy.

Read more HERE


China aims to lead regional development in transport, infrastructure

Asian leaders have gathered in China for a four-day summit aiming to set the economic agenda during what is sure to be a crucial year for Burma. The Boao Forum for Asia comes as ASEAN states prepare for the establishment of an integrated economic community. Led by Chinese President Xi Jingping, nations are set to reaffirm their support for sprawling infrastructure projects due to connect the continent. A network of sea, rail and road projects make up China’s dream of a new “Silk Road”. The global initiative may cost US$800 million per annum for the next five years. But China says its Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) is ready to foot the bill.

See video HERE




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