P&G joins US Chamber of Commerce in Burma
Procter & Gamble, the American consumer goods conglomerate, has become the 100th member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Burma. The acting director of AMCHAM, Judy Benn, said, “With 100 companies now on board, we have a great platform to facilitate the future success of our members as well as promote our ethics and business values in Myanmar,” reported Myanmar Business Today. P&G’ s products have a worldwide presence with their products ranging across personal care, health, snacks and cleaning agents among few.
Telenor turns on its network in Burma
Norwegian telecom giant Telenor became an active mobile network service provider in Burma on Saturday, 27 September. The network, currently active only in Mandalay, will expand to Naypyidaw and Rangoon over the next two weeks. More regions will be connected gradually as the towers are set up. Telenor, with SIM cards priced at 1,500 kyat (US$1.50), is the third mobile network to begin operations in Burma, after Qatari Ooredo and state-owned MPT.
PTTEP to increase Burma investment by US$3.3bn
Thailand-based oil and gas company, PTT Exploration and Production Public Company (PTTEP), which has been operating in Burma for the past 25 years, is set to invest an additional US$3.3 billion in the country. The energy producer is keen to develop infrastructural capacity in Burma with projects including refineries, gas pipelines, petrochemical and power plants. The increased investment will go towards seven exploration projects in Burma: Myanmar M3, M11, MD-7, MD-8, PSC G, EP 2 and MOGE 3 blocks.
9 foreign banks awarded licenses
Japan’s three largest banks—Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ; and Mizuho Bank—were among the nine foreign banks awarded licenses by the Burmese government. The other five banks are; Thailand’s Bangkok Bank; China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; Malaysia’s Malayan Banking (Maybank); Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ); and two Singaporean banks—United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.
No tax exemption for INGO workers
The International Revenue Department recently announced that International Non-Government Organisation (INGO) workers in Burma will now be required to pay income tax if they are not tax-exempted under the 1954 United Nations Privileges and Exemptions Act, the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, or the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Previously, INGO workers in Burma engaged in education, religion, health, religion, charity and welfare sectors were exempted from tax payment under the Commercial Tax Law and Income Tax Law.
Hotel zone construction to begin in Chin State
The Hotels and Tourism Ministry is to construct a hotel zone in the Kanpetlet region of Chin State, announced Aye Kyaw from the Tourism Federation. The hotel zone was initiated after a growing number of tourists expressed interested in visiting the region since it was officially opened for tourism in 2013. Of two natural forests in Burma, Natmataung is located in Chin and has become a popular attraction.
Tokyo views Dawei deep-sea port investment
The Japanese government has proposed trilateral talks involving itself, Burma and Thailand to kick-start a Japanese investment plan in the Dawei deep sea port project. The proposal came after Japanese deputy-foreign minister Minoru Kiuchi and Ambassador Shigekazu Sato visited Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Thailand.
Burma’s new stock exchange to list 3 companies in 2015
The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSE), which will replace the Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre (MSEC), is set to launch in Burma by October 2015. Three public companies will be listed initially: the Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank, First Myanmar Investment Co Ltd (FMI), and the Myanmar Agribusiness Public Cooperation Limited (MAPCO) established by the Myanmar Rice Federation.
130 firms to exhibit at October oil & gas fair.
One hundred and thirty firms from 22 different countries will exhibit a range of services and products at Burma’s inaugural oil and gas trade fair, which is to be held at the Myanmar Convention Centre on 15– 17 October. The event – known as Oil & Gas Myanmar 2014 – will showcase a number of international exhibitors, including strong representations from Singapore and the UK, as foreign companies look to launch themselves into Burma’s potentially lucrative energy sector.
Burma budgets US$110 million for education
Burmese Education Minister Dr Khin San Yee announced last week at an educational seminar in Rangoon University that 110 billion kyat (US$110 million) is to be allocated for educational reforms. She said that the Ministry of Education will appropriate a budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 to: improve the status of schools in the border region; to set up kindergartens and preschool classes in remote areas to enforce compulsory education; and to set up digital libraries.