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Gold market reopened but remains sluggish

The domestic gold market has reopened yet it still remains sluggish, said U Ohn Myaing, general secretary of Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association. “The demand is low and the trade isn’t lively yet. Transactions take place only between the sellers who want to cash out and the investors,” he said. On 2 November, pure gold fetched K1.31 million per tical (0.578 ounces, or 0.016 kilograms) in the domestic market, while the gold has registered at US$1,880 per ounce in the international market. “The domestic gold price is about K20,000 lower than the international rate,” he continued.

“It is hard to predict the domestic gold price amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the tensions between China and the US,” he highlighted. Yangon Region gold market, which was temporarily suspended amid the COVID-19 resurgences, was back into business on 26 October. The virtual trade is also available through the Zoom app, Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association stated. There are more than 10,000 gold shops in the region, and about 50 visses of gold were traded earlier. During the first wave of COVID-19, Yangon gold market was closed between 29 March and 18 May. According to gold traders, during the past four months, the domestic gold was priced with the minimum rate of K1,216,500 (1 July) and the maximum rate of K1,296,500 (27 July).

The price moved in the range of, K1,286,500 on 13 August and K1,332,500 on 7 August. The local gold reached the lowest level of K1,310,500 (2 September) and the highest level of K1,314,000 (1 September). In October, the rate ranged between K1,307,800 (30 October) and K1,316,500 (21 October). With global gold prices on the uptick, the domestic price hit fresh highs last year, reaching K1,000,000 per tical between 17 January and 21 February, crossing K1,100,000 (22 June to 5 August), climbing to over 1,200,000 (7 August-4 September), and then reaching an all-time record high of K1,300,000 on 5 September 2019. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Virtual Workshop on Electricity Markets in Transition: Privatization, Competition, and Regional Cooperation

Date: 4 – 5 November 2020 , 12:20P.M – 4:00 P.M

Summary

The liberalization of the global electricity sector has subjected electricity markets to varying levels of competition and regulation. Growing demand for electricity and investment in the sector in Asia and the Pacific is prompting the region’s developing economies to strengthen their energy reform agendas while taking into account the need to raise the share of renewable energy in electricity generation.

This ADBI virtual workshop will feature new research on the liberalization of the global electricity sector, resulting variations in competition and regulation, and energy reform outlook for developing Asia and the Pacific. Among the focuses will include effective policy development, raising renewable energy share in electricity generation, and prospects for greater regional cooperation within the sector.

Objectives
  • Explore electricity reform experiences and lessons learned
  • Guide electricity sector planning and design for developing economies in Asia and the Pacific and beyond
Participants
  • Policy makers and experts from think tanks, universities, and other institutions, as well as post-graduate students
Output
  • Enhanced understanding of recent electricity market reforms
  • Impetus for greater policy dialogue and research on electricity markets and increasing renewable energy share in electricity generation
  • Presentation slides to be made publicly available on the ADBI website
  • Papers presented during the workshop will be considered for publication as ADBI working papers and possible inclusion in a journal special issue

HostAsian Development Bank Institute – ADBI

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Myanmar traders suffer loss as China suspends marine products imports

CHINA halted fisheries products imports through Muse land border effective 15 October, causing losses for Myanmar traders, industry sources
said. Myanmar traders export the frozen fish and live fish, crab, eel, long-finned eel and other fisheries products to China through Muse land
border. During the last financial year ending on September 30, a total of 128,067 tonnes of fisheries products, w3ith a total value of US$170.735 million, were exported through Muse. In the FY2018-2019, the figures stood at $128.429 million with 102,018 tonnes. Therefore, the export value saw an increase of $42.306 million, and the volume was up by over 26,048 tonnes in the past FY.

Ribbonfish, Katla, white pomfret, silver pomfret, yellow pike conger, white croaker, soldier croaker, yellow croaker, Ilish, loach, mackerel and pufferfish, and pink, white, Vannamei and Tigers prawn, dried shrimp, squid and salted fish are exported to China. Myanmar’s fish exports to China in June-August dropped. It was attributed to the fights in the Shan State during August and fishing banned season. During the early outbreak of COVID-19, trade flow was steady. During the exemption period of advanced income tax on exports, the export amount increased. At present, the export volume of live crab dropped by $5.966 million worth over 1,875 tonnes, and the export volume of live eel plunged by $6.929 million worth 1,735 tonnes compared to a year-ago period. However, the country saw an increase of 24.791 million (8,617 tonnes) in fish exports, $4.537 million (919.68 tonnes) in prawn exports, and $25.494 million (20,059 tonnes) in other fishery products exports against last year, data of the Fisheries Department (Muse) showed.

The suspension in fishery export does not concern with Chinese authorities. The trade is temporarily halted among the traders of China. Prawns exported to foreign countries, of which more than 4,000 tonnes of prawns are sent to the Japanese market. They notified the local traders of trade suspension in advance. On 5 October, China stopped frozen fish purchase and so did the crab and eel on 16 October. Only dried fish and prawn are flowing into China through its Mang Weing border. Chinese traders have not informed when they will be back into the business. The eels are stockpiled at the depot. Some even experience capital loss. Some local traders also stopped buying the eel. The trade will return to normal once trade with China is opened. For the time being, traders are facing loss. The eel fetched only K3,000-3,500 per vises (1.6 kg). The market primarily depends on China. The trade suspension in China side harms both the traders and those harvesting eel and shrimp. The local traders can only wait for the reopening of trade in China.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Second review of Myanmar’s investment policy conducted

The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations (MIFER) has conducted a review of Myanmar’s investment policy with the aim of restructuring and creating an attractive environment for local and foreign investors. The review, conducted with the help of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), focused on infrastructure connectivity, building a green development investment framework, improving land use rights and enhancing the role of the economic zones, according to the MIFER. The outcome of the review, which is the second conducted in six years, will be released this month.

Although substantial progress has been made on the investment front since the first review in 2014, the reform momentum needs to be deepened for new investments to be viable and growth to be sustainable. This second review takes stock of Myanmar’s recent achievements and assesses the remaining challenges in attracting new investments with a view of enabling a responsible business environment and ensuring the benefits are shared with society. It places a strong emphasis on haw foreign investments can help Myanmar achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and improve the lives of the people of Myanmar, the OECD said.

The MIFER will seek to develop more Special Economic Zones and new industrial zones in strategic areas and sectors, and partnership with reputable, internationally experienced developers. Also, they will aim to modernize and expand fiscal incentives on offer under a revised Myanmar Investment Law and through a revised Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan. The OECD released the first Myanmar Investment Policy Review in 21014, as a result of which the Myanmar Investment Law and the Myanmar Companies Law were enacted to support and regulate further investments in the country. The first investment policy review included financial sector reform, investment promotion and facilitation, infrastructure development and responsible business practices.

Source: Myanmar Times