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Domestic gold price drops over K30,000 these days

According to the domestic gold market, the gold market price in Myanmar dropped over K30,000 these days. Although the pure gold fetched the highest price of over K1,4000,000 per tical on 17 February, it has dropped to K1,366,000 per tical on 26 February. Recent days saw the gold price unstable in the domestic market. That is the reason why the Yangon gold market halted on 5 February. But, the market was reopened on 10 February. Consequently, Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association called an emergency meeting on 4 February before the gold market started.

Then, the association made four decisions. They are to use the cash down payment system and encourage people trading with fear and trading with restraint. Similarly, the international gold price is also on the decline. The gold price was fixed at around US$1,788 per ounce on 17 February and $1,770 on 26 February 2021. In January 2021, the domestic gold fetched the highest price of K1,336,000 per tical on 6 January. It reached the lowest price of K1,316,000 per tical on 28 January. The local gold price 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). The rate fluctuated between the highest of K1,312,000 (16 November) and the lowest of K1,278,000 (28 November). In December, the pure yellow metal priced moved in the range of K1,275,000 (1 December) and K1,333,000 (28 December). With the global gold prices on the uptick, the domestic price hit fresh highs in 2019, reaching K1,000,000 per tical between 17 January and 21 February, crossing K1,100,000 (22 June to 5 August), climbing to K1,200,000 (7 August-4 September), and then reaching a fresh peak of K1,300,000 on 5 September, according to the gold traders.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Up to 5 million kyats per loan at 2% interest per annum to small grocery stores affected by COVID-19

The project will provide loans of up to 5 million kyats per annum to small grocery stores affected by COVID-19 at an interest rate of 2% per annum according to the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry published by the Financial Supervision Department. Nay Pyi Taw Council, which was affected by COVID-19. Low interest loans (one year loan term) to small grocery stores in the region or state with a maximum interest rate of 2% per annum up to 5 million kyats per project. The Ministry of Finance and Industry will provide loans through microfinance institutions.

Therefore, grocery stores that want to get a loan should apply to Hana Microfinance Limited in the states and regions, Microfinance Nanster International Co., Ltd, Alliance for Microfinance in Myanmar, Stapana Limited, Alliedon Microfinance Company Limited; Pact (Global micro Finance Fund), Myat Kyun Thar Microfinance Company Limited; LOLC Myanmar Microfinance (S), Dawei Development Public Company Limited; Aung Pyae Phyo Kyaw Company Limited, Blue Lion Microfinance (Myanmar) Co., Ltd,  Sanda Phone Pyae Microfinance, Inocular Petrol Microfinance Co., Ltd, Khant Thu Walar Microfinance Co., Ltd.

People can get a loan by contacting microfinance institutions such as ASA Microfinance (Myanmar) Ltd. The Working Committee on the Economic Impact of COVID-19 has set up the COVID-19 Fund to provide much-needed financial assistance to businesses hotels and tourism; small Loans to small and medium enterprises have been issued affected by COVID-19 since April 9, 2020. The effects of COVID-19 were covered in accordance with CERP. 303,017.236 million kyats for the treatment of COVID-19 disease; 1508370.011 million for support to households and national disaster fund; 399,000 million kyats for loans to businesses; 728,515.254 million kyats for CERP activities; 200,500 million kyats for the opening of skills training, for a total of 2951664.128 million kyats.

Source: Daily Eleven

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Imports down by $1.7 bln as of 12 February, MOC reports

The value of Myanmar’s imports between 1 October and 12 February in the current financial year 2020-2021 stood at US$5.967 billion, a sharp drop of $1.7 billion from $7.67 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce. The value of imports in the consumer, capital, intermediate goods, and CMP businesses groups dropped in the current FY. Over the past four months of the current FY, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines, steel, and aeroplane parts, were brought into the country. Their import value was estimated at $2 billion.

The figure was $829 million lower compared to the same period in the previous FY. Meanwhile, Myanmar imported consumer products worth $1.25 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $34.9 million compared with the same period in the previous FY. Intermediate goods make up a large share of Myanmar’s imports, with petroleum products and plastic raw materials being the main import items. This year, imports of raw materials plunged to $1.95 billion from $2.62 billion registered during the year-ago period.

During the same period, raw materials worth $728.7 million were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a decrease of $172.75 million compared with last fiscal year. At present, the CMP garment sector, which contributes to 30 per cent of Myanmar’s export sector, is struggling because of the cancellation of order from the European countries and suspension of the trade by western nations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, import values of raw materials by CMP businesses have been dropping. The top 10 import countries to Myanmar are China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Viet Nam, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US, as per data of the Ministry of Commerce.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Reduction of fuel and cooking oil imports needed to decrease trade deficiencies: Senior General

The State Administration Council held the meeting of the Management Committee at its headquarters in Nay Pyi Taw on 25 February, 2021. Chairman of the Council and Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivered a speech at the meeting, which was attended by Vice-Chairman of the Council and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services and Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, the Union Ministers and the Attorney-General of the Union.

In his discussion, the Senior General talked about the progress in the rule of law in nearly one-month since the Council took the power of the country, containment measures against COVID-19 with 1.4 million infection and about 3,200 deaths in Myanmar and the possibility of higher figures due to the crowds in previous weeks, the negative impacts on healthcare services due to civil disobedience movement of health workers, possible legal actions of relevant ministries against those who disturb the reopening of hospitals, vaccination programme for COVID-19, import permits for the private pharmaceutical companies, and reopening of schools.

aHe also discussed the promotion of the agricultural sector for food sufficiency of the country, livestock and fish breeding farms, commercial production of foodstuffs, the use of irrigation water for the agricultural sector, generation of electricity from hydro and solar powers, promotion of Myanmar martial arts for the health of people, raising fund for the public hospitals to provide free healthcare services for the civil service personnel at the initial stage.

The Senior General continued to reduce fuel requirement in the country, with manufacturing electric cars by the relevant ministries for the urban public transport, the need for urgent completion of Yangon-Mandalay railway project jointly implemented by Japan and reduction of fuel and cooking oil imports to decrease trade deficiencies. The Union Ministers and the Attorney-General of the Union reported signing agreements, the appointment of duties, exemptions and extension of duties. The Union Ministers also discussed fish breeding projects, systematic spending of state revenue, social welfare funds, healthcare services at the hospitals, school reopening programme, implementation of hydropower projects and organizing celebrations of ethnic festivals.

In response to the reports, the Senior General gave guidance on the appointment of civil service personnel, fair management on them without bias, the award for dutiful persons, punishment for the failure of duties, lesser consumption of cooking oil with changing consumption habits for better health. He advised conducting research and development programme, not to mention the unfruitful information on social media, suspension to pay back the two-month salary loans for the civil service personnel, development of Nay Pyi Taw area, reopening of factories and workplaces without posing negative impacts on the environment, attraction to foreign investments and the establishment of 81-ft high marble Buddha image in sitting posture in Nay Pyi Taw.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council Nine Objectives

  1. Political Objectives
    (a) Building of a Federal Democratic Union by fully and lawfully exercising a
    genuine disciplined multiparty democratic system;
    (b) Special consideration of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to
    implement eternal peace in the whole country;
    (c) Practising the active, independent and non-aligned foreign policy and upholding the mutual co-existence principle.
  2. Economic Objectives
    (a) Development of agricultural and livestock production as the base employing
    modernized methods and all-round development of other sectors of the economy
    as well;
    (b) To shape a stable market-oriented economic system by inviting foreign direct
    investments (FDIs) and developing the economy of the entire national peoples;
    (c) Creation of employment opportunities by encouraging domestic economic
    enterprises to produce State products.
  3. Social Objectives
    (a) Uplift of dynamism of Union spirit as genuine patriotic spirit;
    (b) Preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage and national characters
    by respecting the traditions and customs of all ethnic national peoples;
    (c) Uplift of health, fitness and education standards of the entire nation.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Promotion of production and export sector stressed to reduce trade deficits: Senior General

Chairman of the State Administration Council and Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivered a speech at the 1/2021 meeting of the Economic Affairs Committee yesterday. At the meeting, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing discussed the importance of the national economy as a driving force for the development of the country, the works of the economic affairs committee for this sector, collaborative efforts in the works, and promotion of the production and export sector to reduce trade deficits shown the figures of Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry.

He also held talks on sufficient human resources for the workforces, natural resources in the country with over 54 million population and conservation works for future generations, production of import-substituted items, more electricity generation to improve production sector, employment opportunities for the citizens who completed basic and higher educations, assistance for the employers and employees, guarantees and incentives for investors and collection of tax revenue from more taxpayers.

The Chairman of State Administration Council also instructed providing assistance to factories and industries, adopting policies by the relevant ministries for the better quality of products, the participation of nationals in the economic sector, the proper intention of the Economic Affairs Committee in making approvals for investments. Union Minister U Win Shein, the secretary of the Economic Affairs Committee, reported on the formation of the committee and the discussions.

Union Ministers for the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Construction, and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement discussed matters related to the approvals of ministries, registrations, issuing orders, the appointment of members for Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar, providing cash awards, and signing MoUs and agreements.

Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo also reported on the ongoing projects with foreign countries, MoUs and international assistance; Auditor-General of the Union Dr Kan Zaw about the work plans and reform processes; Union Minister U Khin Maung Yi about the compilation of copper and gems and organizing gems emporium. In his concluding remark, the Senior General discussed requirements for economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, proper time management, making appropriate reports without delay, collaboration among relevant departments and ministries through firm policies.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Dollar gaining in domestic forex market

According tot the Central Bank of Myanmar, the US dollar value against Kyat keeps appreciating in the domestic forex market. The dollar exchange rate stood at K1,335 in January-end. The rate has reached above K1,400 starting from 4 February 2021. With the dollar value strengthening in the local forex market, a dollar was valued at K1,447 on 23 February. The exchange rate rose by K100 in recent days. Consequently, the Central Bank of Myanmar sold 6,8 million dollars at an auction rate on 3 February to control the dollar exchange rate rise.

It is usual for the CBM to regulate the dollar volatility by selling or purchasing dollar at an auction rate. Similarly, the precious pure gold metal price stood at only K1,320,500 per tical (0.578 ounces, or 0.016 kilograms) in the domestic market during January-end. It then reached a new peak of K1,410,000 on 3 February. Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association released a statement on 4 February that the association urged people and traders not to trust in rumors, control reckless gold trading over concerns, and use cash down payment system.

Last month, the dollar exchange rate touched the maximum of K1,345 and the minimum of K1,327. In 2020, the exchange rate moved in the range of K1,465-K1,493 in January, K1,436-K1,465 in February, K1,320-K1,445 in March, K1,395-1,440 in April, K1,406-1,426 in May, K1,385-1,412 in June, K1,367-1,440 in July, K1,335-1,390 in August, K1,310-1,355 in September, K1,282-1,315 in October, K1,303-1,330 in November and K1,324-1,403 in December. In 2019, the rates are pegged at K1,508-1,517 in July, K1,510-1,526 in August, K1,527-1,565 in September, K1,528-1,537 in October, K1,510-1,524 in November and K1,485-1,513 in December. On 20 September 2018, the dollar exchange rate hit an all-time high of K1,650 in the local currency market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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By the end of December 2020, large, medium, smal1 and test mining blocks of total 1190 blocks are allowed, including 320 blocks from Mandalay Region

By the end of December 2020, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, 1,190 large, medium and small blocks have been approved, including up to 320 blocks in Mandalay Region. There are 143 large blocks in each state and region, 173 medium blocks; 686 small blocks; there are 123 test blocks and 65 test achieved blocks, for a total of 1,190. Of these, 112 plots are in Kachin State; 18 plots in Kayah State; 45 plots in Kayin State; Four plots in Chin State; 214 plots in Sagaing Region; 86 plots in Tanintharyi Region; Three plots in Nay Pyi Taw; Seven plots in Bago Region; 51 plots in Magway Region; 320 in Mandalay Region; 17 plots in Mon State; One plot in Rakhine State; 136 plots in Shan State (South); 92 plots in Shan State (North); A total of 1,190 permits have been issued in Shan State (East) and 80 in Ayeyarwady Region.

In the four months from October to January of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, more than 144 tonnes of ore was extracted from the lead and black coal blocks in each state and region, with Kayah State producing the most with more than 100 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. In October 2019, 18.289 tons of lead and black lead production in Kayah State were produced by state and region. 20.3200 tons in November; 21.33370 tonnes in December; In January 2020, it was 23.3690 tons. 21.337 tonnes in February, 18.2890 tonnes in March and 15.2410 tonnes in July. 20.3210 tons in August; In September, a total of 173.7440 tonnes were produced with 15.2410 tonnes. In the four months to October-January of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, 2,788.231 ounces of gold was mined from gold mining blocks in states and regions, with Sagaing Region producing the most at 1,436,694 ounces, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

In the fiscal year 2019-2020, the production of gold ores in states and regions was 7834.16 ounces, and Sagaing Region produced 5734.26 ounces. Monthly production was 671.930 trillion ounces in October 2019. 150.860 trillion ounces in November; 585.140 trillion ounces in December; In January 2020, 470.610 trillion ounces; 506.640 trillion ounces in February; 1015.150 trillion ounces in March; 562.660 trillion ounces in April; 711.590 trillion ounces in May; 728.800 trillion ounces in June and 951.960 trillion ounces in July. 680.580 trillion ounces in August; In September, a total of 7,834.16 ounces were produced, starting with 798.24 trillion ounces. Initial Environmental Assessment (IEE) to ensure the environmental impact of gem mining; Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation said that an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be drawn up.                       

Source: Daily Eleven

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MoHS continues COVID-19 vaccination to ministry officials and civilians

Ministry of Health and Sports continued the COVID-19 vaccination to civil services personnel and people over the age of 65 in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon Region on 20 February, 2021.

The Department of Public Health in Nay Pyi Taw vaccinated a total of 907 officials from 10 ministries in Nay Pyi Taw and Union Minister for Health and Sports Professor Dr Thet Khine Win, Deputy Minister U Myo Hlaing, Directors-General and responsible persons encouraged and supervised the vaccination.

Similarly, a total of 112 monks was vaccinated in the Inya COVID-19 vaccination centre in Yangon in accordance with the COVID-19 immunization regulations. It is reported that the Ministry of Health and Sports will continue the vaccination to civil services personnel and the people over the age of 65.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Personal goods imported through Myawady land border

Personal goods are being imported through the Myawady land border trade zone. The personal goods consist of electronic items, foodstuffs, clothes and shoes, Nivea, Mistine, Bella, Promina, Karmart, Arche, C’Care, Lolane and Berina’s facial foam, cosmetics and hair colour and shampoo. Under the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Agreement on Import Licencing Procedures, cosmetics are permitted to import without requiring an export licence. Upon production of the import declaration form at the Customs Department, the goods can be imported.

Nevertheless, the chemicals needed for the production of the cosmetics can be imported only with the approval of the relevant ministry after obtaining an import licence. According to the prevention of Hazard from Chemicals and Related Substances Rules issued under Notification 85/2015-2016 by the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (formally The Ministry of Industry) on 12 January 2016, the cosmetic raw materials applied for import licence are the chemicals. So, the licences are being issued only with the approval of the Ministry of Industry.

The raw materials to produce the cosmetics are needed to systematically scrutinize that they are not harmful to the customers. To enable issuance of the import licence by the Ministry of Industry, these chemical products will be sent to the Department of Research and Innovation under the Ministry of Education to carry out the safety test for the manufacturers to be issued with the letters of recommendation that guarantee the safety of consumption if the test results are appropriate. Although the cosmetic importers could import without having an import licence, the raw materials to produce the cosmetics are allowed to import only with the approval of the relevant department. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar