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Investments from Hong Kong SAR top $87 mln in 4 months (Oct-Jan)

Hong Kong SAR, the third-largest investor in Myanmar, pumped in US$87 million with five projects as of January-end, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Hong Kong puts investment in real estate development, electricity, and garment businesses. Singapore is the top source of foreign direct investments into Myanmar in the first four months of the current financial year 2020-2021, bringing in $378 million under 12 projects.

China stood as the second-largest investors this FY, with an estimated capital of $139.354 million from 10 enterprises. Those enterprises listed from Thailand, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, the UK, Viet Nam, Marshall Island and China (Taipei) also made investments this year. Myanmar has attracted foreign direct investments of more than US$672.59 million in Oct-Jan of the current FY. They include expanding capital by existing enterprises and acquisitions in the Special Economic Zones, DICA’s statistics indicated. MIC intends to reach an FDI target of $5.8 billion for the current FY2020-2021.

Myanmar is trying to attract foreign investment by providing tax relief, tax incentives, investment opportunities, and fast processing proposals. However, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations is inviting only responsible businesses to the country. The economic interaction between Myanmar and Hong Kong SAR has been increasing rapidly. Hong Kong emerged as the third-largest investor in Myanmar after Singapore and China. Between FY2016-2017 and January 2021, 144 enterprises from Hong Kong brought in foreign direct investment of $2.5 billion into Myanmar, according to an official data on permitted enterprises released by the DICA.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar mineral exports plunge by $521 mln as of 19 February

The value of Myanmar’s mineral exports has drastically fallen to US$447 million as of 19 February in the current financial year 2020-2021 since 1 October, reflecting a severe drop of $521 million as against a year-ago period, the Ministry of Commerce data indicated. The mineral exports hit 968.6 million in the corresponding period of last FY. The coronavirus impacts led to the slump in mineral exports this FY. The heightened COVID-19 measures also shut down the events like gem emporium and expo, a trader said. So far, excavation of over 1,250 mining blocks has been permitted on a manageable, small, medium, and large scale, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. Due to the limited extraction of natural resources, exports of forest products and minerals had dropped significantly in the previous years. Permits for mining blocks were suspended in 2016.

However, after two years, Myanmar’s mining sector has now been opened to local and foreign investors, according to the ministry. Within two years of implementing the Myanmar Mines Law, the Mines Department has approved more than 140 out of 3,000 proposed mining blocks. Many more blocks are to be granted the permit. The Myanmar Mines Law was enacted on 24 December 2015. However, the law came into force when the rules were issued on 13 February 2018. The ministry undertakes the screening process of the proposals for medium and large-scale mining blocks. As per the regulatory changes in 2018, regional and state governments are given the power to process applications for artisanal and small-scale mining blocks.

Under the new regulations, foreign firms can invest in large blocks which cover up to 500,000 acres (about 202,000 hectares). In contrast, local firms can invest in all kinds of blocks. Investors can seek a permit to mine minerals such as gold, copper, lead and tin. The licences cover prospecting, exploration, and production. Myanmar’s mineral exports have shown a marked increase in the previous FY2019-2020, touching $1.87 billion, an increase of $405.48 million compared with the year-ago period, according to the data from the Ministry of Commerce. In the FY2018-2019, mineral exports were pegged at just $1.465 billion. Myanmar’s mineral products constitute 10 per cent of overall exports. About 80 per cent of mineral products are shipped to external markets through sea trade. At the same time, 20 of them are sent to neighbouring countries through border trade channels.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar