Hotels welcome back guests in Yangon

Hotels in Yangon that were among the first to suspend operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic have welcomed travellers back. Many small hotels in the Yangon hotel zone have reopened since domestic tourism has been boosted.

Though there is not much profit from the hotel business at present, reopening at least will cover employees’ salaries and maintain the electricity and utility cost of the hotel. According to the Yangon Hotelier Association chairman, prolonged closure makes them difficult maintain in the long run.

Due to the suspension of international travellers to Myanmar, foreign-invested hotels have not yet reopened. Yangon, which has been hard-hit by the global pandemic, has 359 small hotels related to domestic tourism and about 20 foreign-direct-invested hotels that target international travellers.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Announcement on Extension of the Precautionary Restriction Measures Relating to Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic until 30 June 2021

  1. With a view to further strengthening of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has issued the following announcements regarding temporary entry restrictions for visitors from all countries. All those restrictions were extended until 31 May 2021 by the Ministry’s announcement dated 30 April 2021.
    (a) Announcement dated 15 March 2020 regarding precautionary measures for all travellers visiting Myanmar;
    (b) Announcement dated 20 March 2020 regarding additional precautionary measures for travellers visiting Myanmar and temporary suspension of issuance of visa on arrival and e-visa;
    (c) Announcement dated 24 March 2020 regarding additional precautionary measures for travellers from all countries visiting Myanmar;
    (d) Announcement dated 28 March 2020 regarding temporary suspension of all types of visas (including social visit visas) and visa exemption services.
  2. In order to continue its effective response measures to protect the population of the country from the risks of importation and spread of the COVID-19, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has decided to extend the afore-mentioned entry restriction measures until 30 June 2021.
  3. In case of urgent official missions or compelling reasons, foreign nationals, including diplomats and United Nations officials, who wish to travel to Myanmar by available relief or special flights, may contact the nearest Myanmar Mission for possible exception with regard to certain visa restrictions. However, all visitors must abide by existing directives issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports relating to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Nay Pyi Taw
    Dated. 31 May 2021

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar trade value tops $1,200 mln for October-March this FY

Myanmar average export value for March 2020-2021 financial year reached US$565.33 million, and border export value touched $637.84 million, with total export value coming at $1,203.17 million as a result. Meanwhile, the normal import value for the same period registered at $963.86 million, and border import is pegged at $159.10 million, reaching a total of $1,122.96 million.

As a result, Myanmar total trade value for March 2020-2021FY hit $2,326.13 million, creating a trade surplus of $80.21 million. From October to March of the current 2020-2021FY, Myanmar’s normal export value generated $3,995.57 million and border export reached $3,828.69 million, totalling $7,824.26 million.

The average import value for the same period reached $6,292.21 million, and border import registered at $1,492.93 million, bringing the total to $7,785.14 million. Consequently, Myanmar’s total trade value for the first and second quarter of the 2020-2021FY is pegged at $15,609.40 million, generating a trade surplus of $39.12 million, according to the monthly trade report of the Central Statistical Organization.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Agro exports up 33 per cent this FY

The agricultural exports spike 33.36 per cent to a high of US$3.46 billion in the past seven and half months of the current financial year 2020-2021, despite the downward trend in other export groups amid the banking restriction and the tightened coronavirus containment measures in the border. The figures reflect a significant rise of $866.066 million this FY. According to the trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce, agro exports topped $2.59 billion in the corresponding period of the 2019-2020FY.

The agricultural exports unexpectedly surge regardless of the impact of the coronavirus on foreign demand for other export groups such as fishery, livestock, mineral, forest products, finished industrial goods and other goods. In the exports sector, the agriculture industry performed the best, accounting for over 22 per cent of overall exports. The top export items in the agricultural industry are rice and broken rice, pulses and beans and maize. Fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agro products are also shipped to other countries.

Myanmar agro products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Sometimes, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand. The country requires specific export plans for each agro product. They are currently exported to external markets based on supply and demand. Contract farming systems, regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups are required to meet production targets, said an official from the Agriculture Department. The Commerce Ministry works to help farmers deal with challenges — high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and unpredictable weather conditions.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Hteekhee border trade falls by $454.9 mln as of mid-May

Bilateral trade between Thailand and Myanmar through the Hteekhee border over the past seven and half months reflected a decrease of $454.9 million against a year-ago period. Between 1 October and 14 May in the current financial year 2020-2021, the figures sharply fell to US$911.4 million from $1.36 million registered in the previous financial year, according to data from the Commerce Ministry.

The surge in coronavirus cases in Myanmar led Thailand to limit truck drivers’ working hours at the border posts. Consequently, the trade via land border between Myanmar and Thailand sharply fell in the current FY. The Ministry of Commerce stated that natural gas exports from the Taninthayi Region have contributed to an enormous increase in trade through the Htikhee border during the previous years.

The border trade between Myanmar and Thailand through the border areas — Myeik, Kawthoung, Mawtaung, Hteekhee and Meisei posts declined as of 14 May. In contrast, trade via Tachilek and Myawady posts rose due to corn exports. Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, corns and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, and consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighbouring country. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


CBM sells US$24 mln in May at auction rate

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) reportedly sold US$24 million at an auction rate in May, the CBM data showed.
The CBM’s move aims at governing the market volatility, the CBM stated. The CBM sold $6 million each on 12 and 13 May and $3 million each on 17, 18, 20 and 28 May, respectively. The bullish hard currency gained in the local forex market, reaching the peak of K1,730 on 12 May from K1,330 in January-end. In a bid to control the sharp daily gains of the US dollar, the CBM reportedly sold about 6.8 million dollars on 3 February 2021, 6 million dollars each on 22 and 27 April and $24 million in May in the auction market.

Consequently, the exchange rate dipped to K1,580 in May-end. The CBM trades the foreign currency with the authorized private banks under the rules and regulations of the FX auction market. The local forex market’s data showed that the dollar exchange rate touched the maximum of K1,345 and the minimum of K1,327 in January 2021. The rate moved in the range of K1,335-1,465 in February. It reached the lowest of K1,420 and the highest of K1,550 in March. The rate fluctuated between K1,550 and K1,610 in April.

In 2020, the exchange rate moved in the range of K1,465-1,493 in January, K1,436-1,465 in February, K1,320-1,445 in March, K1,395-1,440 in April, K1,406-1,426 in May, K1,385-1,412 in June, K1,367-1,410 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


Myanmar Banks Association announces bank loans should be repaid on time either in cash or in kind

The Myanmar Banks Association has announced that bank loans should be repaid on time and the payment can be made by cash or debit. The Myanmar Banks Association has launched banking services, including the ability to open an account with a minimum deposit of 10,000 kyats to 100,000 kyats in a new deposit account. The current account can be opened by depositing at least 10,000 kyats to 100,000 kyats in cash in the current account. Banks are not compatible with each other and interest rates may vary from bank to bank.

Payment can be made in cash. Withdrawals can be made using cashier’s check (Cash Transfer, CBM Net, Digital Payment, Any Channel). Call Deposit can be used to open an account with a minimum deposit of 10,000 kyats to 100,000 kyats in cash and interest rates may vary from bank to bank. Payment can be made in cash. Withdrawals can be made by check (cash transfer, CBM Net, Digital Payment, Any Channel).

In repaying the loan principal/interest, the loan principal/interest borrowed by the banks is paid in cash or in kind. It also encourages banks to repay their loans before maturity in order to facilitate the smooth repayment of deposits currently deposited with banks by changing the list or accounting method. In addition, a statement from Myanmar Banks Association also state about old deposit accounts, Sale of Payment Order (PO), issuance of Bank Grarantee (BG), Money transfer and TT/ LC services.

Source: Daily Eleven