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Manufacturing sector attracts $256.8 mln this FY

The majority of foreign enterprises eye the manufacturing sector for investments in the past nine months (Oct-June) of the current financial year 2020-2021, pumping the estimated capital of US$256.85 million into 23 projects, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration stated. The manufacturing enterprises and businesses that need a large labour force are prioritized, stated Myanmar Investment Commission.

At present, labour-intensive enterprises are facing financial hardship amid the COVID-19 negative impacts and political changes. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Pack basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. At present, Myanmar’s garment export drastically dropped on the back of a slump in demand by the European Union market. Consequently, some CMP garment factories permanently and temporarily shut down and left thousands of workers unemployed.

Myanmar has drawn foreign direct investment of more than US$3.76 billion in the past nine months of the 2020-2021 financial year, including expansion of capital by existing enterprises and investments in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, the DICA’s statistics indicated. Of 44 foreign enterprises permitted and endorsed by MIC and the respective investment committees between 1 October and 30 June of the current FY, 23 enterprises pumped FDI into the manufacturing sector. The power sector received six large projects and the livestock and fisheries sector attracted six projects. Other services sectors drew five projects while the agriculture sector pulled two projects and one foreign enterprise each entered industrial estate and the hotel and tourism sectors. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Exports to Japan cross $582 mln in seven months

The value of export to Japan in the past seven months (October-April) of the current financial year 2020-2021 touched about US$582.2 million while import was valued only at $231.87 million, according to the data of the Ministry of Commerce. The value of trade between Myanmar and its development partner Japan exceeded over $817 million in the current FY. Myanmar’s export items to Japan are garments, marine products, rice, black sesame, green grams, rubber and other products.

In return, it imported machines and machine equipment, electronic equipment, fertilizers, chemical products, medicines, automobiles, and other products. Bilateral trade values have registered $1.92 billion in the last FY2019-2020, $1.89 billion in the FY2018-2019, $1 billion in the 2018 mini-budget period, $1.92 billion in the 2017-2018FY, $2 billion in the 2016-2017FY and $1.84 billion in the 2015-16FY, respectively.

This FY, three enterprises from Japan were approved to make initial investments of $518 million into the country, according to the data of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Japan has made up over 34.7 per cent of total FDIs in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) offers loans such as ODA loans and two-step loans intending to bring about socio-economic development in Myanmar.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Announcement on Extension of the Precautionary Restriction Measures Relating to Control of the COVID-19 Pandemic until 31 August 2021

  1. With a view to the 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 July 2021 by the Ministry’s announcement dated 30 June 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 31 August 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: 30 July 2021

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Power sector tops FDI line-up as of June-end

The power sector is ranked first with the largest foreign direct investment in the past nine months (Oct-Jun) of the current financial year, according to statistics provided by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). During the October-June period, FDI of over US$3.76 billion, including expansion of capital and investments in the Special Economic Zones, has flowed into the country. MIC and the investment committees of states and regions gave the green light to 44 enterprises to invest in the country. The quantum of investment in power is higher than in any other sector this year, with an estimated capital of over $3 billion.

In May, Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) permitted one large project from the UK with capitals of US$2.5bn for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant. The electricity generated by this project will be sold domestically and is expected to support the goal of 100-per-cent nationwide electricity from the national grid by 2030. Of 44 foreign enterprises permitted and endorsed by MIC and the respective investment committees between 1 October and 30 June of the current FY, 23 enterprises pumped FDI into the manufacturing sector with an estimated capital of $256 million. The power sector received the largest FDI of $3.12 billion from six projects and the livestock and fisheries sector attracted six projects worth $19.2 million.

Other service sectors drew five projects ($103 million) while the agriculture sector pulled two projects ($9 million) and one foreign enterprise each entered industrial estate with capital of $81 million and the hotel and tourism sectors bringing in the capital of $28 million. Additionally, the existing enterprises raised capitals of $133.5 million in the transport and communications sector and $8 million in the real estate sector as of end-June. MIC ensures to approve the responsible businesses by assessing environmental and social impacts. The commission is working together with the relevant departments to screen the projects. The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations has been inviting responsible businesses to benefit the country. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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CBM allows taking out of cash amount beyond the limited for COVID-19 measures

According to the letter sent by the Central Bank of Myanmar to the banks in the country on 28 July stated that cash can be delivered for COVID-19 measures, depending on the remaining cash amount in line with the policy of respective banks, beyond the restriction that allowing each person to take out K2 million and each company and organization, K20 million from respective banking accounts on a weekly basis. The statement signed by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar was distributed that the COVID-19 rapidly spreads in Myanmar.

If those wishing to take out the cash submit the firm evidence to purchase medicines, oxygen, oxygen plants and accessories for giving treatment of COVID-19 to the people and cost the expenses for hospitals, clinics and quarantine centres, systematically scrutiny must be undertaken, and that cash can be issued depending on the remaining cash amounts in line with the respective banking policies beyond the restriction that allowing each person to take out K2 million and each company and organization, K20 million from respective banking accounts on a weekly basis, referred to letter MaBaBha/FIS (28/2021) dated 1-3-2020 of the Central Bank of Myanmar.

The statement was distributed to State-owned banks, private banks, foreign banks, bank branches and subordinate banks. As now is the time of breaking out COVID-19, taking out of cash from the banks are allowed beyond the restrictions, said Vice-Governor Daw Than Than Swe of the Central Bank of Myanmar. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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The Central Bank of Myanmar sold dollars five times within one month, in July, reaching a record of $ 30 million

On July 27, 2021, the Central Bank of Myanmar sold another $ 3 million at a foreign exchange auction, almost five times in July, for a record $ 30 million. The Central Bank of Myanmar sold $ 3 million in a foreign exchange auction on July 7. $ 6 million on July 6; $ 5 million on July 5; $ 8 million on July 8; $ 3 million on July 14 and $ 3 million on July 15; $ 16 million on July 16; $ 26 million on July 26; On July 27, it sold $ 30 million in nine days for $ 3 million.

Short-term rise in foreign exchange rates; The central bank is launching a foreign exchange auction to reduce inflation and increase foreign reserves. The Central Bank of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is responsible for its foreign exchange operations. A rule-based foreign exchange auction is underway to reduce inflation and implement the state’s two foreign reserves. Rules for Central Bank of Myanmar Competitive Auction Instructions have been set out and these rules and regulations are in place.

Authorized Dealer (AD) banks, including three state-owned banks; Buying foreign currency with 19 local private banks and 13 foreign bank branches; And sales. The Central Bank of Myanmar’s foreign exchange operations include short-term exchange rate fluctuations; Comparing the exchange rate of Myanmar kyat with one US dollar to the previous day reference exchange rate to reduce depreciation; By comparison, the percentage devaluation of the Myanmar kyat exceeds the stipulated level (opening a competitive auction for the sale of US dollars, the percentage of appreciation of the Myanmar kyat exceeds the stipulated by the regulation).

Source: Daily Eleven

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Press release on plans to continue COVID-19 vaccination in Myanmar

  1. The Ministry of Health and Sports is carrying out COVID-19 vaccination with the following aims: –
    (a) to reduce the infection and death rates of COVID-19 in Myanmar;
    (b) to prevent the infection of COVID-19;
    (c) to mitigate the impact of the State economy based on infection of COVID-19.
  2. During the period from 27-1-2021 to 21-7-2021, the health staff and the majority of public service personnel have been injected with the vaccines at full time. According to the Myanmar National Vaccine Deployment Plan drawn in accord with the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the target groups were set for vaccination on the priority.
  3. Furthermore, the following target groups will soonest be vaccinated on the priority depending on the availability of the vaccines for meeting the above-mentioned aims: –
    (a) the people above 65 years old;
    (b) health personnel and private health staff who are yet to receive the vaccination despite serving the duties of prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 at frontlines;
    (c) volunteers who have not received vaccines while serving the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19;
    (d) older people from the Homes for the Aged;
    (e) religious personnel, monks and nuns;
    (f) people’s service personnel who have not been injected vaccines;
    (g) private banking staff;
    (h) employees from private factories and industries;
    (i) staff from hotels/motels/lodges;
    (j) prisoners and inmates from jails;
    (k) personnel from private transport services (inland, aviation and marine transport);
    (l) workers from supermarkets/markets;
    The soonest vaccination will be given to those from the remaining target groups depending on the arrivals of the vaccines.
  4. Those who will not be vaccinated at present are: –
    (a) those who have been vaccinated a kind of COVID-19 vaccines including COVIDSHIELD for two times;
    (b) those currently suffering from fever and symptoms of COVID-19;
    (c) the COVID-19 confirmed patients who are yet to meet six months from the laboratory test approval to the vaccinated day;
  5. With regard to the incomings of vaccines and vaccination plans, a total of three million doses of vaccine arrived in Myanmar in July 2021. Three more million doses will arrive in coming August 2021. The already arrived vaccines
    will be injected into the people as quickly as possible.
  6. The already arrived vaccines have been approved by the World Health Organization, and they are potent, safe and quality ones.
  7. As everybody accepts vaccines for set times, better coverage of vaccines among the people will emerge the following benefits: –
    (a) the vaccines can cut off the chains of disease infection among the people and effective mitigation of bad consequences for the people to be warded, suffering from severe impacts of the disease and death rate of the disease;
    (b) when the number of infected patients among the people declines, requirements of beds at the hospitals, needs of oxygen and over workloads of health staff can be reduced; and qualified healthcare services can be given to the patients while the infection of disease can be placed under control in a short time;
  8. The people are requested not to believe misinformation and rumours about vaccines; and as the vaccine is the best for themselves and their families, the people are urged to systematically participate in the vaccination programme.
  9. The Ministry of Health and Sports requested retired medical professionals, medical staff, private health staff, students from medical-related universities, those from nursing and midwifery training schools and retired members of the Defence Services Medical Corps to participate in the vaccination programmes in order to fulfil human resources needed in the vaccination programmes and to have higher coverage of vaccination in a short period of time.

Ministry of Health and Sports

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Border trade down over $693 mln

The total border trade value exceeded US$7.65 billion, down over 693 million compared with the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. During the period, the country’s export via land borders amounted to $4.98 billion while its import shared $2.66 billion.

This financial year’s border trade decreased by over $693 million compared to the same period of the last budget year 2020-2021, when it amounted to 8.34 billion, the ministry’s figures said. The trade volume at Muse border trade on the China-Myanmar border exceeded $2.92 billion, down over $638 million compared with the same period last year.

Myanmar has opened 18 border trade camps and conducts border trade with neighbouring China through Muse, Lweje, Kampaiti, Chinshwehaw and Kengtung with Thailand via Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Myeik, Hteekhee, Mawtaung and Maese checkpoints, with Bangladesh via Sittway and Maungtaw and with India through Tamu and Reed land borders, respectively. Myanmar’s major export items are farm, animal, marine, forest, mining, CMP and other products. Myanmar mainly imports capital goods, industrial raw materials, personal goods and CMP raw materials.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

This handout photo taken and released by Dawei Watch on March 24, 2021 shows an empty street and closed shops in Dawei, as demonstrators called for a "silent strike" in protest against the military coup. (Photo by Handout / DAWEI WATCH / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Dawei Watch " - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The World Bank estimates that Myanmar’s economy will shrink by 18% in the 2020-2021 fiscal year

According to the World Bank’s July 26 report on the Myanmar Economic Monitor, Myanmar’s economy is projected to shrink by 18% in fiscal year 2021 (October 2020-September 2021), with a number of factors affecting poverty and future development. Ongoing political unrest in Burma and the rapid rise of the third wave of the Kovis-19 epidemic have severely affected Burma’s economy, which has been weakened by the global epidemic since 2020. A further 18 per cent contraction would mean that the economy would be 30 per cent smaller than it should have been if the political situation in COVID-19 and February had not materialized in the wake of the sluggish growth experienced in fiscal 2020.

As many as one million jobs could be lost, and many workers could face reduced pay or wages. According to the report, Myanmar’s population is likely to fall into poverty by early 2022 compared to the 2019 level. Loss of job and income of the poorest and most vulnerable people who were hit hard by last year’s global pandemic combined with the risks of health and malnutrition will have a hard time keeping their lives safe, said Mariam Shaman, the World Bank’s Resident Representative in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Reduced mobility and income; Protests and labor shortages have hit businesses hard, as well as logistics and telecommunications. 

It affects important business services such as health and education. Despite the reopening of branches and the central bank trying to address the issue in various ways, the kyat is still lacking in the market and banking and payment services are still limited. From late January to mid-July, the exchange rate between the dollar and the kyat depreciated by 23 percent, with some imports, including oil, rising sharply, with trade disruptions. Farmers have been affected by the drop in wholesale prices of some crops; Rising import prices and difficulties in accessing credit.

All in all, these impacts are compounded by consumption, It weakens investment and trade and affects businesses and imports and labor support. In May and June, there were signs of a stabilization in some areas, with a resumption of traffic and the easing of logistics restrictions, but the economy as a whole remains extremely weak and the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic could continue to shrink after July, said World Bank. As a long-term economic outlook, recent events could undermine the decades-long growth that has taken place. The impact on the business environment due to significant impacts on capital, human resources and productivity is likely to continue for many years to come, according to a World Bank report.

Source: Daily Eleven

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Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council

Order No 217/2021

15th Waxing of Waso 1383 ME

23 July 2021

EXTENSION OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS FOR EFFECTIVE COVID-19 PREVENTION, CONTROL AND TREATMENT ACTIVITIES

In order to break the chain of COVID-19 infection by adhering to the rules and regulations during the public holidays, the State Administration Council has issued Notification No (211/2021) to designate the successive public holidays. To contain the COVID-19 infection and return to normally as soon as possible, the public holidays are extended to 1 August from 26 July 2021 (except for the Central Bank of Myanmar and its subsidiaries – government banks and private banks) under Section 25 of the Offices Holidays and Transferrable Contracts Act.

By Order,

Aung Lin Dwe

Lieutenant – General

Secretary

State Administration Council

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar