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Agricultural sector receives over $446 million in foreign investment

The foreign investment amount in the agriculture sector was more than $446 million which is 0.49 per cent of total foreign investments of the country as of April end of the 2022-2023FY, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration-DICA.

The annual investment in the agriculture sector, the foreign investment from April to September 2018 was only $10.650 million. In the 2017-2018FY, the agriculture sector received a $134.485 million investment and did not receive any investment in the 2016-2017FY.

The country has so far received a $441.838 million foreign investment in the agriculture sector, while $926.218 million in the livestock and breeding sector, according to the department.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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3,800 companies struck off register due to the absence of AR as of 23 May: DICA

A total of 3,800 companies have been struck off the register as of 23 May 2022 since July 2021 as they fail to submit annual return (AR) on the online registry system, MyCO, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). The DICA has notified any registered company which fails to submit its AR on MyCO are to be suspended, under 430 (F) of Myanmar Companies Law, according to the DICA’s notification. All registered companies need to file AR on the MyCO registry system within two months of incorporation, and at least once every year (not later than one month after the anniversary of the incorporation), according to Section 97 of the law.

According to Section 266 (A) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017, public companies must submit annual returns and financial statements (G-5) simultaneously. All overseas corporations must submit ARs in the prescribed format on MyCO within 28 days of the financial year ending, as per Section 53 (A-1) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017. As per DICA’s report, more than 16,000 companies were suspended for failure to submit AR forms within the due date. Newly established companies are required to submit ARs within two months of incorporation or face a fine of K100,000 for filing late returns. The DICA has notified that any company which fails to submit its AR within 13 months will be notified of its suspension (I-9A). I

f it fails to submit the AR within 28 days of receiving the notice, the system will show the company’s status as suspended. Companies can restore their status only after shelling out a fine of K50,000 for AR fee, K100,000 for restoration of the company on the register, and K100,000 for late filing of documents, totaling K250,000. If a company fails to restore its status within six months of suspension, the registrar will strike its name off the register, according to the DICA notice. The registration and re-registration of companies on the MyCO website were commenced on 1 August 2018, in keeping with the Myanmar Companies Law 2017. The number of companies registered on the online registry system, MyCO, totalled 2,100 in the past two months (Jan-Feb) 2022, the statistics released by the DICA. At present, 100 per cent of the applicants are using the online registration platform, according to data provided by the DICA.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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BRIC nods $6.1 mln worth of 2 FDI projects in May, creating 1,450 jobs

BAGO Region Investment Committee (BRIC) endorsed two foreign projects with an estimated capital of US$6.1 million in May, creating 1,450 jobs for residents, according to the BRIC meeting held on 27 May 2022. Bago Region Chief Minister U Myo Swe Win gave remarks at the meeting that the region attracts domestic and foreign investors on account of stability and COVID-19 preventive measures. BRIC is prioritizing the labour-intensive industries like manufacturing on the Cutting-Making and Packaging basis. He will support to have the better infrastructure (road, power and water supply) for the investors in the region.

The factories and workshops must run their businesses in the designated zones and the supervisory committee of the Bago Region Industrial Zone is required to closely monitor the factories. The chief minister also urged the officials to ensure there are no vacant plots of land in the zone. If the factories are found not to execute the type of business they are allowed to run, they will face legal action under the existing law. Moreover, he added to provide technical and financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Later, U Ko Ko Latt, director of the Bago Region Directorate of Investment and Company Administration presented two projects with PowerPoint. They are Weartec Seam Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd based in China with a capital of $3 million and Japan-listed Bago Sport Gloves Co., Ltd putting $3.1 million. They will pump foreign investments in the manufacturing of garments and gloves. The committee members make suggestions on that and the chief minister coordinated matters in line with the law, rules and regulations. Between 1 February 2021 and May 2022, Bago Region pulled foreign investments of US$123.712 million and K9.529 billion of domestic investments made by Myanmar citizens, which creates 7,458 job opportunities for local people, according to BRIC.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar ships 1.6 mln tonnes of corns in eight months

Myanmar exported over 1.6 million tonnes of corn to the external market between October 2021 and May 2022, said Chairman U Min Khaing of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association. Out of 1.6 million tonnes, over 700,000 tonnes of corns were delivered through sea trade. “The sea export was earlier sluggish. This year, over 700,000 tonnes of corns were exported through sea trade,” he told the GNLM. Myanmar conveyed corns to Thailand and China through border posts and the corns are shipped to the Philippines, India and Viet Nam through the sea route.

At present, the inventory is low in the domestic market and only 700,000 tonnes of corn remain for exports, U Min Khaing continued. “The production declined this year. Meanwhile, export volume via sea trade has increased this year. This is why the inventory is quite low. Only 600,000-700,000 tonnes of corns are left for exports,” U Min Khaing told the GNLM. The prices stood at K1,100 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in the Yangon market and FOB prices were approximately US$340-360 per tonne, according to the Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Bayintnaung).

Myanmar Corn Industrial Association targeted to export approximately two million tonnes of corn during the current corn season (October-September). Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 financial year. The majority of them were sent to Thailand. At present, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons — winter, summer and monsoon. The country produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn every year.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Export rice prices spiking

The prices of rice for the export market are rocketing, said U Than Oo, secretary of the Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Depot-BRWD. At present, traders are purchasing the rice to export them as per a previously signed MoU. However, they are not commercially doing well, he said. “As the contract price has been already fixed and the domestic rice price stays on the rise, the traders are struggling to meet the contracts. Moreover, the summer paddy is not that abundant and local brokers keep the inventory on hand. Therefore, the prices of rice are going up,” U Than Oo elaborated.

According to the provisions stipulated in Sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Foreign Exchange Management Law, all the foreign currency earned by locals have to be exchanged for local currency at the CBM’s reference rate of K1,850 by opening the accounts at the authorized dealers in the country within one working day, according to the notification released on 3 April. “Exporters fill the inventory from the domestic market. The rice is loaded on the ships after the rice cleaning process to remove dust. The foreign exchanges earned according to the contract are deposited into an account and exchanged for local currency at the set rate of K1,850.

This is the trading process for now. Although the dollar is worth over K2,000 at the unofficial exchanges, the official exchange rate is fixed. This is why the exporters are facing financial hardship to offer a higher price in the competitive market. Those who are buying them are not making profits yet they are trying to accomplish the contract,” the BRWD secretary said. The export rice prices (low grade) move in the range of K29,000 and K30,000 per 108-pound bag depending on different varieties, according to the Bayintnaung Commodity Centre.

Myanmar has shipped more than 1.4 million tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners between 1 October and 31 March in the past mini-budget period 2021-2022, the Myanmar Rice Federation stated. The country sent over 76,000 tonnes of rice and broken rice to the neighbouring countries through land borders whereas it placed over 1.3 million tonnes in the international market via the sea route. Myanmar also generated an income of US$700 million from two million tonnes of rice exports to the foreign countries in the past 2020-2021 Financial Year.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Domestic palm oil price re-falls

The price of domestic palm oil is rolling back again, according to the market data. After Indonesia’s ban on palm oil export is lifted, the price slid again in the global oil-producing countries. The reference rate in the Yangon market for a week from 23 to 29 May is set at K5,500 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes), according to the Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce. The rate fell from the reference rate of K6,025 per viss for a week ended 15 May.

The figures show an increase of over K500 per viss within a week. The committee has been closely observing the FOB prices in Malaysia and Indonesia including transport costs, tariffs and banking services and issuing the wholesale market reference rate for edible oil on a weekly basis. The Ministry of Commerce is striving for the consumers not to worry over the supply of edible oil. The ministry is also trying to secure edible oil sufficiency, supervise the market to offer a reasonable price to the consumers, maintain the price stability and prevent market manipulation.

If those retailers and wholesalers are found overcharging, storing inventory intentionally and attempting unscrupulous action to manipulate the market, they will face legal action under the Special Goods Tax Law, MoC released a statement. On 9 May, to ensure the edible oil security, peanut and sesame exports were temporarily blocked, according to the Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce. The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at one million tonnes per year. The local cooking oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. To meet the oil sufficiency in the domestic market, about 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Htikhee border sees largest trade among Myanmar- Thailand border posts

Myanmar’s Htikhee border carried out the largest trade among the Myanmar-Thailand border posts,
with an estimated value of US$254.92 million between 1 April and 13 May of the current financial year 2022-2023, according to Myanmar Customs Department. The figures soared from $118.995 million recorded in the year-ago period. There showed a significant increase of $135.9 million.

Exports of natural gas from Taninthayi Region contributed to the enormous increase in trade through the Htikhee border in the previous years, the Ministry of Commerce stated. The border trade between Myanmar and Thailand is conducted through the border areas—Myeik, Kawthoung, Tachilek, Myawady, Mawtaung, Htikhee and Meisei posts. Myawady border post witnessed a small decrease in trade value owing to the transportation difficulty triggered by the security concerns and extreme weather condition.

Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dried), 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. Bilateral trade between Thailand and Myanmar through the Htikhee border in the past mini-budget period (Oct 2021-Mar 2022) touched a high of US$965.469 million.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Announcement of the resumption of Tourist
Visa service on Online e-Visa System

  1. The Ministry of Immigration and Population resumed the Online e-Visa services on 1 April 2022 for business visa applications to facilitate the entry of foreign investors and businessmen to Myanmar. Moreover, commercial international flights operations are allowed to operate in accordance with the COVID-19 rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health, and therefore, the number of foreign visitors to Myanmar has been increasing.
  2. With an aim to develop tourism sector and to have a harmonized tourism with the neighbouring countries, e-Visa (Tourist) applications will be allowed and accepted from 20 May 2022.
  3. Requirements for the application of Online e-Visa (Tourist) will be available at the Ministry’s website https://evisa.moip.gov.mm.

Ministry of Immigration and Population

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Gold transactions to be made only at YGEA office to eliminate black market

In a bid to end the black market and stabilize the volatile prices, transaction of gold bars has to be carried out in the office of Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA), said U Myo Myint, chair of YGEA. “Some traders manipulate the price outside the office. YGEA offers a lower price than the retailers. The cross-border smugglers buy them from the association, causing the price to fluctuate. Some resell them with a gap of K20,000-K30,000 on the digital platform. Such transaction is not allowed to make. The gold transaction can be undertaken inside the YGEA’s office.

Licence for gold bar transaction is also required,” said U Myo Myint. Additionally, YGEA urged the members and gold traders to make gold transactions with immediate payment. Cross-border trade is not allowed without reporting to the association, according to its statement released on 17 May. The statement includes seeking a trade licence for gold shops, a licence for gold bar transactions and taking actions against those unauthorized dealers involved in online trade platforms. After that, gold shops engaged in gold bar transactions must make an inventory list of gold bar and gold trading reports.

Those individuals and gold shops will face legal actions under the existing law if they fail to follow that statement, according to YGEA. Moreover, YGEA also decided on 4 May to import gold from foreign countries in the coming rainy season not to fall short of raw metal supply. Additionally, gold traders and retailers are urged to make gold transactions by adding up to K5,000 to the price set by YGEA. In a bid to stabilize the gold market, gold transactions had better made according to the reference rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar (K1,850), according to the CBM’s statement released on 3 April. YGEA called for an urgent meeting on 8 April.

The meeting determined to carry out gold transactions depending on the CBM’s reference exchange rate. However, it has not come into force yet, said U Myo Myint, chair of YGEA. The US dollar stands at K2,000 in the unofficial black market. The domestic gold price is highly correlated with the global gold price, YGEA stated. During the end of September 2021, a dollar value hit an all-time high of over K3,000 in the gold exchanges and consequently, the pure gold reached a record high of K2.22 million per tical in history. At present, pure gold is worth K2,040,000 per tical (0.578 ounce, or 0.016 kilogramme) in the domestic market, while the global gold price stands at US$1,822 per ounce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar’s capital goods import down by $54 mln over one month

A slowdown in the construction market acts as a barrier to importing capital goods, resulting in a drop of US$54 million over one month of the current financial year 2022-2023, Myanmar Customs Department’s statistics indicated. Myanmar imported capital goods such as auto parts, vehicles, machines and steel, with an estimated import value of $345.66 million between 1 April and 6 May 2022, which slightly declined from $399.9 million. Additionally, some foreign investment enterprises were suspended during the COVID-19 and the condominium property market relying on foreign expatriates plunged drastically. As a result of this, the realtors are forced to reduce the rents.

The rental market continued a downward spiral amidst the COVID-19 consequences and political changes. The occupancy is drastically declining, a realtor from Yangon elaborated. Nevertheless, the real estate market sees an upturn in prices of the house and land as some investors believe it is a haven asset during difficult times. As the Kyat is depreciating on the US dollar, construction costs have risen. Consequently, the developers are facing supply chain issues. The construction sector imports steel, cement, electronic appliances, machinery and others. Meanwhile, three other import groups saw an increase. Myanmar imported consumer products worth over $307.765 million, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil.

The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $23.6 million as against the year-ago period. Intermediate goods make up the largest share of Myanmar’s imports, with petroleum products and plastic raw materials being the main import items. This year, imports of raw materials soared to $482.66 million from $461 million registered during the year-ago period. Over one month, raw materials worth over $306.3 million were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a rise of $217 million compared with the last financial year. 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 from the Ministry of Commerce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar