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Thilawa SEZ attracts capital expansion of $100 mln in 18 months

The amount of total accumulated investment at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone by a total of 116 foreign enterprises was estimated at US$2.28 billion. From 1 February 2021, Thilawa SEZ recorded capital expansions of $100 million from one new enterprise and the existing enterprises.

Twenty-one countries made investments in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone under the Special Economic Zone Law, according to the Thilawa SEZ Committee. The new enterprise brought in $14 million at Thilawa SEZ. Moreover, 14 businesses also expanded.

The majority of them are engaged in cement and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Businesses in Thilawa SEZ were forced to stop in 2020 amid the pandemic. They have resumed their operations from 2021. At present, the manufacturing operations return to normal. Moreover, the construction of the SEZ is carried out with 15,000 workers for now. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Association’s restrictions on sesame exporters applying for export licences eased

Among the restrictions on corn, pulses, and sesame exporters, the matter of having to apply for an export licence has been eased, according to the, pulses and beans, maize and sesame producers on 27 August.
In the past, various pulses were exported abroad.

On 1 August, the Department of Trade issued a directive that licences will only be issued with the approval of thea Myanmar Pulses and Beans, Maize and Sesame Industry Association in order to obtain an export license for the export of sesame, oil crops, and pulses.

On 27 August, it was eased to apply for a licence without seeking the approval. The relaxation will start from 29 August and export licence applicants do not need to seek a letter of endorsement from the association.

In July, the Ministry of Commerce stressed that exporters of pulses, corn, sesame, peanuts and oilseeds will be allowed to export only if they can show the export incomes licence along with banking documents. In addition, exporters of sesame, all kinds of pulses, corn, and oilcrops through the border trade camps must make payments only in US dollars, and the export earnings must be exchanged at the Central Bank of Myanmar at its reference rate.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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YGEA decides on sales report with market price

Yangon Region Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA) agreed on 29 August 2022 to make a sales report according to the actual market price. The decision was made following the meeting of the Monitoring and Steering Committee on the Gold and Currency Market and also with the officials involved in gold refining businesses in Yangon, Mandalay and Mawlamyine cities on 27 August 2022. YGEA settled this under the guidance of the officials concerned, YGEA Chair U Myo Myint told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).

“Our association set the gold reference price calculated on the Central Bank of Myanmar’s reference exchange rate of K2,100 for a dollar, while the gold market price was determined on the exchange rate of K3,000 in the unofficial forex market. This action implied a transaction with the actual market price which was calculated on the dollar exchange rate over-the-counter-market as the retail shops are also making transactions with the market price instead, the GNLM quoted him as saying. Consequently, a market report to the related department must be done as per the actual market price.

“Earlier, YGEA created a voucher with the reference price. Traders can buy gold at the YGEA’s set price. However, they resell the gold at a higher price. Now, we will make a voucher using real data,” he continued. The authorities concerned also want the daily market report, he added. “Gold is locally mined. The officials want the real data for the gold transaction. It does not indicate taxation. The data on the amount of gold acquired by smelting and refining businesses will be forwarded to the related department,” U Myo Myint elaborated.

On 29 August, despite YGEA’s set price at K2,021,000 per tical (0.578 ounce or 0.016 kilogramme), pure gold fetched approximately K2.8 million per tical in the markets,” the association stated. The price rise is attributed to the Kyat depreciation against the safe-haven US dollar. The exchange rate against a US dollar is worth over K3,200 in the unofficial forex market. 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 high of K2.22 million per tical.

Under the guidance of the Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods, the Monitoring and Steering Committee on the Gold and Currency Market was formed on 17 December 2021 as gold and currency market stability play a crucial role in trade facilitation. The objectives of the committee are inspecting and prosecuting market manipulation, checking if there is compliance with payment rules in the domestic market, and proceeding against those unscrupulous traders who intend to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market under the existing laws, by-laws and regulations in line with the official directives, illegal foreign currency holding, illegal trade and taking legal actions against price manipulators.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Palm oil wholesale reference price rebounds to nearly K5,000 per viss

The wholesale reference rate of palm oil in the Yangon market increased again to nearly K5,000 per viss, according to the Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution. The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce 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 reference rate of palm oil in the Yangon market for a week from 29 August to 4 September is set at K4,910 per viss, whereas the reference price for a week ending on 28 August was set at K4,860 per viss.

The figures showed an increase of K50 per viss. However, the current market price is higher than the reference rate. Despite the reference rate, the traders are found to raise the price to K10,000 per viss in the markets. To tackle this, mobile market trucks operated by oil importing companies, in coordination with the Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association, were back to business in some townships on 17 July in order to offer palm oil at a subsidized rate. They sell palm oil at K5,100 per viss to consumers directly. However, there are limited sources of supply although they directly sell the palm oil at a reference rate depending on the volume quota.

“The edible oil price is moving an upward spiral. We rush to queue to buy the oil when the mobile market trucks arrive in our ward,” a housewife said. If the 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. The Ministry of Commerce is striving for 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 reasonable prices to consumers and maintain price stability. The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at 1 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