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Imports including consumer goods drop

The value of imports including consumer goods has plummeted, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Commerce. Between 1 April and 2 September in the current financial year 2022-2023, goods worth $6.266 billion by sea and goods worth $884.948 million were imported into the country. Imports of consumer goods, capital goods, and raw materials by CMP businesses accumulated to US$7.151 billion.

In the corresponding period last FY, Myanmar imported goods worth $5.84 billion from foreign trade partners, with maritime imports valued at $4.614 billion and sea trade worth $1.226 billion. Import value by sea rose over the past five months compared to that of the year-ago period. Yet, import via cross-border trade was down by $341.561 million. The value of imports via land borders is attributed to the depreciation of Kyat against the currencies of neighbouring countries like China and Thailand, importers said. The exchange rate is currently estimated at K90 for a Thai Baht, K490 for Yuan and K3,500 for a US dollar in the local forex market.

Last August, Kyat drastically fell against the foreign currencies. Consequently, the imports were on the verge of suspension, traders stressed. At present, the prices of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and fuel oil are soaring. Therefore, agricultural machinery and related equipment were exempted from obtaining an import licence from 1 September, the Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce notified on 31 August. In a bid to support the country’s agricultural development and facilitate the imports of agricultural machinery, 70 HS lines concerning the agricultural machinery and equipment were eased from licensing requirements.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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KBZ exchanges K3,000 per dollar for inward remittances of foreign salary with Hana Bank

Myanmar migrant workers can carry out inward remittances of foreign salary at K3,000 for a dollar from Hana Bank to KBZ Bank, Hana Bank Myanmar released a statement on its social media Facebook page on 15 September 2022. The exchange rate against the US dollar is set at K3,000. There is a two-step verification for the money transfer, the bank shared its statement on the page. There is no red tape like paper works and token system. The amount of money that can be withdrawn is unlimited as well. For any inconvenience, the customers can directly contact the representatives from the KBZ.

“For the salary remittance through the Hana EZ app, the customers must select SALARY in the purpose box when they register the recipient account. This way, the detailed banking information will mention SALARY or code no “5200”. When those people who have filled in the information just like that make international remittance, 1 US dollar will be exchanged at K3,000,” the Hana Bank’s official confirmed this on 15 September. “If they select other options except for SALARY, they will not receive the said exchange rate. They can re-register the recipient account and enjoy the aforementioned rate for sure,” Hana Bank Myanmar stated. There is no token system required to withdraw money with special accounts or other saving accounts. The money withdrawal is limitless as well.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has recently directed local private banks to purchase the sailors’ foreign wages that are directly paid to their designated bank accounts at the maximum rate, as per the statement of the Myanmar Seafarers Federation (MSF). As a result of this, seafarers can receive a high exchange rate for local currency only when they put their foreign income into local banks. If they directly withdraw Kyat through regional agents in their own ways, the federation is uncertain about the amount of money that will be exchanged, as per the MSF’s statement. Myanmar migrant workers’ remittances amounted to US$6.152 billion over the past eight months, said Dr Pwint San, Union Minister of the Ministry of Labour. The remittance flows started in 2014 and the reports sent by the Central Bank of Myanmar stated that international remittance was carried out from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and other countries.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

DICA

MIC nods 35 foreign projects worth $1.2 bln in 5 months

The Myanmar Investment Commission gave green light to 35 foreign projects from six countries in the past five months (April-August) of the current financial year 2022-2023. The country attracted the capital of US$1.23 billion, including expansion of capital by existing enterprises, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Those enterprises are engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, power, real estate and service sectors respectively. Singapore is the top source of FDI this year, with 10 Singapore-listed enterprises pumping FDI of US$1.089 billion into Myanmar.

Hong Kong SAR stands as the second largest investor this FY with an estimated capital over $70.239 million drawn by seven projects. China is ranked third in the investment line-up with more than $56.7 million from 15 projects. One enterprise each from Belize, Japan and China (Taipei) also made investments in the past five months respectively. The existing enterprises from China (Taipei), China, Hong Kong SAR, the Republic of Korea, India and Thailand also increased investments.

Myanmar drew FDI al of $647 million in the 2021-2022 mini-budget period (October to March), DICA’s statistics indicated. The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations has been inviting responsible businesses to benefit the country. Myanmar Investment Commission (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 as well. From 1 February 2021, Thilawa SEZ has recorded capital expansions of $100 million from one new enterprise and the existing enterprises so far. The majority of them are put investments into cement and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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539 YBS buses charged for collecting higher bus fares

Action has been taken against a total of 539 YBS buses for charging higher bus fares, according to the Yangon Region Transport Committee (YRTC).

YRTC officials conducted surprise checks and took action against 539 buses of 15 YBS lines such as CNG permit suspension for three months, six months and one year suspension against the buses that collect over K500 bus fares and deploy conductors.

YRTC is carrying out surprise road checks for bus lines not to violate rules and regulations including charging higher fares. Currently, there are about 50,000 YBS passengers who use the YPS card system. Officials are also taking trial measures for billing bus fares depending on bus stops. A total of 3,250 buses of 116 bus lines provide services for 1.3 million passengers daily in Yangon.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar