Myanmar manufacturing sector attracts $129 million from China in H1

A total of 29 foreign enterprises pumped US$129 million into Myanmar’s manufacturing sector in the first half of the current financial year 2022-2023, including capital expansion by the existing enterprises, as per the statistics released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Myanmar attracted foreign direct investments of $1.24 billion from 39 enterprises during the April-September period. The majority of the investments were brought into the manufacturing sector. The power sector received $702.4 million from six projects, while one enterprise put $29 million in the real estate sector and two other foreign enterprises made an investment of $378 million in the service sector respectively.

Additionally, the livestock and fisheries sector saw a capital expansion of $1.545 million. The manufacturing enterprises and businesses that need a large labour force are prioritized to create job opportunities for the local community, according to Myanmar Investment Commission. Although some labour-intensive enterprises faced financial hardship amid the COVID-19 negative impacts and the political changes, the industry is now returning to normal after the COVID-19 vaccination program for the workers, as per the HIS Markit’s September report.

In a bid to boost factory productivity with a healthy workforce in the garment industry, Mobile Medical Check to garment workers took place in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, supported by UNICEF Myanmar. Moreover, Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association has organized Labour Law Awareness and WCC Training since July 2022, with the support of UNICEF Myanmar. It aims to provide the soft skills needed for industrial development and create a better workplace for garment workers.

Additionally, the association will be launching the voluntary labour compliance assessment-VLCA Online System in November 2022. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packaging basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. Myanmar has drawn foreign direct investment of more than $647.127 million from 49 enterprises in the past mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022). Of them, 40 foreign enterprises put investments in the manufacturing sector, pumping an estimated capital of $202.667 million. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Kyat-dollar exchange rate hits K2,900 in market despite CBM’s reference rate of K2,100

A Kyat-dollar exchange rate rose to K2,900 in the black market, while the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) set the reference exchange rate at K2,100. In order to strengthen the domestic currency in the local forex market, the CBM set the currency trading band at 0.3 per cent for Kyat to fluctuate between these two specified upper and lower exchange rates for transactions, selling or buying on 10 August 2022. Therefore, financial institutions including banks and informal money exchanges set a dollar value of K2,100 for buying and K2,106 for selling.

In spite of the trading band, the dollar transaction was made with the buying price of K2,930 and the selling price of K2,980 in the grey market. Additionally, the hard currency US dollar hit a high of over K4,500 in the forex market at August-end. Consequently, the CBM sold dollars at its auction market for the sectors in need, to control the soaring dollar. A total of $443.8 million were sold at an auction rate in 2021 as well. Last 28 September 2021, a dollar value hit a peak of over K3,000 in the black market, pushing pure gold up to 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 Gold and Currency Market was formed on 17 December 2021 as gold and currency market stability play a crucial role in the 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