It is estimated to 56.2 Million People living in Myanmar as of October 2023 based on 2014 Census by Department of Population. By States and Regions, Yangon Region has highest population of 9 Million people and followed by Shan State and Mandalay Region with 6.8 Million respectively. Among the States, Kayah and Chin are lowest populate states with 0.4-0.5 Million population while Tanintharyi Region has been lowest populate region with 1.6 Million people among any other regions. Compared to 2019 Inter-census population, 2.2 Million people has been increased within 4 years. Populations by States and Regions are as seen in the following Figure: 2023 Estimated Population of Myanmar by States and Regions
Figure: 2023 Estimated Population of Myanmar by States and Regions
Source – Department of Population
The Copy Rights Law of Myanmar came into force on 31st October 2023 with the issuance Notification No.218/2023 by the State Administration Council as the effective date of the Copyright Law 2019 (CRL) of Myanmar. The law protects the literary and artistic works of not only the Myanmar Citizens but also the Foreigners residing in Myanmar who first publish their works in Myanmar or first publish their works outside Myanmar but re-publish them in Myanmar within 30 days of the first publication date.
Likewise CRL, the Industrial Design Law of Myanmar also came into force on 31st October 2023 with the issuance Notification No.217/2023 by the State Administration Council as the effective date of the Copyright Law 2019 (CRL) of Myanmar. Since 31st October 2023, creators of Industrial Designs can file applications for registration of their Designs with the Intellectual Property Department (IPD).
Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods Chairman State Administration Council Member Deputy Prime Minister General Mya Tun Oo has highlighted the importance of reviewing the work processes at all the trade camps of Myanmar to revitalize the trade sector. Traders need to ensure that imports of basic necessities should be met while maintaining the capacity to export as well. The 13 member committee will try to facilitate export goods by minimizing interruptions in production, and work towards ensuring the smooth flow of official currency.
The Supervisory Committee on Fuel Oil Import, Storage and Distribution was reorganized on 13th October 2023 in order to effectively steer the oil import, storage and distribution sector and ensure standard quality for the imported fuel oil and stable prices for energy consumers, incorporating the stakeholders from the public and private sectors into the committee. The Committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister for Energy, Permanent Secretary as secretary for the committee, Director General of the Petroleum Products as Joint Secretary and followed by members such as DGs of Trade Department, Petroleum Products Regulatory Department, DDG of the Foreign Currency Management Department. The committee is majorly responsible for supervisory measures on stabilizing fuel prices, import license issuances, managing and distribution of imported fuel oils and so on.
There are 505 Garment factories, 48 footwear factories, 8 wig manufacturers and 177 factories associated in manufacturing of bags, sports units, sports shoes, and socks in Myanmar and the majority of them are residing in Yangon and operating under Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) System. CMP Garment system has been one of top FDI Sectors of Myanmar and China has been major FDI Investor in Myanmar and followed by Chinese Taipei, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. Finished products are majorly exported to ROK, Japan and EU countries and as of presence, 37.5 % of orders are by Japan and other 25.3 % by ROK.
For the first six-month of FY 2023-24, Garments exports has reached USD 4.3 Billion.
Ministry of Commerce issued the notification of the measures to be taken against companies whose export earnings will not be allowed to take into the country with the Notification No.27/2022 issued on 6th October, 2023. According to the Notification, export earnings of goods to the Asian countries shall be deposited within 45 days, and those to other countries deposited within 90 days and if non-compliance is found, action will be taken in accord with the Section 42-A of the Foreign Exchange Management Law.
In order to be more getting involved in legitimate exports and bolstering exports, the Ministry of Commerce has been paving ways by granting special privileges to exporters who are earning Foreign Currencies for the country. Besides, The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) also planned to give another special privilege to the exporters on top of that.
The Ministry of Commerce has revealed three priority sectors for imported goods. Traders are encouraged to spend foreign currency to make these goods available. The first promoted sector are goods essential for everyday use and the benefit of the population: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, fertilizers, pesticides, seed, diesel, petrol, edible oil, raw materials used in livestock businesses, veterinary drugs, industrial raw materials, PET chips, food materials, plastic raw materials, medicine and herbal raw materials, packing materials, lubricants, engine oil, other industrial oil, tar and LPG gas.
The second sector covers raw materials and other inputs required for manufacturing: iron and steel, paper and stationery, equipment for electricity generation, transmission and distribution, construction material, machine and spare parts, transmission and distribution, tires and rubber products.
Finally, the third sector promotes various electronic electrical goods, telephones and telecommunication devices, as well as foodstuff, consumer products, vehicles for commercial purposes and machinery.
To incentivize Myanmar expatriates working abroad to remit a portion of their income, the Ministry of Commerce has announced that expatriates would be eligible for an EV import license for an EV worth 5% of their remitted income. Under this program, those who transfer $200,000 would be able to import an EV worth $10,000, and remittances below that threshold and above $50,000 would be able to import an EV worth $2500.
The announcement is part of a series of moves to shore up the administration’s foreign reserves. However, it is unlikely to have any substantial impact. Firstly, few Myanmar expatriates are actually able to earn enough income to be able to remit $50,000 annually, let alone $200,000. Secondly, even among those that meet the requirement, few would feel that an EV import license would be an attractive enough offer. Thirdly, with current EV import restrictions, there would be difficult to find vehicles on the market that hit the $10,000 price-point. Realistically, the license to import an electric motorcycle, which fits the $2500 criteria, would be the only tangible benefit from this scheme.
Regarding food product imports, FOOD and Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health notified food importing companies to seek import recommendations (IR). They can seek IR through the FDA website http://fda. gov.mm.
The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has approved six new investment projects in various sectors, including power, manufacturing, hotels, and tourism. These projects will bring a total investment of approximately Ks.314.73 billion ($72.98 million), as well as creating over 2,600 job opportunities for locals. Additionally, eight existing businesses were granted permission to expand their capital.
As of the end of August 2023, out of 52 foreign countries, Singapore, China, and Thailand were the leading nations in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Myanmar. The power sector attracted the most FDI, accounting for 28.45% of total investments, followed by the oil and natural gas sector (24.46%) and manufacturing sector (14.38%). In addition to these sectors, the agriculture sector attracted $2.578 million from three enterprises, while the transport and communication sector saw capital expansion of $77.82 million. The livestock and fisheries sector also received over $23 million in increased capital.
Myanmar received a total of $484.155 million in foreign direct investments in the past five months, which included capital expansion by existing enterprises. During this period, the power sector remained the top choice for FDI.
Singaporean asset management corporation Keppel has completed the sale of the 5-star rated Sedona hotel to Springfield Blossom Ventures, another Singaporean registered company. The luxury hotel was sold for US$ 57.4 million, higher than its managing company Straits Greenfield’s net asset value of US$43.9 million, as of February. The sale was first announced earlier this year in March and according to Keppel, is “in line with asset monetization plans to unlock value that can be invested to pursue new opportunities.”
Sedona Hotel Yangon is one of Myanmar’s oldest international hotels, being in business since 1996. In 2016, it expanded by adding an all-new 30-storey building, increasing its capacity by 430-beds. Sedona, like many other hotels during the COVID-19 epidemic, operated in a reduced capacity, not accepting any new bookings.
The 500kV Phayargyi Substation is on track to be completed by December of this year. The substation would be able to transfer electricity from power stations located in the northern areas of Myanmar into the south with greater transmission capacity, efficiency and reliability. The substation, located near milestone 40 on the Yangon-Mandalay highway was part of the National Power Transmission Network Development Project along with Hlaingtharyar Substation and began implementation in 2018.
The Tha-Htay hydropower project in Rakhine State is 77.5% complete as of July 2023, and would be completed during the 2025-2026 fiscal year. Situated on the Tha-Htay River in Rakhine state, the project has a total planned capacity of 111MW and would be able to provide clean renewable energy to over a million people. The dam is being developed with assistance from Japanese engineering consulting group “The Kansai” to ensure compliance with modern standards.
On October 11, Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov and Myanmar’s Energy Minister U Ko Ko Lwin met in Moscow to discuss bilateral energy cooperation. If Myanmar were to cooperate with Russian energy company INTER RAO, they would provide assistance with the petrochemical sector, focusing on the development of oil, coal, and natural gas resources. Myanmar would focus on pursuing renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, while greatly appreciating the help of its allies. Both countries agreed to discuss further discussions in the future.
On the same day, U Ko Ko Lwin and Science and Technology Minister Dr. Myo Thein Kyaw participated in the Sixth Russian Energy Week International Forum. They discussed the issue of worrying carbon dioxide emissions and the potential of nuclear technology as a potential solution for clean power. The Myanmar government has been eyeing nuclear power as a way to solve its own energy issues; the Ministry of Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rosatom Chairman Alexey Likhachev to develop nuclear infrastructure.
In order to continuously control the infection of COVID-19, the rules and restrictions have been extended until the end of November 2023.