Myanmar government lifting ban on livestock export

As part of its long term economic recovery plan, the Myanmar government has announced it will lift the ban on exporting livestock.

The Ministry of Planning and Finance also reports that it will offering loans to farmers in an attempt to further boost Myanmar’s agricultural industry.

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Myanmar government set supply electricity at a loss

The huge amount of money needed for the government to supply electricity to the whole of Myanmar for 2017/2018 means that they are supplying this vital resource at a loss.

An amount of K300 billion is needed by the government to supply the electricity across the country, but according to U Myint Oo, the deputy director general of the Electricity and Energy Ministry’s Department of Electric Power, the government doesn’t have the funds.

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Crackdown down on financial scams in Myanmar

There has been a move from the Securities Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) to crack down on illegal trading and financial scams carried out by unlisted companies in Myanmar.

The SECM appealed to the public in July 2017 to gather information on a specific company trading in Mawlamine. The company is called I Smart Co and has been reported as engaging in suspicious trading in Ayeyarwady. The company has also been linked to Saxon Capital Limited (SCL), which was shut down due to illegal trading.

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More than 1000 small businesses in Myanmar will receive loans

The government of Myanmar has recommended that more than one thousand small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) should come under consideration to receive bank loans. This information has been released by the Central Department of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (CDSMED) and is good news for the start-ups in the country.

The Ministry of Industry has 46,794 businesses officially signed up and registered with them, and have recommended that financial institutions offer loans to the selected enterprises after they conduct an assessment.

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Networks in Myanmar finally get 4G

In a move that can only improve business and the economy as a whole, Myanmar can now go 4G. Local telecom operators can now use the 1800MHz range that has been allocated by the government.

The Posts and Telecommunications Department, which comes under the government’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication, has granted permission to Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), Telenor Myanmar Ltd and Ooredoo Myanmar Ltd to use the 1800MHz spectrum. Using this, operators will expand the networks to 4G.

The permission was granted on 15 May 2017, and comes with a 12-year licence. Permission has gone specifically to mobile operators that have been awarded a nationwide telecoms licence. They are paying a fee of $80 million to use this spectrum.

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Piloting blockchain technology in Myanmar

Myanmar is at the forefront of the piloting of blockchain technology – an innovative way of making online transactions easier. The technology, that uses a shared digital ledger to record transactions across a number of computers, was used recently by BC Finance, the biggest microfinance institution in Myanmar.

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World Bank urges Myanmar government to implement changes in finance sector

A report (called the Observance of Standards and Codes or ROSC) from the World Bank and International Money Fund (IMF) has just been released.

Among its findings were that the revisions the government has made to its statutory institutional framework for accounting and financial reporting will align the country much more with international good practice. It praised the ‘good progress’ that has been made with the suggested amendments to the framework, but notes that these changes are yet to be finalised.

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Economic progress hasn’t yet reached Myanmar’s rural children

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that while progress has been made in terms of economic growth in Myanmar, life is still difficult for children in remote areas.

A report by the United Nations shows that the government’s reforms and efforts at reconciliation and improving the economy still leave around 2.2 million kids in desperate need of humanitarian help. Most of these children are in the remote areas of the particularly conflict-ridden regions of the country.

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Political stability and the economy

In order for any burgeoning economy to find its feet and work for the country, political stability is key. And nowhere more so than in Myanmar. After so many decades of military dictatorship, the economy is new, delicate, and growing rapidly.

According to EU ambassador Roland Kobia in an interview with The Myanmar Times, the importance of the country’s political stability can’t be underestimated.

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Fintech arrives in Myanmar

With a newly burgeoning economy and an open market for the first time in 50 years, along with rapid advances in technology, Myanmar is ripe for fintech companies to offer new products and services.

All around the world, technology is transforming people’s access to financial management services, whether for personal use or for investment and business. Fintech start-ups are now capitalising on Myanmar’s speedy development and growing use of smartphones. It’s a market ready for low cost, user friendly, accessible financial products accessible online, whether from a computer or a smartphone.

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