Business activity in Myanmar has slowed to almost zero as everyone celebrates the New Year this month.
ADB upbeat on prospects for Myanmar
An easing of sanctions in Myanmar, along with rising exports and business enthusiasm, will fuel annual growth of more than 6% for the next two years provided the government stays the course with its reform programme, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.
See the related press release at
“The outlook for the Myanmar economy is the brightest it has been for decades with investment, exports, tourism, and business optimism all on the rise. However this positive outlook could be at risk if the forward momentum of policy reforms falters or if recent tensions escalate further”, said ADB Chief Economist, Changyong Rhee.
The ADB „Development Outlook 2013‟ forecasts an annual GDP growth in Myanmar of 6.5% in the year to 31 March 2014, rising to 6.7% in 2014. In 2012, the economy expanded an estimated 6.3%, well
above the annual average of 5% recorded over the previous five years.
Proposed tax reforms and greater financial autonomy for state enterprises, coupled with increased export receipts, should give the government more fiscal leeway to step up spending on social services and infrastructure, while also lowering the fiscal deficit, says the ADB report.
This will also help reduce an over-reliance on natural resources revenues, which currently make up nearly a quarter of all public revenue. Although the policy reform agenda may take years to yield results, the report underscores measures to deliver benefits within two to three years, such as increasing the participation of private banks in the economy, and easing restrictions on interest rates and lending.
Simplifying business registration and visa procedures for tourists, upgrading inefficient power systems, and increasing access to finance and other services in the agriculture sector, would also be beneficial in the short
Singaporean company capture major construction contract
The Myanmar Mizzima News of 11 April reported that a Singaporean firm has won a US$74 mil. construction project. The company, Bouygues Construction, will be contracted to build the second phase of Yangon‟s Star City in a joint venture with Serge Pun‟s SPA Project Management ltd., Myanmar.
Some 500 jobs will be created and workers will be trained in modern construction techniques. The residential estate will feature 4980 apartments and community facilities along the Bago River in outer Yangon. Analysts anticipate a rise in domestic consumption of wood products when construction begins.
In related news the Singaporean government has reportedly upgraded its business presence in Myanmar in an effort to secure business opportunities. The government agency International Enterprise Singapore has opened an office in Myanmar and is sponsoring trade visits.
US dollar replaces euro in teak auctions
Beginning this month the Myanma Timber Enterprise has changed to using the US dollar for teak pricing, the euro will no longer be used. Bidding at the latest auction was reported as quite competitive. Buyers from India and Pakistan actively participated in the bidding and prices increases were observed for all teak log qualities.
The following prices were recorded during the teak auctions on 26th and 29th April 2013.
|Grade||Quantity (Tons)||€ per ton|
Hoppus ton=1.8m³; All grades, except SG-3/5/6, are length 8' x girth 5' &up. SG-3/4/6 are girth 4' &up. SG-3 grade is higher than SG-4 but with lower girth and price.
Prices differ due to quality or girth at the time of the transaction.