Irrawaddy Business Roundup
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 11 July 2020
This week Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports issued more warnings urging people to follow COVID-19 guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus as other countries report spikes.
State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi warned of the challenges ahead, although Myanmar has controlled transmissions within the country.
However, eight foreign investments were approved for Yangon Region this week. The government has also announced it will create an additional 500 billion kyats (US$364 million) in funding to address business losses due to COVID-19.
Five firms have also been shortlisted by the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry for the tender to run the Myingyan Steel Mill.
Eight Yangon investments approved
On Wednesday, the Yangon Regional Investment Committee approved US$23.8 million (32.7 billion kyats) in eight foreign investments from China, Samoa, Hong Kong and Vietnam, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
DICA said the investments are focused on garment manufacturing and the hotel sector.
Yangon’s regional government says it expects the investments will create almost 6,000 jobs.
Five firms shortlisted to run steel mill
The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry announced on July 7 that five companies have been shortlisted for private sector participation in running the Myingyan Steel Mill.
Sinosteel Equipment Engineering Co. Ltd, IMR Resources India Private Ltd, Go Excellent Myanmar Co. Ltd, Millcon Thiha Co. Ltd and Direct Investment Ltd have been shortlisted, according to the ministry.
Two of the firms are from Myanmar and the others are from China, Thailand and India.
The ministry said they would be required to prepare detailed bids demonstrating an innovative approach to the development of the mill, offering employees from Myanmar the highest possible salaries.
The operation of Myingyan Steel Mill in Mandalay Region’s Myingyan Township was suspended by the Union Parliament in 2017.
The government invested 550 billion kyats ($400 million) to establish the steel mill, which opened in 2004.
Businesses offered larger COVID-19 loans
Myanmar will create a fund of 500 billion kyats to assist garment manufacturing and tourism businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told the national tourism development central meeting on Tuesday.
The State Counselor said additional loans of 200 billion kyats ($146 million) to 500 billion kyats would help pay salaries while businesses are suspended.
Formerly, 100 billion kyats ($73 million) in loans with a 1 percent interest rate were allocated to garment factories, hotels, other tourist businesses and SMEs impacted by COVID-19.
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