The Irrawaddy Business Roundup
By Nan Lwin 29 August 2020
YANGON — As Myanmar reported a daily record spike in COVID-19 cases this week, some businesses decided to work from home. Meanwhile, five foreign investment proposals and one domestic investment were approved for Yangon. Moreover, the investment agencies announced the government’s decision that foreign staff from companies with operations in Myanmar must have urgent business to be personally taken care of in the country if they want to re-enter by relief flight.
South Korea’s giant POSCO International Corporation submitted a proposal to build a gas power plant in Bago Region, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.
Praising Myanmar’s potential as a fast-growing digital economy, MasterCard also announced that it is opening an office in Yangon.
Yangon approves new investment
Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases in Myanmar, Yangon’s regional government has approved investment proposals from Japan, China, Samoa and Seychelles and a proposal from a Myanmar-based enterprise on Wednesday.
The total estimated foreign investment is US$10.65 million (14.2 billion kyats) and the domestic investment is 6 billion kyats ($4.5 million), according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
It said the investment will mainly focus on clothing, furniture, sesame oil, cookies and jewelry production.
According to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), Yangon Region receives about 60 percent of Myanmar’s foreign direct investment.
Investment agencies announce rules for re-entry of foreign staff
Myanmar’s investment agencies have announced the criteria for foreign staff seeking to re-enter the country after receiving several requests from companies.
According to the MIC and DICA, the companies requested that the government allow the re-entry of foreign experts via relief flights.
The agencies said foreigners seeking to fly to Myanmar will have to prove they have urgent tasks in the country. The statement said visas will only be issued after scrutiny from the Central Committee for Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 and other government organizations and ministries. The COVID-19 committee also instructed the Ministry of International Cooperation to inspect all requests.
The statement said all companies must contact a Myanmar embassy about relief flights.
POSCO hopes to build gas-fired power plant in Bago
South Korea’s largest trading company, POSCO International Corporation, submitted a proposal to construct a natural gas-fired power plant in Shwedaung, Bago Region, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.
Deputy minister U Khin Maung Win and POSCO representatives met last week in Naypyitaw. The details of the project are yet to be announced, the ministry said.
The company’s offshore gas exploration began off Myanmar’s coast in 2000. It started commercial production in 2013 and is the main operator of the Shwe project, the largest natural gas production project in Myanmar.
MasterCard plans to open branch in Yangon
The US-based global financial services company, MasterCard announced on Tuesday that it will open a branch office in Yangon and appoint a business development manager for Myanmar.
The opening date and the amount of capital being invested are not yet known.
MasterCard’s services have been available in Myanmar for more than 10 years.
It said Myanmar is expected to grow by 6 percent in the next year as its digital sector develops swiftly.
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