Irrawaddy Business Roundup
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 31 October 2020
Yangon – Myanmar is reporting more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases per day with a surge of cases outside Yangon, where new cases are starting to slow.
Meanwhile, Myanmar said it will allow private hospitals and clinics to treat COVID-19 patients to ease the burden on government hospitals crowded with coronavirus patients.
This week, a US government delegation visited Myanmar to boost investment in the country.
Myanmar’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said Myanmar has hit 98 percent of its foreign investment target this year as the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has approved foreign investments.
To curb the spread of COVID-19, Myanmar extended a ban on international and domestic flights until next month.
US to boost investment
A US government delegation led by Adam Boehler, chief executive of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), said it hopes to boost post-coronavirus investment in Myanmar and increase re-engagement given the country’s strategic location.
The delegation met State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the minister for investment and foreign economic relations U Thaung Tun and minister for planning, finance and industry U Soe Win and other senior figures in Naypyitaw during their two-day visit.
The visit was to explore investment opportunities and to underscore the long-term US commitment to invest in Myanmar’s economic development to provide a strong foundation for the country’s continued democratization, said the US Embassy in Yangon.
DFC is planning to invest up to US$60 billion (77.5 trillion kyats) in development projects in lower-income countries, including Myanmar, according to the Ministry for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.
The US delegation said it is time to reengage and greatly increase the DFC’s role in Myanmar.
Myanmar hits 98% of investment target
In a televised speech on Monday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the country has secured 98 percent of its foreign investment target for this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
It can be considered a success given the economic disruption, she said.
“Even if we cannot reach the target, achieving 98 percent is a considerable success amid the crisis,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
Under its Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan, the government set a target to attract US$5.8 billion (7.46 trillion kyats) in the 2019-20 financial year, which ended on Sept. 30. It received nearly $5.7 billion, around $110 million short of its target.
New investments approved in Myanmar
On Wednesday, Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) approved US$105,890 million and 35,629 million kyats ($27.6 million) in investments, for the expansion of eight existing investments and five new investments, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
The five new investments are focused on the livestock and fishery, manufacturing, real estate, oil and gas and service sectors, said DICA.
MIC expects the investment to create 688 jobs.
Myanmar extends flights ban
A ban on international and domestic flights has been extended until Nov. 30.
On March 29, Myanmar banned all commercial international flights to prevent COVID-19 from arriving from other countries after the first case was detected on March 23.
Only relief, cargo and special flights are allowed.
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