Irrawaddy Business Roundup
By Nan Lwin 2 January 2021
YANGON — Myanmar has extended COVID-19 preventive measures until Jan. 31 but many businesses are already preparing to reopen as unemployment rises.
Also this week a South Korea desk opened to boost bilateral trade and investment and the South Korea-based KB Kookmin received a license to open in the country.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Thai-backed Yangon Amata Smart and Eco City project this week. Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Cooperation also announced that it will consider investing in Myanmar’s oil and gas sector.
South Korea desk opens in Yangon
A South Korean desk has launched in Yangon to help Korean investors deal with Myanmar’s administrative issues and for firms in Myanmar to explore the Korean market.
MyanTrade’s Korea Desk has opened at the One-Stop Service office in Yangon’s Yankin Township. Myanmar and South Korea agreed to establish the desk during President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Myanmar in September last year.
South Korea is one of Myanmar’s major economic partners with investments of more than US$4 billion (5.3 trillion kyats), according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Myanmar’s investment agency.
Thai-backed project kicks off
A groundbreaking ceremony at the Thai-backed Amata Smart and Eco City project was held this week. The project aims to create an economic hub with industrial, logistics and services infrastructure to attract domestic and foreign investors.
The estimated $1-billion (1.3-trillion-kyat), 800-hectare project is near Laydaunkkan village in East Dagon and South Dagon townships. The project will be jointly developed by the Urban and Housing Development at the Ministry of Construction and Thailand’s Amata Corporation.
The ministry said the project is expected to create 33,000 jobs, attract foreign investment and boost Yangon Region’s industrial output and exports. The entire project is expected to be completed in five years and the construction of the first phase is due to begin in the first three months of next year.
South Korean bank to open in Myanmar
One of South Korea’s largest banks, KB Kookmin, has received a license from the Central Bank of Myanmar to open a branch in the country, a first for a foreign bank.
According to the bank, it plans to open at least 10 branches, including in Yangon and Mandalay, to provide loans to promising businesses, mortgages and ATM services.
KB Kookmin was among the seven foreign banks that received approval from the central bank in April.
Taiwanese group eyes oil and gas stake
The Taiwanese state-owned energy group, CPC Corporation, is seeking opportunities for oil and gas joint venture projects in Myanmar as a part of its “southbound policy” to develop a stronger diplomatic and economic relationship with Myanmar.
CPC said it is studying Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries for oil and gas investment.
Taiwan has been the 11th-largest investor in Myanmar since the 2016-17 financial year.
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