The Irrawaddy Business Roundup (July 15)

By The Irrawaddy 15 July 2017

JobsNet Announces Awards for Best Employers

The first awards system recognizing leading Myanmar employers has been announced by the jobs portal

The Myanmar Employer Awards will consider firms conducting best practices in human resources, including organizational development, talent recruitment, compensation and benefits, and workplace culture and design.

Nurturing human talent is critical to boosting productivity, general standards of living and long- term economic growth in Myanmar, according to JobNet.

“The Myanmar Employer Awards will create awareness among local and international employers, government bodies and the community as a whole regarding the importance of talent management to drive business profitability and the growth of Myanmar as a stronger nation,” said Matt de Luca of the company.

“Combining international practices with Myanmar work culture is a delicate process which must be nurtured if the fast pace [of growth] is going to be sustained,” according to a company statement.

The awards will be given to local and international companies and will include an Overall Best of the Best, People’s Choice Award, Best Learning & Development, Excellence in Workplace Environment, Best Use of Internal Marketing for Company Pride, Best Career Advancement Program, and the Best Use of Rewards & Recognition.

A panel of nine local and international judges will be headed by Prof. Dr. Aung Tun Thet, former government economic advisor. Deloitte Myanmar will participate as the verifying partner.

Companies may start submitting applications from July 28. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Sule Shangri-La Hotel in Yangon on November 24. Further information is at

Shell Petrol and Retail Stations on the way

Max Energy has signed a license agreement with the international energy firm Shell to introduce its brand of retail sites in Myanmar, DealStreet Asia reported.

The deal is with Shell Brands International AG, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, and it will see a nationwide roll-out of the branded petrol stations and retail outlets on sites owned and operated by Max Myanmar over three years.

Fuel supply will be handled by Shell International Eastern Trading Company based in Singapore, the company announced.

“This will benefit Myanmar by raising the quality and standard of fuels and providing an unrivalled customer service and experience for people,” said U Zaw Zaw, chairman of Max Myanmar.

Max Energy currently has 18 fuel stations in Yangon and others in the Ayeyarwady Region, Mandalay, Bago, Naypyidaw, Sagaing Region and Mon State.

“This long-term agreement with Max Energy will provide the people of Myanmar with Shell’s high quality fuels and lubricants, excellent customer service and a range of convenience products and services designed to meet the needs of busy motorists and other customers,” said Yasuko Yoshida, country chair of Shell Myanmar.

Moreh-Imphal Highway Upgrade Gets Go-Ahead

India’s government said on Thursday that it has given the green light to widen and upgrade a 65-kilometre stretch of highway from Imphal in Manipur to Moreh on the Myanmar border, the Economic Times reported.

The upgrade is part of the fulfilment of India’s ‘Look East’ policy, according to an Indian government statement.

India’s roads and transport minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters that the project was being developed with loans assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program. The program aims to upgrade road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve regional connectivity.

The road section is also a part of the long-touted Asian Highway project which aims to boost connectivity throughout Asia and improve links to Europe.

After completion of the four-lane upgrade, travel time on the journey is estimated to reduce from the current three-and-a-half hours to one-and-a-half hours.

Road safety features including underpasses, crash barriers, lay-bys, road signs and service roads to segregate slow-and fast-moving traffic, will reduce accidents and help save fuel costs, an Indian government statement said.

Program Aims to Boost Business in the Regions

A three-year plan to improve business competitiveness and economic growth in the states and regions has been launched by the Asia Foundation and the DaNa Facility, with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development.

The keystone of the program will be a survey called the Myanmar Business Environment Index (Myanmar BEI), which will identify constraints and areas for improvement in the regulatory environment for business at the state and regional level.

The goal is to facilitate private sector development and remove unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles as well as opportunities for rent-seeking.

In this way, the survey will serve as a diagnostic tool for evaluating the local business environment, according to an Asia Foundation statement.

“For many Myanmar micro, small, and medium enterprises, the first engagement with government is at the township level, whether this involves business registration, tax collection, or inspection of a business,” said Dr. Kim Ninh, country representative for foundation. “To improve the business environment in Myanmar, a better understanding is needed of the aspects of local economic governance that facilitate or restrain day-to-day business activity.”

“Achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Myanmar requires a better business environment in each of Myanmar’s states and regions,” said Peter Brimble, team leader for the DaNa Facility which will operate the program.

The BEI will also reinforce efforts to develop state and region investment promotion and facilitation strategies.

The project will involve nationwide surveys in the first and third years, with extensive outreach and dissemination in years two and three.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization which works governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

It has pioneered and implemented similar business indices in other locations, including Vietnam’s Provincial Competitiveness Index, along with related tools in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Mongolia.

Banks Must Maintain 20 percent Liquidity Ratio

The Central Bank issued a regulation last week that requires all banks to maintain a liquidity ratio of 20 percent at all times.

Banks must calculate their liquidity ratio daily and report weekly averages to the Central Bank, according to the regulation.

Penalties apply in the case of the non-compliance with the regulation issued under the Financial Institutions Law and the Central Bank of Myanmar Law, which went into immediate effect.