The Irrawaddy Business Roundup (May 27)

By The Irrawaddy 27 May 2017

Logistics Warehouse to Open in Thilawa SEZ

A modern logistics warehouse has been completed at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and will begin operations on June 1.

The facility is operated by Nittsu Logistics Myanmar, whose services include warehousing, air/ocean cargo forwarding, customs clearance, domestic distribution (including bonded transport), cross-border truck transport and heavy haulage.

The new warehouse with temperature controlled and dehumidified spaces will offer facilities for the storage of products such as apparel and chemical products that require temperature controlled and an anti-fungal environment, according to a trade journal.

The facility will offer bonded storage services utilizing bonded cargo functions that are unavailable elsewhere in Burma, according to the report.

Plans to expand the cargo terminal at Thilawa port and to widen roads near the zone raise the possibility that the Thilawa economic zone will become a significant production and logistics hub, the report added.

Coca-Cola Welcomes New Chief in Burma

Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages, the bottling operation of the global drinks giant in Burma, has a new head, according to a company announcement.

Gaurav Chaturvedi previously served as an executive director for human resources at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, one of India’s largest manufacturing and distribution companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

Chaturvedi is one of 13 associates of Hindustan Coca-Cola who are working in senior executive positions for the company outside India, including in Burma.

The Burma plant is based in Rangoon’s Hmawbi Township and opened in 2013 with a planned investment of US$200 million and a target to create 22,000 jobs over five years.

Trucking-Shipping Route Slashes Export Delivery Time

A new ground-sea route which cuts delivery times from Burma to major markets was started this month by Nisshin Transportation, a unit of Hitachi Transport System, Nikkei Asia reported.

The service is geared to the textile industry. Goods go first by land between Yangon and Bangkok. Nisshin Transportation has created a trans-shipment site to rearrange cargo on trucks at Myawaddy on the border with Thailand. After the goods arrive in Bangkok they are shipped to China and Japan.

The service cuts the transport time for goods between Rangoon and Japan or China to about one month, compared to around two months for goods traveling the sea-only route via the Strait of Malacca.

Burma has a growing sewing and garments industry and quicker transport systems can bolster its position as a hub for women’s clothing and other items that require fast delivery, according to the report.

Burma’s Air Services See Sharp Rise

The number of air passengers in Burma has more than doubled in two years, according to a report in an industry publication.

Data from the air travel intelligence firm OAG indicates that seat capacity at Burma’s airports was twice as high in 2016 as in 2014, according to the report.

Rangoon International Airport has accounted for roughly half of all scheduled seat capacity for more than a decade, the report said.

Last year the airport handled around six million passengers, it added.

After Rangoon, Burma’s most used airports are Mandalay and Heho. Domestic air travel is dominated by flights from Rangoon to other airports, with Mandalay and Heho served with at least 10 daily flights.

The capital Naypyidaw comes only fifth for passenger numbers, with just two international services, to Bangkok and Kunming.

The two leading international services linked to Burma are to Bangkok’s two airports. There are more than 90 weekly flights to Suvarnabhumi airport and 63 weekly flights to Don Muang airport. Singapore’s Changi airport is served by about 57 weekly flights.

Other international destinations served by direct flights from Burma include airports in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The OAG data indicated that of Burma’s top 15 airlines (by seats), nine are locally based. “Going forward it seems unlikely that the country can sustain as many as nine local airlines, but while Myanmar [Burma] is developing rapidly there are clearly opportunities,” the report said.

DICA Approves 25 Investments this Month

A total of 25 local and foreign investments were approved so far this month by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

The approved companies include seven in the cut-manufacture-pack (CMP) garment sector, while others were in agriculture, construction and telecommunications, according to an official.

“We will give priority to investments which can create job opportunities,” the official told The Global New Light of Myanmar.

DICA is in discussions with state and regional governments on how to stimulate investments in other industrial sectors besides the garment industry, the report said.

South Korea to Send Buses

South Korea’s trade promotion agency said two hundred buses will be exported to Burma for use by public schools, according to Yonhap news agency.

The 29-seat Hyundai buses will be shipped next month in a deal between the Yangon Regional Government and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

“The deal marks South Korea’s first government-to-government contract with an Asian country. It also involves South Korean trading firm POSCO Daewoo International Co. and a local operator,” according to the report.

Bankers Set for Training in Thailand

A leadership program for banking executives will help build skills and deepen knowledge in Burma’s banking sector, according to organizers Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and Thammasat University in Thailand, together with the Myanmar Banks Association.

The “Myanmar Banker Leadership Program” is the first program developed exclusively for Burmese banking executives, according to SCB in a statement.

“With a rapidly developing economy and changing business landscape, the banking industry requires strong leadership and trained employees to drive banks into the new financial future,” the statement said. SCB expects the program to be a “must attend” for Burma’s rising financial leaders, the press release added.

The first round of the six-week program will include around 30 banking executives from private and public banks. Different curricula are offered for young executives and senior executives.

Subjects include financial analysis and credit risk management, trade finance, foreign exchange, money market management and portfolio management.

“Since establishing our presence in Myanmar in 2012, SCB has been keen to contribute to the Myanmar government effort to help improve the financial sector,” said Kamalkant Agarwal, Head of International Banking, SCB.