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  • Mekong Eye News Digest: 18 May 2016

    05/19/2016

    A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.

  • China’s rise takes centre stage at ADB annual meeting

    05/11/2016

    China’s growing economic influence through the One Belt, One Road initiative and the newly operational Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank were key topics of discussion at the Asian Development Bank’s annual conference in Frankfurt this week.
    The Chinese-led AIIB has 57 founding members with others expected to join. The One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project aims to strengthen infrastructure on the land and sea routes from China through Central Asia and Southeast Asia respectively – incorporating some 60 separate states.

    Both initiatives affect Myanmar, as a member country of the AIIB and as a host to Chinese OBOR infrastructure projects – including a recently approved US$3 billion refinery near the southern city of Dawei.

  • Dawei residents protest against $3 billion oil refinery

    05/04/2016

    A collection of civil society groups in the southern city of Dawei has begun to actively protest a Chinese-led US$3 billion proposal to build Myanmar’s largest oil refinery on their doorstep.
    Local businesses, civil society organisations and villagers are circulating a petition calling for the new National League for Democracy-led government to reconsider the project – which received approval on the last full day of former president U Thein Sein’s administration.

    Local residents were hardly involved in the approval process, according to the appeal, which suggests the environmental effects of the 100,000-barrels-per-day project may be catastrophic.

    More than 2000 people from six villages have signed the petition, according to the Dawei Development Association.

  • Myanmar Launches First Report on Extractive Industries Revenue

    05/02/2016

    On Friday, March 18 several hundred people gathered in Yangon, Myanmar for the launch of the country’s first EITI report, which provides the most comprehensive data to date on Myanmar’s revenues from extractives; traditionally opaque sectors in the country. Dr. Maung Maung Thein, outgoing chair of the Multi Stakeholder Group that implements EITI locally, highlighted […]

  • Mass fish deaths in central Vietnam point finger at industrial wastewater discharge

    04/22/2016

    A fisherman in the central province of Ha Tinh has reported to local authorities that he saw a sewage pipe a Taiwanese steel manufacturer may have installed to discharge wastewater directly into the sea in an area where a huge number of fish have died recently.
    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, 36, of Ky Anh town told officers at a border guard station that he found the pipe by chance while diving to catch fish on April 4.

  • Myanmar: The Dawei Special Economic Zone

    04/19/2016

    Investor confidence in the long-delayed Dawei special economic zone (DSEZ) is growing after Japan signed on as a third equal partner with Myanmar and Thailand this December. Japan’s backing may finally kick start construction of the billion dollar project that has been crippled by funding shortfalls since 2013. If it’s ever finished, the deep-seaport is expected to rival the one in Singapore, opening a new gateway to the Malacca Strait from the western Myanmar seaboard. The 196 square km special economic zone – scaled down from initial estimates of 204.5 square km – would become one the biggest industrial parks in Southeast Asia.

  • Sino–Japanese competition heats up over Myanmar’s SEZs

    04/11/2016

    China and Japan are eager to be involved in massive special economic zone (SEZ) projects in Myanmar, amid rising economic competition in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Since 2011, Myanmar has rapidly improved its diplomatic relations with the West and Japan in order to broaden its economic relations and mitigate its excessive dependence on China.

  • China seeks ‘new chapter’ in first visit with Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

    04/06/2016

    China and Myanmar pledged to open a “new chapter” in their sometimes strained relationship, raising the prospect that stalled Chinese investment projects in the Southeastern Asian country could be allowed to resume.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, head of Myanmar’s ruling National League for Democracy and newly installed foreign minister, and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, said the two had “reached consensus” to approach existing problems through negotiations. Wang’s trip — the first high-level diplomatic visit since Suu Kyi’s party filled top government offices last week — signaled China’s interest in firming up ties tested by the previous military-backed government’s halt of projects such as the $3.6 billion Myitsone dam.

  • China firm wins Myanmar approval for $3 bln refinery

    04/06/2016

    Chinese state-controlled commodity trader Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co has won approval from the Myanmar government to build a long-planned $3 billion refinery in the Southeast Asian nation in partnership with local parties including the energy ministry, company executives said on Tuesday.

    The project, which also includes an oil terminal, storage and distribution facilities, would be one of the largest foreign investments in decades in Myanmar. Myanmar currently imports most of its fuel.

    The Myanmar Investment Committee granted the Chinese firm approval to build a 100,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in the southeast coastal city of Dawei, Li Hui, a vice president of Guangdong Zhenrong and head of the company’s refining business, told Reuters.

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