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  • 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.

  • Doubts raised over Chinese oil refinery plan

    04/11/2016

    A Chinese-led US$3 billion plan to build Myanmar’s largest oil refinery near the southern city of Dawei has raised questions about China’s strategic intentions in launching apparently commercially unviable projects, while local groups have already signalled their opposition.

  • 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.

  • Vietnam needs clearer windpower laws: experts

    04/11/2016

    These were among the petitions related to administrative procedures that were raised at a validation workshop held in HCM City last week.

    The aim of the workshop was to create more opportunities for further wind power.

    The Validation Workshop on “Wind Power Investment Guidelines” was co-hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Inter-nationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Vietnam and the General Directorate of Energy (GDE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) in Vietnam.

    Aurelien Agut, a GIZ consultant, said that interest to invest in small wind turbines was strong, but there were no clear regulations on the import of small turbines as well as on relevant procedures.

  • 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.

  • UPA signs B10bn Dawei power plant deal

    04/05/2016

    The signing ceremony was held on Monday to mark the start of investment in a 200-megawatt plant to be located in Kanbauk.

    Mr Upakit said the move to develop the 200MW power plant came after the first step last June, when subsidiary Andaman Power and Utility Co (APU) signed a contract with the Tanintharyi regional government to supply electricity and develop the 20MW gas project in Dawei.

  • Five Features of Lancang-Mekong River Cooperation

    03/31/2016

    A new word-Lancang-Mekong River cooperation was added into the Chinese diplomatic dictionary last year. This morning, the Foreign Ministry website released the information that the first leaders’ meeting on Lancang-Mekong River cooperation will be held in Sanya, Hainan Province. Compared with many serious diplomatic words, “Lancang-Mekong” is down-to-earth from the beginning and brings to mind a popular food “blueberry”.. What is Lancang-Mekong River cooperation? What does it do? Who is it intended for? How does it benefit people’s lives? Now, let us get close to and understand Lancang-Mekong cooperation and thus taste this “blueberry”.

    1.What is Lancang-Mekong River cooperation?
    2.What has the Lancang-Mekong River cooperation done?
    3. What is the aim of the Lancang-Mekong River cooperation?
    4. What will Lancang-Mekong River cooperation do?
    5. What will the future of Lancang-Mekong River cooperation look like?

  • Myanmar to have first Thai-operated powerplant in Dawei SEZ

    03/30/2016

    Myanmar’s Energy Ministry has signed a 10-billion-baht concession agreement with a Thai company to produce electricity within the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

    The Thai company, United Power Of Asia PCL (UPA), recently inked the 30-year agreement with the government of Myanmar to build a natural gas power plant, which has a capacity of 200 megawatts.

    It will be the first Thai power plant operating in the Dawei SEZ. Under the agreement, the Myanmar government will supply natural gas to the UPA power plant for free. The Thai company will also earn 1.18 baht for every unit of the electricity sold in the country.

  • Tenasserim Chief Minister Lei Lei Maw: ‘We Will Rebuild Our Country’

    03/30/2016

    Lei Lei Maw, a sitting lawmaker in the regional legislature for Tenasserim Division, was appointed chief minister of the division on Monday, becoming one of Burma’s first females to hold the position.

    Burma’s state and divisional parliaments this week announced the incoming regional heads, appointed by President-elect Htin Kyaw, and the list included two women—Lei Lei Maw and Karen State’s Nang Khin Htwe Myint. Despite pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s prominence in Burma, women have been largely excluded from top political posts in her incoming National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

    Lei Lei Maw, 51, is a medical doctor who joined the NLD in 2012 and ran in the November 2015 general election, representing Thayetchaung constituency. The ethnic Karen-Burman, Christian, and mother of four has run a private clinic for more than 20 years and has delivered free health care in remote villages.

    She will succeed the Union Solidarity and Development Party’s (USDP) Myat Ko, who sought re-election in 2015 but was defeated. The ceremonial transfer of power will occur on Wednesday night in Naypyidaw.

    The Irrawaddy spoke with Lei Lei Maw following her parliamentary appointment on Monday.

  • Thailand’s transparency deficit: Haste makes waste on mega-projects

    03/29/2016

    One of the country’s top bankers is stressing the need for faster action to transform Thailand into a hub for CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam).

    Kevin Tan, CEO of HSBC Thailand, was speaking during an interview on Vietnam’s increasing attractiveness to foreign investors. Vietnam’s gross domestic product grew a whopping 797 per cent between 1995 and 2014, from US$20.74 billion to $186.2 billion. Thailand’s GDP growth was sluggish in comparison, rising from $169.28 billion to $404.8 billion over the same period.

    And with big names like Intel, Apple and Samsung now showing interest in Vietnam, it seems the times are against Thailand.

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