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  • Upper Paunglaung hydropower project opened in Sittang River valley

    01/07/2016

    Myanmar’s 140-MW Upper Paunglaung hydropower project officially opened this week in a ceremony that included officials from the country’s Minsitry of Electric Power and President U Thein Sein.

    Located in central Myanmar along the Paunglaung River, the $24 million plant will help meet the country’s demand for power, which is increasing about 15 percent per year. An estimated 50 percent of Myanmar has no access to the power grid.

    The hydropower project includes a 1,700-foot long, 322-foothigh “roller-compacted” concrete dam that will impound a reservoir of more than a million acre-feet. It will generate 454 million KWH and the electricity generated will be transmitted through the national power grid.

  • South Korea and Laos agree to work on hydropower project

    01/07/2016

    South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn and his Lao counterpart, Thongsing Thammavong, agreed Monday to work closely on a hydro-power project in the Southeast Asian country, a South Korean official said.

    The two sides had planned to sign a deal on the development of Sepon III hydro-power plant at their meeting, though they failed to ink the deal due to differences.

    The two sides remain at odds over which country will build a road leading up to the power plant, among other things.

  • Mekong Region: Asia’s New Growth Center and Strategic Frontier

    01/07/2016

    The Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are emerging to be not only the new growth center but also a new strategic frontier in Asia.

    With a population of around 240 million and a combined GDP of $664 billion, the Mekong region has geopolitical significance and economic weight. It is located at the junction of the enormous emerging markets of Asia and their combined population of about 3.3 billion.

    Myanmar’s landmark election and the likelihood of a peaceful and smooth power transition have drawn more international attention and interest to the Mekong region as a whole. Myanmar is expected to be a key regional actor and now possibly a catalyst of regional peace, democracy, and development.

  • Ghost town ‘forgotten’ in Chiang Khong border trade

    01/07/2016

    The freshly painted welcome signs at Chiang Khong market are conspicuous, greeting visitors as they cross the border from Laos. Few arrive however, and behind the signs they see only shuttered shops and scattered clothing sellers.

    The “new town”, as some business operators called it after the opening of the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River in 2013, is now known as a ghost town by locals.
    Once a bustling trade development area, the market located just a kilometre from the bridge, has been a flop and doesn’t seem to be able to attract tourists.

    But there is a chance the market could be resurrected, after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government announced Chiang Rai would be the location for the second phase of the Special Economic Zones, set to be launched this year.

  • Heated Mae Sot SEZ 97 households are convicted

    11/29/2015

    Lands have been expropriated and Mae Sot villagers, who worry about having industrial estates in the area instead. They protested against the issuing of ‘land deeds’ for originally reserved forest. If the state succeeds then local communities could be arrested as invaders, said a conservation group of Mae sot residents. The expropriated areas include 803 rai of national reserved forest, 2,182 rai of permanent forest area, and 13 rai of public space. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand was assigned to manage 803 rai and the Treasury Department manages 1,287 rai.

  • China, Mekong countries launch Lancang-Mekong Cooperation framework

    11/29/2015

    The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework was officially launched on Thursday following talks among senior foreign affairs officials from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam in Jinghong, Yunnan Province.

    FOCUSING ON THREE KEY AREAS

    The Lancang-Mekong River is a natural link between the six countries.

    At the first LMC foreign ministers’ meeting, they decided to cooperate in three key areas – politico-security issues, economic affairs and sustainable development, and social affairs and people-to-people exchanges.

    At the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Nam Hong, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the meeting, and Wang Yi and Don Pramudwinai co-hosted the meeting.

  • Myeik developer plans two island resorts

    11/29/2015

    Compared with other destinations in Myanmar such as Bagan and Inle Lake, the islands in the Andaman Sea off the southern tip of the country are still underdeveloped, with just a handful of hotels and resorts.

    “There are so many beautiful places in this archipelago, but not many resorts or facilities yet to attract tourism,” said U Aung Chain, project director and general manager of Myeik Public Corporation.

    The entire area had just five hotels and motels with a total of 196 rooms by the end of 2014, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

    This may soon change. For the past two years, U Aung Chain’s company has been trying to secure Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) permission to develop two islands – Saw Mon Hla and Kun Thee, which means “betel nut”.

  • Myanmar will join the first time on EITI report –7 Days Daily (Burmese language)

    11/27/2015

    “Myanmar has $2.5 Bn income from oil and gas industry which is the data provide from the government” said Mr. Wan Aung, the CSO representative from Myanmar EITI committee. However, the figures will be much higher, as it excludes some of the oil and gas exploration site. The EITI report will release in January 2016. But, Myanmar will not report some other sectors, like gems. Myanmar government said the annual revenue from Jade is $650 mn, but the recent Global Witness report said, it could be $31 bn, and it equals 48% of the country’s GDP.

  • IEAT aims to establish industrial estates in SEZs –Bangkok Biz (Thai language)

    11/27/2015

    The governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Mr. Verapong Chaiperm mentioned that currently, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is accelerating the study design on the establishment of industrial estates in the special economic zones in Sa kaeo and Mae Sot, Tak provinces in according to the policies of Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy prime minister who has been delegated during the recent Policy Committee on Special Economic Zone Development. They are expecting to finish the study within the six months period before the implementation of the next investment phrase. This is a part of the pilot project that will also engage private sectors to invest in this respective area. For investment of enterprises which are required to comply with IEAT’s rules and regulations involved many steps for example, the study on EIA and is subjected to PM’s consideration if any special laws can be applied to shorten the process in order to speed up the investment and to meet the required timeframe.

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