The initial purpose of National Export Strategy (NES) was to deliver broad-based socioeconomic development to the people of Myanmar while alleviating poverty, catalyzing rural economic development and accelerating income growth. For the last five years, NES served as a guiding principle recommending target investments to increase value addition in various export sectors. Expanding NES to also include new sectors such as agro-food processing will benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the majority of MSMEs in Myanmar are already involved in food processing. To maximize the impact of NES, we recommend MSMEs to prioritize on skill enhancement, differentiate business strategies in alignment with market conditions, adopt the highest standards of quality and strategically place their production lines closer to major port terminals.
CLICK THE LINK TO VIEW THE ARTICLE
Sembcorp Industries has officially opened a US$310 million (S$420 million) power plant in Myanmar. The facility - in the Myingyan district in Mandalay - is the most efficient power plant in the country. It will generate around 1,500 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, helping to meet the power needs of approximately 5.3 million people. It is also the first power plant in Myanmar to have integrated solar power generation.
(Source: The Straits Times, March 18, 2019)
Myanmar is currently producing 3,400 megawatts of electricity with the power demand expected to increase annually at a rate of 19% according to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE). Myingyan power plant is the first competitively tendered independent power plant (IPP) and one of the largest combined-cycle gas turbine plants in the country. At present, the country generates most of its power through hydropower and gas turbine plants. The country’s electricity prices are among the lowest in the world and the power supply is largely subsidized through the MOEE’s budget. With the private sector involvement in power generation, the government will need to raise prices on par with the rates charged by independent power producers to reduce its losses incurred through the subsidy. We predict that the electricity network infrastructure in the country can be improved more efficiently as the government invites more and more private companies to invest in power generation and distribution.
MYANMAR PLANS TO ATTRACT MORE WESTERN TRAVELLERS
Myanmar is planning to reduce visa restrictions on western countries such as France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain, according to Immigration Department from Yangon International Airport. The visit of travellers from western countries was reduced in recent years due to political affairs in Myanmar and hotel and tourism companies and respective ministries are cooperating to attract visitors from western countries. “We are planning to reduce visa restrictions to attract more visitors from France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain as the first step,” said Naung Naung Han, General Secretary of Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association. Myanmar granted 12 kinds of visas for foreign tourists starting from January 11, 2016 and two additional visas were granted from February 8, 2018.
(Source: Eleven Myanmar, March 14, 2019)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE
Essentially, the tourism and hospitality industry needs to ensure that it is generating demand at the same rate with supply to combat low hotel occupancy rates. If there is one segment that must capture the attention of hotel developers in the coming years, it should be mid-scale hotels. The 3-star Hotel G Yangon, for example, has proved successful despite opening in a challenging period in Q3 2017. It would be favourable if Yangon hoteliers and operators will adopt such concept. On a larger scope, while the new visa conditions promise further arrivals from key source markets in Asia, there is no easy solution to Westerners’ reluctance to visit during a time of conflict. Improving visa conditions for these visitors would most likely help, alongside renewed efforts in the West to promote the country’s wide-ranging tourist attractions. Specifically, commencing rigorous marketing campaigns targeted towards the reshaping of the country’s tourism identity should support this endeavor.