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PM Nguyen Tan Dung praises Vietnamese investors in Myanmar

NDO/ VNA- Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended a ceremony on June 23 to mark the completion of the first phase of construction of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Myanmar Centre in Myanmar during his visit to the country to attend the 7th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) Summit and the 6th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit.

The PM also participated in a similar event on the same day to inaugurate activities of the financial and insurance companies of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) in Myanmar.

He praised the Association of Vietnamese Investors to Myanmar (AVIM), BIDV and the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group for their efforts to promote trade and investment activities in Myanmar, saying positive business results obtained by Vietnamese firms in the country contributed practically to the bilateral relations.

While highlighting the potential for the two countries to boost their co-operation, he urged AVIM to increase its role in supporting Vietnamese firms to expand business and investment in Myanmar, focusing on finance, banking and real estate.

AVIM should team up with relevant ministries and sectors of the two countries to map out measures to address difficulties in implementing bilateral cooperation agreements, the PM stressed.

The Vietnamese leader also thanked the Myanmar government and Yangon regional authorities in particular for facilitating Vietnam’s investment projects in the country.

Vietnam hopes to strengthen all-around links with Myanmar, but especially in the 12 priority sectors stated in the Joint Statement on cooperation between the two countries signed in April 2010, the PM said.

On the occasion, the PM Dung witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on co-operation between BIDV and Myanmar’s Global Treasury Bank and a US$30 million credit contract between BIDV and SMIDB bank which will serve Myanmar’s small and medium-size enterprise development.

Invested by the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Myanmar Centre has been the largest foreign-invested project in real estate in Myanmar so far with US$440 million in investment. Once completed, it is expected to become an architectural highlight of Yangon.

The first phase saw the construction of a shopping centre, two 27-storey office buildings and a hotel with more than 400 rooms.

The second phase of the project began this month on 63,800 square metres, with four 28-storey buildings for apartments and for-rent office to be built, and is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2017.

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Vietnam, Myanmar eye US$500 million trade this year

Myanmar President Thein Sein receives PM Nguyen Tan Dung in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, on June 22. (Image credit: VGP)

NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Myanmar President Thein Sein both expressed their determination to achieve US$500 million in trade this year during their meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, on June 22.

The PM is on a visit to Myanmar to attend the seventh Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) Summit and the sixth Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy Summit (ACMECS).

He welcomed celebrations for the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the recent success of the Vietnam-Myanmar Joint Committee’s eighth meeting co-chaired by the two Foreign Ministers.

The guest asked for the continued support for Vietnamese firms operating in Myanmar, especially those in banking, oil and gas, telecommunications and industrial plants while extending co-operation to seafood cultivation and processing for export.

He suggested modifying the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.

President Thein Sein informed his guest that Myanmar is working to establish the Myanmar-Vietnam Friendship Association to raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.

Welcoming Vietnamese business operations in Myanmar, he spoke highly of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai complex in Yangon, one of the largest real estate developments in Myanmar, and pledged to consider permitting a license for the opening of a branch of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam in Myanmar.

Trade hit US$480.6 million last year, up 36.8% from 2013. Vietnam has become the eighth largest investor in Myanmar with 33 projects topping US$580 million.

Both sides agreed to foster co-operation across 12 priority fields mentioned in the Myanmar-Vietnam Joint Statement signed in April 2010 and realise commitments reached at the eighth meeting of the Vietnam-Myanmar Joint Committee.

The two countries will also work together on planting and processing coffee and peppercorns for export as well as share experience in vocational training.

Both host and guest pledged to work closely at regional and global forums, especially ASEAN and sub-regional co-operation mechanisms, while maintaining solidarity on important security issues within ASEAN.

The host leader thanked the PM for his invitation to visit Vietnam, saying he will arrange a visit in the coming time when it is convenient.

In the evening of the same day, he hosted a banquet for Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian PMs attending the CLMV and ACMECS.

Both sides agree to foster co-operation across 12 priority fields mentioned in the Myanmar-Vietnam Joint Statement signed in April 2010. (Image credit: VGP)

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Russia, Myanmar Sign Agreement on Nuclear Energy Cooperation

ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) Russia and Myanmar signed a memorandum on nuclear energy cooperation on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russia was represented by the head of Russia's state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, while Myanmar's Minister of Science and Technology Ko Ko Oo signed the agreement on behalf of the other side.

In light of the souring of Russia's relations with the West since in 2014 due to the crisis in Ukraine, Moscow has significantly increased its cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and the BRICS.

In April, Rosatom won a tender to prepare blueprints for a research reactor in Indonesia and offered to collaborate on building nuclear reactors in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2007, Russia and Myanmar signed an intergovernmental agreement to build a nuclear research center in the Asian country.

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Posted by on in Business

Myanmar needs long-term plan: Tycoon

"If the government gets out of the way, you would probably have entrepreneurs succeeding and making a lot of money through individual projects. But it doesn't mean the country is on the right path."

Success means inclusive growth, he added, and alleviating poverty and allowing wealth to trickle down require good government planning.

The 62-year old Pun's Yoma Strategic Holdings is a Singapore-listed company with market capitalization of more than $550 million. He also chairs Serge Pun & Associates and First Myanmar Investments. His business empire spans eight key sectors including property, banking and aviation.

A Myanmar-born ethnic Chinese, Pun spent most of his younger years in China and Hong Kong before returning to his home country in the 1990s.

Today, he is widely known as the go-to guy for foreign companies seeking partners in Myanmar. Yoma Strategic recently teamed up with Yum Brands to bring a KFC franchise to Myanmar, with the first store set to open in downtown Yangon this month.

Whether growing organically or through partnerships, the key to managing a successful enterprise, says Pun, is to select businesses with the biggest potential, and make them scalable.

"If we just embark on a business, we want to be able to grow that business to be substantial part of our company, in its own right. Take KFC for instance, we are starting, of course, with one outlet, but we're already looking at when the 250th shop will open, when the 500th shop will open.

Which, by the way, are not big figures because Thailand and Indonesia have more than 500 KFC stores," Pun says.

That said, resilience and persistence are essential when operating in a frontier market like Myanmar.

"You have to have a lot of resilience and a lot of patience, determination. Without that, you lose heart quite easily because some of the difficulties that you encounter are things that you will not expect in a more developed country or environment," says said Pun.

For more on Serge Pun's interview, tune in to Entrepreneur Asia: Power Players on CNBC. The episode will air on June 18, at 5:30pm sin/hk, with repeats over the weekend.

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Posted by on in Business

China polishes Myanmar relations

The economic ties between the two countries goes beyond buying and selling.

Across town, Chinese businessman Zhou Huaxue runs a furniture factory employing one thousand people. Four out of five are Burmese.

"The government authorities encourage us to hire more Myanmar workers," factory owner Zhou said. "We are doing this very well."

He said the cost of labor in China had been high in recent years. A basic salary for a Chinese worker costs him $500 a month, while a Burmese worker will work for a third of that amount.

His company, Deguan Henglong Furniture, sells into China, generating more than $16 million a year.

"I want the relationship between the two countries to be stable. When things are stable, it's easier for our business, " Zhou said. "We have always had positive cooperation with our Burmese partners. We trust one another."

China is trying to build up that trust. Local authorities are sponsoring free Chinese language lessons for Burmese workers. In one class, 120 students learn the basics for two hours every night from Monday to Friday.

"I'm taking the lessons very seriously," one Burmese student said. "And I'm very grateful for this chance."

— Additional reporting by CNBC's Haze Fan

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Sunday, July 05, 2015
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