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Rice Export Volume Increases

Myanmar’s rice exports have risen by about 25,000 tonnes compared to the export volume of the 2015-16 financial year, according to Ministry of Commerce. This year’s rice export is likely to total at nearly 1.5 million tonnes, an official from the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) said on March 13. Demand of Myanmar rice from Sri Lanka and China is increasing, according to the MRF which has initially expected to export nearly 2 million tonnes of rice for this financial year after exporting 1.473 million tonnes of rice in the previous financial year. This year’s export has reached about 1.498 million tonnes, fetching nearly $700 million. The rise in exchange rate for the US dollar has encouraged Myanmar rice exporters to export more rice, an official from the MRF said. Currently, China is the leading buyer for Myanmar rice. A potential export agreement with the Philippines in 2015 fell through, mainly because Myanmar rice proved too expensive. Attempts to renew a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia are still under way and have not yet been finalised. The MRF is expecting to reach the export value of $1 billion in the rice sector by 2020.

Malaysian Airline to Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon

Malaysia-based Malindo Air has planned to start flying from Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Yangon at the end of March, according to the official media on March 16.

The budget airline Malindo Air will fly between the two cities four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with a Boeing 737-800 ER. There is a total of 24 international airlines flying to Myanmar with seven airlines operating domestically.

Foreign Investment Encounters 30 % Drop

Myanmar is close to see a year-on-year plunge of roughly 30 per cent in foreign investment for the period ending March 31, according to the data from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). The inflow of FDI (foreign direct investment) has significantly slowed since the current government came to office in April 2016.

The lack of new oil and gas projects substantially contributes to the drop in foreign direct investment, which reached nearly $6 billion in the 11 months that ended in February 2017. Although the additional $1 billion or so has been expected for March, the likely $7 billion would still mean the first year-on-year drop since 2012-2013 financial year.

After the ruling National League for Democracy party ascends to power, Myanmar parliament enacted a new investment legislation named the Myanmar Investment Law in October 2016, merging the pre-existing 2013 Myanmar Citizens Investment Law and 2012 Foreign Investment Law.