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Newsletter | June 2018

News | Inside GMBC | Upcoming Events

Myanmar Newsletter

Dear Reader, 

Welcome to the June edition of our Newsletter. 

Most impressive event to all of us was the much awaited opening of the Goethe Villa – fantastic project is finalized and we attended a spectacular opening ceremony. We are looking forward to see a lot of interesting cultural events coming up.

We travelled to the Global Connect in Stuttgart, Intersolar in Munich and IHK Nordwestfalen in Münster to disseminate information of Myanmar’s economic development and potential to interested German Companies. The events were well attended and we had several interesting discussions. 

We would like to highlight the announced cut of the withholding tax in certain areas and the move towards the implementation of a tax self-assessment system.

If you wish to receive more frequent information, please like us on facebook or visit our website!

Yours truly,

Martin Klose,
Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Myanmar


Political, economic and legal news

  • Second Myanmar-EU Economic Forum took place in Naypyitaw
    In his speech the Vice President U Myint Swe said his cabinet is working towards promoting basic infrastructure, investment, agriculture, the private sector, small and medium enterprises, and the sustainable development goals. He also spoke about the wew Myanmar Investment Law and the Myanmar Company Law. Currently, there are 300 registered EU companies in Myanmar. The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Myanmar also actively joined the event on a garment panel (Myanmar's major export good to Germany) and a European Chambers' panel.

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  • Government removes 2 pc of withholding tax on domestic payments
    With the Notification 47/2018 dated 18 June the withholding tax (WHT) rate on payments by the private sector for the purchase of goods and services is now abolished (0 pc WHT), if the recipient is a Myanmar resident. This will be effective as of 1 July 2018.

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  • New tax exemptions for projects implemented through grant and ODA loans
    Notification 38/2018 dated 21 May 2018 specifies which taxes are exempted in the context of projects implemented through grants or ODA loans. A prerequisite for the tax exemption is the official classification of the project into grant/ODA loan project by the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance. The exemptions range from income tax obligations of employees to commercial tax on imported equipment and revenues (exemptions differ for grant and ODA loan projects).

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Investment and business news

  • Kempinski withdrawing from Yangon, Rosewood stepping in
    In the former Police Commissioner's Office building on the famous Strand Road in downtown Yangon, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will open a luxury hotel in late 2018. It will be the brand's first property in Myanmar. Initially, the Police Commissioner's Office building was supposed to open under the Kempinski brand.

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  • Japanese firm upgrades four sub-power stations in Yangon
    The government signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation from Japan on May 29 to upgrade and maintain sub-power stations in Yangon's Ahlone, Ywarma, Hlawkar and Thaketa townships. The Japanese firm won the tender worth ¥9.014 billion in 2016. The installation of new transformers and upgrading of switchyards from AIS to GIS is expected to take close to three years.

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  • Foreign investment in local banks allowed from 1 August but requiring special approval
    The new Myanmar Company Law, which will become effective on 1 August 2018 will also allow for the foreign investment in local banks (up to 35 pc). However, a special permit from the Central Bank of Myanmar will be required. There are hopes that local banks will be able to expand their services and grow further through the additional capital from foreign investors.

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  • Yangon's Eco Green City project will start this year
    The Eco Green City project is a two-phase project in Hlegu Township (Yangon Region) and part of the Yangon Vision 2040 drawn by JICA. The project are has access to the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway. During the first phase (2018 - 2023) low-cost affordable housing, bus terminals, markets, restaurants, administrative offices and a shopping mall shall be built on an area of 2.7 sqkm. The whole project has an area of almost six sqkm and will be jointly developed by the Ministry of Construction and Alliance Star Group.

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About the GMBC: Since 2015, the German Myanmar Business Chamber (GMBC) is the official membership organization of German businesses in Myanmar. It provides a platform for exchange, dialogue and cooperation for Myanmar and German businesses bringing together corporate activities and strengthening the German business community in Myanmar. The GMBC organizes events on a regular base covering important policy issues as well as interesting business cases. Moreover, these events are made to extend and improve the network of its members. Visit the GMBC website for more information.
This section introduces new members and covers recent activities of GMBC members in Myanmar. If you are a GMBC member and are keen to see your company featured in this section, please contact GMBC.

GMBC member acti

Member news

  • Fresenius Medical Office opened its Yangon office in late June. More information


     Past events
  • June 8: Annual General Meeting at Rose Garden Hotel
  • June 21: Joint Networking with AMCHAM at Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake
     Upcoming events
  •  July 24: Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) Seminar at Sule Shangri-La Hotel
Also check out the new calendar feature on the GMBC website to stay up-to-date about events!


Steinert Technology Group to open representation in Myanmar

Since 1999, the Steinert Technology Group established a strong technical sales, service and distribution network in South-East-Asia. Head quartered in Bangkok, with subsidiaries in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Around 100 employees are active in the Furniture & Woodworking, Food & Beverage, Construction & Architectural as well as in the Textile industry generating sales revenues of around 15 Mio. USD.
“We are well-known to the market providing local availability of high-quality products made in Europe with shortest delivery time combined with a superior technical application service“, mentioned Mr. Steinert, Group CEO.
Since a few years now Steinert is supplying some special adhesives to the furniture and mattress manufacturing industry in Myanmar, shipped from the regional stock in Bangkok. To further strengthen and develop the business in this fast growing country, the BOD of Steinert Technology concluded to employ now local technical sales people based in Yangon and possibly also Mandalay. In a second step a local warehouse and distribution facility shall be established.

AMPA Over the Seas for the First Time!
Engine Starts for Double Expo in Myanmar

The organizer of the 33-year-running Taipei AMPA is set to hold its first overseas exhibition using AMPA as a new brand for its related event in Myanmar.
The previous Myanmar International Auto Parts & Accessories Exhibition (Auto Expo Myanmar) has been held five times, laying a solid foundation for this year's exhibition. With reinforcement from Taipei AMPA, it is hoped that AMPA Myanmar will become the top brand for auto parts & accessories exhibitions in Myanmar. 
The Myanmar International Electrical, Electronics & Electric Power Equipment Fair (Power Expo Myanmar) will also be held at the same time; this year is its 6th edition. 
Interested vendors are welcome to join the exhibitions. Join the German Pavilion organized by AHK MYANMAR to enjoy the special price on the booth registration fee. The number of booths is limited, and registration will close early once spots are gone. Early applications are very welcome.

For more details, please contact
Ms. Su of Exhibition Division,
TAITRA on (02)2725-5200 Ext. 2862,
E-mail: myanmarfairs@taitra.org.tw
Please visit the official website at www.auto-myanmar.com for more exhibition information.

General Information

AHK World Business Outlook - ASEAN focus 2018

Since this week you can find our AHK World Business Outlook on our website. The Outlook is based on a regular survey conducted by DIHK among member companies of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, delegations and offices (AHKs). You will get an insight about expectations of the economic development, political stability and rule of law, labour, taxes, and also topics regarding the ASEAN focus.

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AHK Business Trip to Myanmar: Water and sewage infrastructure in Myanmar (November 2018)

The German Water Partnership (GWP) and our Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Myanmar are jointly organizing an AHK Business Trip to Yangon, Naypyitaw and Mandalay from 11 to 16 November 2018. German companies from the water and sewage infrastructure sectors are warmly welcome to join us on this trip. Kindly find more details below.

AHK tender information service
This year, we have successfully launched a new tender information service. This special tender newsletter informs you in a timely manner about tenders opened by the government or international organizations in Myanmar - including information only available via hard copy and Myanmar language. This is particularly ideal for companies not yet represented on the ground but eager to set foot in Myanmar. Please find more information on our website or contact us by e-mail.

Key figures for Myanmar
 GDP growth (est. 2017) 6.4%, GDP: 72 billion USD
 Population (2017) 53 million
 Export goods (2016) 11 billion USD; China, Thailand, India
 Import goods (2016) 16 billion USD; China, Singapore, Thailand
 Export services (2015) 3.86 billion USD
 Import services (2015) 2.44 billion USD
 Current account balance,
 % of GDP (2016)1
 Exports to Germany goods (2016)2 172.4 million USD; apparel, footwear
 Imports from Germany goods (2016)2 76.8 million USD; machinery, vehicles
 Inflation rate 6.9%
 Unemployment rate3 0.8% (2015, ILO), 4% (2014, Myanmar Census)
 Aggregate measure of labor underutilization 6.9% (2015, ILO)
 Central Bank interest rate
 Lending/deposit rate 13% lending, 8% deposit
 Exchange rate (May 28, 2018) 1 EUR ≈ 1,586 MMK

According to the IMF, the actual deficit may be significantly lower as exports are not always recorded.

2 Using mirror trade data gives significantly higher imports (155.8 million USD) and exports (358.8 million USD).
3 While the census asks 3 questions about the labor force, and only one specifically about unemployment, the ILO survey asks stepwise several questions about employment, which leads, eventually, to a much lower number of unemployed. There is no significant difference in the workforce.
Sources: Trade data: UN Comtrade and UNCTAD (FDI), Economic data: WB and IMF, CBM for interest rates

Upcoming Events

July 12 to 15, 2018 | Nonthaburi, Bangkok, Thailand
For the first time, Germany's world-famous trade fair for organic products is coming to South East Asia
. Make sure you visit!
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September 10 -14, 2018 | Yangon, Myanmar
AHK Business Trip: Powering Myanmar's industrial growth with renewable energy (focus: PV & biomass)
Together with the Renewables Academy AG, our Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Myanmar is organizing an AHK Business Trip to Yangon. During a symposium we will show business opportunities in the sector and discuss related potential challenges. German participants of the AHK Business Trip delegation will also have the chance to meet potential Myanmar business partners in individual B-2-B meetings organized by our team.
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September 20, 2018 | Eurogress, Aachen, Germany
10. IHK-Außenwirtschaftstag NRW
Join us at the global IHK-Außenwirtschaftstag in Aachen to discuss with our Delegate Mr. Martin Klose about business opportunities and market entry in Myanmar.
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September 27-30, 2018 | Convention Center (YCC), Yangon 
Myanmar International Auto Parts, Accessories & Motor Show: The organizer of the 33-year-running Taipei AMPA is set to hold its first overseas exhibition using AMPA as a new brand for its related event in Myanmar.
Linkicon More Information
November 11 - 16, 2018 | Yangon, Naypyidaw, and Mandalay, Myanmar
AHK Business Trip: Water and sewage infrastructure in Myanmar (November 2018)
The German Water Partnership (GWP) and our Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Myanmar are jointly organizing an AHK Business Trip to Yangon, Naypyitaw and Mandalay from 11 to 16 November 2018. German companies from the water and sewage infrastructure sectors are warmly welcome to join us on this exciting trip.
Linkicon More Information

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AHK Myanmar
Martin Klose
Uniteam Building, 6 floor, 84 Pan Hlaing Street Sanchaung TS
11111 Yangon

+95 9 4506 293 64