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Newsletter | September 2018

News | Inside GMBC | Upcoming Events

Myanmar Newsletter

Dear Reader, 

Welcome to the September edition of our Newsletter. 

We would like to recommend taking a look at the “Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan” published by the Ministry of Planning and Finance and we like to highlight the notification on commercial tax exemption for medical devices. 

Last chance to arrange your next month travel agenda  - Octoberfest Yangon is coming to town on October 12 - 13, 2018. Octoberfest Yangon is the biggest social indoor event in Yangon and you are invited to use this event as a platform to reach out to 4000 participants and more than 17000 followers on facebook – we hope to see you there and celebrate with us.

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

  • Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan
    Recently the Ministry of Planning and Finance published the "Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (2018-2030). The idea of the plan (that has not yet been officially launched through a ceremony) is to combine all existing master plans for Myanmar's development in one document and ultimately streamline goals and their implementation. The development goals in the plan are in line with Myanmar's contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Linkicon  More information
  • Arrival and Departure cards no longer needed
    In order to attract more tourists to Myanmar, the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population abolished the Arrival and Departure cards at Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw international airports. In addition, the Ministry also plans to introduce more visa exemptions and extend the scope of visas on arrival.

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  • The Mandalay Railway Line will be upgraded from October onwards
    The Bago-Nyaunglebin section of the Yangon-Mandalay railway line shall now be renewed by Japanese and Myanmar companies as part of a JICA-funded project. The upgrade is expected to take four years and shall then be extended to other sections of the line.

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  • Myanmar opens insurance sector to foreign insurers in 2018/19
    In August, Myanmar's Insurance Business Regulatory Board announced that overseas insurance companies shall be allowed to enter the Myanmar market at some point during the FY 2018/19. International consultants will screen and review foreign insurance providers before they are officially allowed to compete. A new legislation about regulatory requirements for oversea entrants is currently being reviewed.

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  • Reuters Journalists sentenced to seven years imprisonment
    The two journalists Ko Wa Lone and Ko Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing secret government documents. During the reading of the verdict, the courtroom was filled with family members, local and foreign journalists, and diplomats, including the US and British ambassadors in Myanmar.

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Investment and business news

  • Air Mandalay fourth airline to suspend operations this year
    After 24 years of service, Air Mandalay stopped operating on 4 September. Two reasons for abadoning the business are  too many competitors on the local market (six airlines remain) and rising fuel prices.

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  • Krispy Kreme set up its first store in Yangon
    Krispy Kreme - a North Carolina-headquartered chain serving doughnuts and coffee - entered Yangon. They expect to open about 10 outlets in Yangon in the next 2-3 years. With the opening of Krispy Kreme the local brand J Donuts as biggest competitor has now to deal with international competition. Meanwhile, Starbucks has temporarily suspended its investment plans for Myanmar.

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  • Notification on commercial tax-exempted medical devices released
    The Customs Department released a notification on commerical tax exemptions, stating that some medical devices are commercial tax-exempted goods according to the 2018 Union Tax Law. This includes, but is not limited to medical cotton, cloth, bandages, dressings, surgical caps and gloves, masks as well as X-ray film and paraphernalia.

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  • Asia Development Bank (ADB) grants USD 300m loan to expand national grid
    The Asia Development Bank (ABD) provides a loan to expand the national grid in seven regions and states. USD 10 millon will be funded by the government. The project covers Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy, Bago and Tanintharyi regions and Mon, Kayin and Rahkine states.The proportion of households in the project area that will have access to electricity is set to double. The project will start in 2019 and be completed in 2025.

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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

  • On 24th September 2018, Ferrostaal Oil & Gas GmbH (formerly Fritz Werner) held a presentation on their new service of acting as a Procurement Service Provider in Myanmar. More information
  • Please also refer to the Insights section below for an update on the activities of our member Siemens Ltd.


     Past events
  • September 27: The Seminar on Private Sector Development Tools was held at the Goethe-Institut Myanmar in Yangon. Jointly with GIZ, the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce showed German and Myanmar companies, how they can benefit from tools financed by the German development cooperation. More information
     Upcoming events
  • October 9 (Novotel Yangon Max): Joint European Chambers Networking
  • October 12 & 13 (Rose Garden Hotel): Oktoberfest Yangon 2018
  • October 17 (Gallery Bar, Sule Shangri-La Hotel): Joint Networking with AustCham, New Zealand Chamber & AMCHAM
  • October (date and venue tbc): Seminar on Myanmar Supply Chain Challenges
Also check out the new calendar feature on the GMBC website to stay up-to-date about events!


Siemens Limited donated 820 software packages to 35 universities in Myanmar for technical training and automation technologies. The software will allow students to learn about digitalized automation from planning and engineering to operation. The granting ceremony was held at Thanlyin Technological University on 7 September where 35 universities representatives received the software. Moreover, 300 software packages will also be given to vocational training schools. Mr. Christian Becker, Head of Business Development of Siemens Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, stated: “The university students will benefit from this software tool as their knowledge base will be enhanced and enable them to add value to their education profile as well as to prepare them for the digital age. It is essential nowadays to possess knowledge in digital platform as it is not deniable that the world becomes increasingly connected with Digitalization.”

General Information

Suppliers of water-related equipment wanted
The Agence Francaise de Développement (AFD) and Suez in Mandalay are looking into extending their list of potential suppliers for water-related equipment: valves, fittings, airvalves, saddles, repair clamps, pumps, etc.The equipment will be used for projects in cooperation with the municipal authority (MCDC).If you are interested to get in touch with AFD and Suez, please reach out to our Head of Projects and Services: sophie.waldschmidt@myanmar.ahk.de, +95 9 450 629 364

Interview with AHK's Sophie Waldschmidt about German-Myanmar economic partnership
Our Head of Projects and Services travelled to Germany in June and had the chance to speak to IHK Nordwestfalen about business opportunities in Myanmar. Read the full interview via the link below.

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Green Energy Solutions

2nd Myanmar-German renewable energies symposium highly popular again
Under the title "Powering Myanmar's industrial growth with solar and biomass energy" the second symposium was held on September 13 at Rose Garden Hotel and attended by over 130 energy experts from the Myanmar and German public and private sector. The symposium took place jointly with a German government-funded business trip organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce during which German companies visited Yangon and met with local companies from the renewable energy sector. The German ccompanies that joined this trip were: Solarkiosk, Schletter, Fichtner, 21CCE, Maxxtec, Pfisterer and Autarsys.

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Renewable Energy Law in preparation
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) is drafting a Renewable Energy Law in order to develop the sector. The Ministry has set itself the target of generating 12% of its energy from renewable resources by 2025. To achieve this goal, a law must be created in which, among other things, investors are protected and incentives for investements are given.

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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 (September 28, 2018) 1 EUR ≈ 1,816.3 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

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 the 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.
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November 15 - 16, 2018 | Meliá, Yangon, Myanmar
LPGtrade Summit
From export opportunities, LPG terminals and storage to distribution and safety, fresh new opportunities are opening up in Myanmar to support the growth of the LPG sector.
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November, 15 - 16, 2018 | Meliá, Yangon, Myanmar
5th MPS - Myanmar Power Summit
Find out about latest project development in Myanmar’s electric power sector, and gain first hand insight about current projects from key officials and leading regional players.
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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