More than 20 years old vehicles that are registered in Rangoon will not be sent away to other states and divisions. Similar vehicles that are registered in other states and divisions will not be allowed to enter into the Rangoon area. (December 14 news)
Myanma Aung Dagon Compnay will export 50 tonnes of pumpkin to Singapore during the third week of December. (December 14 news)
Britain-made old motor cycles are revamped locally and are exported to many countries including UK, French, Singapore, Canada, South Korea and Japan. In 2005 about 35 motor cycles are exported to those countries. (December 14 news)
Amazing Hliday Company launches a package tour to the whole Shan State for local and overseas visitors since this December. (December 14 news)
The Department of Health launched the management effectiveness programme, the first in its kind in Southeast Asia that includes future plans and establishing assistance for central and township levels, in Yat-Saut town from December 3 to 5. (December 14 news)
Department of Health Planning will increase education campaign for free from arsenic danger especially in Ayeyarwaddy and Bago divisions. (December 14 news)
Thailand will buy 60 cubic feet alabaster from Mo Mo Int'l Trading Co., Ltd for use in decorations and sculpture. (December 13 news)
Drafting of the Myanmar Intellectual Property laws would be completed during the second week of December, an official from Myanmar Intellectual Property Office said. (December 13 news)
The secretary of the gold traders association denied the rumours of government's no more selling of gold coils saying that Myanma Gems Enterprise would resume selling gold coils at its special gold shop in order to stabilise the gold market. (December 13 news)
A Turkish trade mission will visit Burma as part of their Asian tour during December. (December 13 news)
An oil factory with annual 3,300-tonne production capacity of palm oil in Kawthaung Township will begin its operation very soon. (December 13 news)
More fire warnings are made every night in the townships, as there are many fire outbreaks just at the beginning of the open season. (December 13 news)
Burma will distribute the publications of its six natural resources conservation projects after the drafts of the projects are completed in next March. (December 13 news)
Yangon City Development Committee will begin distributing 45millions gallons of water daily from Nga-Moe-Yeit city water distribution project since December third week. YCDC so far is daily distributing 95millions gallons from other water reservoirs. (December 13 news)
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 57 (December 7-13)
A local milk production farm will market its preserved milk packages that will enable to be stored for up to three months. (December 2 news)
The Forest Depart is inviting international experts to conduct researches at Inle Lake as its water pollution and deformation of the lake's environment offered to be studied from many point of views. (December 2 news)
Vehicle market at Hanthawaddy vehicle trading zone cools again during this week and only barter trades are made. (December 2 news)
Commodities are allowed to export with cost insurance and freight-CIF, cost and freight- C&F, and cost freight routes-CFR systems in addition to free on board system. (December 2 news)
Security tightens at the highway bus stations and each passenger's national identification cards are thoroughly checked before selling the tickets as well as in the way of the destinations. (December 2 news)
Environmental pollution and people were the main causes of the extinction of the sea turtles, an official from the turtle conservation centre said. (December 2 news)
International hotels especially from Middle East countries offer to employ trainees from local hotel staff training due to Burmese's workers' honesty and their language fluency. (December 1 news)
Myanma Posts and Telecommunications will lease GSM telephones in Magway Division and it is accepting applications since November 16. (December 1 news)
Ministry of Labour, Myanmar Embassy in Japan, and Japan International Training Cooperation Organisation organised a workshop to help increase sending Burmese labours to Japan in Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo late November. (November 30 news)
About 6600 boxes of candles are exported till October this year to India via Burma-India border checkpoint. Burma imported raw materials for the candles and it exported the value-added products to India. (November 30 news)
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism organised a meeting late November to promote Pyinmana-based tourism activities. (November 30 news)
The vehicle prices drop dramatically during this week as more vehicle owners who are in need of money are selling theirs. (November 25 news)
Thailand is interested investing in Burma for producing hydropower along Thanlwin river. (November 24 news)
Castor oil plants, which can produce diesel-substitute castor oils, will be grown in 0.1 million acres land within five years. (November 24 news)
Myanma Agricultural Produce Trading has issued guidelines for cultivating the variety of bean and pulses in order to export better quality products. (November 24 news)
The residents of Yuzana Garden City are installing at the apartments the mosquito-protective meshes because of the huge numbers of mosquito grown in the area. (November 24 news)
The Ministry of Health will expand educating program for arsenic hazards in collaboration with NGOs in Thapaung in Ayeyarwaddy Division and Pan-ta-naw in Bago Division. (November 24 news)
There are no changes in price of the natural gas that is used for cooking. (November 24 news)
India donated Burma 10,000 tonnes of wheat that arrived at Rangoon in early November. The donation is made under the bilateral agreement made in 2003. (November 24 news)
The Department of Health will broaden education campaigns to exterminate the water pollution problems at major water sources. (November 24 news)
FAO will distribute 12 paddy threshing machines for free to the poorer people in rural areas. (November 24 news)
Myanmar Engineering Society will send welding trainees to Japan in collaboration with JFEE Corporation. (November 24 news)
China has offered to buy 20,000 tonnes of Burmese dried orchids. (November 21 news)
A local paddy husk winnowing equipment-manufacturing business will assemble 12 one-and-half tonnes light truck vehicles in 2005-2006 fiscal year. The vehicles to be produced with local design are expected to market in December. (November 18 news)
Myanma Livestock and Fisheries Development Bank granted K35 millions loans to the sheep and goat farms to support develop the sheep and goat breeding in the country. (November 18 news)
The Rangoon's property market stirs slightly during this week and there are increased renting of apartments in the townships where business is more developed. (November 18 news)
Groundnut oil price increases slightly from K2300 to K2500 while prices of sesame and edible oils are stable. (November 18 news)
Small freshwater fish, previously used as raw materials for fish-paste, are continuously exported to Singapore as ornamental fish. Burma's and India's ornamental fish are popular in international market and the former earned US$1.44 millions by exporting more than 14.3 millions fish in 2004-2005 fiscal year. (November 17 news)
About 20 containers that fully bundled with the packages of Burma's phawtchaik shrimps are imported to Dubai annually. (November 17 news)
China imports about 200 tonnes of watermelon from Burma via border checkpoint during this week. Burma so far has earned US$ 0.552 millions from export of 8249 tonnes of watermelon in 2005-2006 fiscal year. (November 17 news)
Myanma Pearl Enterprise will farm about 0.16 million oysters in 2006 to enable to produce a record of 0.1 million pearls. (November 17 news)
The RV Pandaw-1947 luxury ship, which previously operated short trip from Mandalay to Bagan, is introducing the long trip to Chindwin since September. (November 17 news)
Department of Health will accelerate HIV/AIDS education campaign in villages and townships in Rangoon. (November 17 news)
Htaukkyan War Grave Cemetery is receiving more visitors especially from Asia, regional manager U Oscar said. About 1200 to 1300 visitors a month visit the cemetery. (November 17 news)
The price of mung bean reached K0.6million per metric tonne in Bayintnaung market due to the hiking prices of the mung bean in international market. (November 17 news)
Survey on establishing a new industrial zone in Hmawbi Township, Rangoon is conducted on October 9 and the land plots will be available in December with K12 millions per acre. (November 11 news)
One of the endangered species, Dugongs, can be observed in the coastal area close to Rakhine's Satt-lei-myaw and Sin-gaung villages, a staff-officer from the sea turtle conservation department said. (November 11 news)
Burmese students who achieve at least 60 marks average in their subjects taken at the high-school education level will be eligible to proceed further study in Western Michigan University without having IELTS and TOEFL scores. (November 11 news)
A venerable monk is renovating a 2000-year-old Kyaik Saw Shin pagoda in Nyaung-wai village, Kyauk Tan Township since early this year. (November 11 news)
Fifty British World War II veterans and their family members visited Burma in November. The visit of the group, the largest one that visits the country in 20 years, is organised by the British Embassy in Rangoon in collaboration with a local tour company. (November 11 news)
Batteries assembling businesses in Hmawbi Township in Rangoon become better recently even though the products' qualities are not that good compared to imported batteries. (November 10 news)
The population of Hamilton's carp (Nga Gyin) in waterways are lessening due to the excess fishing and environmental changes that reduce the spawning grounds of the fish. (November 10 news)
The Fishery Department prohibits fishing near areas that grow seaweed and sea-grass to conserve the endangered sea turtles. (November 10 news)
Fifteen Chinese volunteers will visit Burma for six months beginning from December 5 to help develop the country's agricultural and sports sectors. (November 10 news)
More supply of the dried fish arrives in Bayintnaung Complex due to easy availability of fish and approaching to the favourable season that allows fishermen to dry fish. (November 10 news)
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 53 (November 9-15)
There are no changes in train-fares even though fares of other passenger transportation facilities increased because of the oil prices. (November 3 news)
The demand of the bottled mineral water is regular though the price of the mineral water rises slightly. (November 3 news)
There is a shortage on fishery-products for export during this period. (November 3 news)
The government's K100 lottery tickets are on sale since November 3. The extra winnings provided by the private sellers as an incentive for the K50 millions grand prize is also increased. (November 3 news)
More furniture made with wood, bamboo, lacquer-ware and canes are being exported to Europe market. (November 3 news)
The Road Transport Administration Department will open its branch office in Tamu, which is a border town with India, to facilitate for drivers and vehicles that are frequently crossing the border. The department has opened a branch office in Myawaddy, a border town with Thailand, in October. (November 3 news)
About 2000 acres of wasteland in Rakhine is made available by the Myanma Agricultural Produce Trading for cultivation of onion. (November 3 news)
Myanmar Red Cross Society in collaboration with UNICEF expands the project for HIV/AIDS education campaigns for young people by opening the youth centres in eight major cities. (November 3 news)
The Road Transport Administration Department is issuing the international driving passports within 24 hours if the applicants' documentation is correct and complete. (November 2 news)
Overseas candidates are studying the Burma's culture and arts at the University of Culture in Rangoon. (November 2 news)
A Chinese Sino Combo International Ltd will provide quality control and marketing services for Burma's fruits and vegetables to enable penetrating the local products in the international market. So far Burma's fruits and vegetables are exported mainly to China's Yunnan Province via border checkpoint and other countries' markets are yet to experience the taste of those products. (November 1 news)
The express train-fares did not change even though the ticket prices of the highway buses increased in accordance with the distance travel. (October 30 news)
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 52 (Publication for November 2 to 8)
The Myanmar Red Cross Society has conducted training for disaster preparedness and emergency response in the country's states and divisions. It also has stored the stocks of rescue equipment in each states and divisions in case of disasters. (October 28 news)
The breeds of the sea turtle in Burma will be examined with DNA test at two turtle breed stations in coastal area. Each station will test 30 flesh samples by 2006. (October 28 news)
The Ministry of Health provided free health care for the people from more than 10 villages in Hlegu Township in collaboration with USDA. (October 28 news)
The boat ferries from Rangoon to Dala have increased their fare to K50 from K30 per head due to the petrol prices. (October 28 news)
The soaring price of the mung beans in international market would be an advantage for Burma beans and pulses traders as the price reached to US$500 from $360 per metric tonnes during late last month, an official from the Myanma Agricultural Produce Trading said. (October 27 news)
The domestic airline, The Myanma Airways, introduces favourable services for the passengers beginning from 2005-06 fiscal year. The services include raising the amount of compensation for life insurance to US$75,000 from the previous amount of K500,000 (about $420). (October 27 news)
Paddy cultivated in the wet lands would soon be exported, an official from the Ministry of Commerce's Market Information and Research Team said. More than 1200 metric tonnes of paddy cultivated by the five companies in 1354 acres will be exported. (October 27 news)
More tourists are using speed boats from Sittwe to Mrauk-U as it shortened the travelling time about four hours and allowing them to have more time to visit the place. (October 27 news)
Thai Airways International will operate Rangoon-Bangkok-Islamabad route two times a week beginning from November first week. (October 27 news)
The Thadamajawtikayon Monastery is planning to open classes that teach students the middle school level education. The monastery is providing education for grade one to five levels to about 185 kids that comprised with poor children, orphans and kids from ethnic groups. It is seeking donations for teaching aids and school uniforms for the kids. (October 27 news)
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 51 (Oct 26 to Nov 1)
Building of the Burma's first factory in Taungdwin Gyi Township, Magway Division that will produce oil, glue and protein from maize is expected to be completed on October 30. (Oct 17 news)
Petrol refilling stations under the Ministry of Energy bid up the prices of gasoline and diesel to K1500 from K180 and K160 per gallon respectively beginning from October 20. Before introducing of the former prices in July 1997 the ministry distributed with the prices of K25 and K16 per gallon respectively. The price of CNG also was already increased to K200 from K100 per 165 cubic feet. (Oct 20 news)
Ministry of Rails is manufacturing the country's first locomotives that can be operated with CNG. The locomotives will be used for the operation at the Rangoon circular railways. (Oct 20 news)
A poppy-substitute rubber farm in Hopan Township in Northern Shan State achieved the Best Rubber Farm award presented by the UN's FAO. (Oct 19 news)
Pho Kyar Forest Resort in Bago Division begins accepting the tourists for this tourist season. Visitors for that destination are mostly from Germany, France and UK. (Oct 17 news)
The Burma Police Force launched plans for implementing the criminal free zones in quarters since October 1 as part of precaution measure project for criminal cases. (Oct 23 news)
Eyewitnesses said there is no casualty on October 21 bombing near Traders Hotel. (Oct 23 news)
The Deputy Energy Minister said at a press conference that the ministry would not reduce the annual importing amount of petrol. The ministry imports 10 per cent and 80 per cent respectively of total consumption of gasoline and diesel. (Oct 23 news)
JICA and the Ministry of Health are planning for their second donation of the medicated mosquito nets to the villages in Kokant region in 2006. The first donation included 12,000 medicated mosquito nets for seven villages. (Oct 18 news)
Local bus fares in Rangoon bid up since October 20 in order to cater for the bus owners to cover the increasing petrol prices, maintenance costs and other miscellaneous costs. (Oct 20 news)
Highway bus fares are officially increased due to the rising of the petrol prices. (Oct 17)
Japanese-family seedlings of chrysanthemum flowers grown in Taunggyi Township are being exported to Japan. (Oct 20 news)
The Department of Medical Research distributed the 100,000 testing apparatuses for Jaundice, which are donated by the Japanese Grassroots Grant Assistance, to the Blood Banks in Rangoon, Mandalay and Magway. (Oct 19 news)
The Burma Pearl Enterprise said the pearl lots sold in mid-year gems emporium earned the highest sales record of pearls within 14 years. (Oct 19 news)
The Burma Airways increases its operations for Rangoon-Mandalay-Kalay from two days per week to four days per week. (Oct 18 news)
Burma language will also be taught in the one-week long agricultural training conducted in Kokant region to encounter the language barrier for conducting the training. (Oct 17 news)
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 48 (5~11/10/05)
Burma soon to allow again this year, the exports of 24,428 tons of onions grown by private companies exclusively for exports. Burma expects to fetch US$ 5 mil from the onion exports.
Burma to allow establishments of private zoos and botanical gardens. Private sector will be allowed to open zoos and botanical gardens with the permissions from the ministry of forestry. There are more people who want to keep protected species of animals and plants at their homes and the new regulation would allow them to keep the animals and plants legally, said an official from the forestry department.
Car prices up and expected to be up in the coming weeks, said used car market sources.
Negotiations are underway between Thailand's Department of Livestock Development and Burma's Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, for co-operation in official exports of livestock from Burma.
Burma's fisheries department is releasing large numbers of fish fingerlings in the natural lakes and water basins in the delta region, to help raise the declining fish stocks.
Ethnic Naga Festival will be held from 12th to 16th January in northwest Burma's Layshi Town, according to the ministry of hotel and tourism. About 100 foreign visitors visited the festival last year and most of the visitors were from Israel and Germany.
Burma's ministry of electric power is issuing electric meter boxes (watt-hour meters) to the homes, which do not have electric power supply previously, in 4 townships in Rangoon.
Eastern Burma's hilly Kaya State capital Loi Kaw Town faced flooding from the flesh floods in the end of September. No casualty was reported. The capital is seeing flooding since last year.
Service at the Mandalay International Airport is good, said a traveller who was at the airport recently.
Japan's Grassroots Grant Assistance (JGGA) donates US$ 88,140 to Rangoon Dental Institute, for the purchase of dental equipment.
Private investors are increasingly interested to invest in hotel business, said the hotel industry sources.
number of sea turtles inhabiting the sea areas between western
Burma's Thandwe and Gwa towns have dwindled significantly, officials
from fisheries department said. Many of the sea turtles in the area
were entangled and choked to death in the stingray nets, said the
officials. The fishermen's lack the awareness of the importance of
sea turtles in marine ecosystem, and the lack of observance of
prevailing rules and regulations were the main reasons that caused
dwindling turtle population, the official said.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 47 (28/9/05~4/10/05)
Grambling State University of Louisiana is offering scholarships for 50 Burmese students, said the university's country co-ordinator.
It is required to conserve bear species Burma, which are important in balancing ecosystem of the country, said a Burmese researcher with the WCS. There are two species of bears in Burma, the Asiatic Black Bear and the Malayan Sun Bear. There is the danger of local extinction of bears in the country, due to illegal exports of bear products to China for traditional Chinese medicines, said the researcher. Commercial hunting of bears and the destruction of their natural habitats are the main causes for dwindling bears population in the country, added the researcher.
Officials said the number of buses in Rangoon is not decreasing. There were reports that bus owners were quitting the bus lines due to the forced conversion into CNG using buses. Authorities recently allow bus lines to raise their bus fares.
A new bridge linking Rangoon's Hlaing Thayar Township and Dala Township will be opened soon.
The number of tourist arrivals through China border has decreased due to the closure of the gambling dens along the border. Tourist arrivals to Rangoon through the border gates have increased slightly, said the report. There were expectations that there will be a surge in tourist arrivals at the China border due to the appreciation of the Chinese currency Yuan, but fewer Chinese tourists entered Burma due to unstable exchange rates at the border. Chinese tourists have to pay US$ 20 for border crossing fee and another US$ 10 in Royalty Fee.
TOFEL examinations will be conducted on-line starting next year, said an official from the American Centre.
Growing medicinal orchids as an opium substitute crop has been successful in Shan State, said an official from Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise.
Some Korean movie and music stars have come to Burma to participate in the ceremonies to mark the 30th anniversary of Korea-Burma relationship. The ceremonies were sponsored by the Korean Embassy in Rangoon. Burmese fans were seen crowded on 24th night at the joint entertainment of Korean and Burmese stars, held at the national theatre. Korean TV dramas are very popular among Burmese viewers.
Traditionally woven Naga and Chin cloths are selling well in the markets in Burma. Blankets, shawls and traditional clothes are popular with buyers.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 46 (21-27/9/2005)
25% of drug stores in Burma sell unregistered medicines, said a survey report from MIRT. Burma's FDA staff made random and surprise checks on the drug stores and found out that 23% of the medicines on sales in Burmese markets are unregistered and they could not be guaranteed as safe.
Each and every family in Rangoon will receive a pamphlet on HIV/AIDS education, said the Rangoon Mayor, who is also a central executive member of the USDA. About 1 million pamphlets will be printed, said the mayor. (USDA is increasingly involves in the activities on anti-HIV/AIDS programs, a move driven chiefly by political interests. With the USDA movements in anti-HIV/AIDS, the junta is sending a message to the oppositions that they can do without the oppositions' participation. )
Authorities are promoting breeding of free-farm native chicken in central Burma.
The seizures of 'ICE' Methamphetamine have increased to 3 cases in 2004 from 1 case in 2001, said the police chief at a recent meeting on combating drug problem.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 45 (14~20/9/2005)
The uses of stimulant drugs have increased in Burma, said the minister for information at a meeting held on 5th September, to co-ordinate actions for education programs against the use of stimulant drugs. The seizures of stimulant drugs have increased yearly since 1996, both in quantities and in various regions of the country, said the police chief at the meeting. Stimulant drugs seizures were recorded in 17 regions in 2005 compared to 2 in 1996, the police chief said. The government has assigned the media as a weapon against the stimulant drugs problem, said the information minister.
Buildings of houses and floating gardens have been limited in Inlay Lake to protect the environment, said an official from the National Commission of Environmental Affairs. There are 194 villages in Inlay area and 169 villages were built on the lake. Inlay lake has been a protected natural reserve since 1985.
Mobile phone handsets prices up 5~20% due to the appreciation of the Chinese Yuan. Mobile handsets made in China are entering Burma in big quantities.
Burma-India border trade has increased significantly in 2005-06 fiscal year and Burma is enjoying trade surpluses every year in trading with India, said a research report.
Electronic goods prices up significantly this month, said the market sources.
Imported medicine prices up.
Real estate market cool but house rental prices up slightly, said market sources. Real estate market was stagnant since the banking crisis in 2003. The closure of some private banks in recent months and the news about fake currency notes did not move the market, said an agent.
There have been stealing of Internet user names and passwords, said a victim who had to pay charges over kyats 300,000 to Bagan Cybertech for 300 hours of Internet usage, which he had not use.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 44 (7~13/9/2005)
Burma and Bangladesh signed an agreement to promote bilateral trade between the two countries on 24th August.
Thailand PTT-PLC offers to buy natural gas from A-1 gas field off western Burma's Rakkhine Coast. The company also offers to buy 15% of stakes in the gas field. If the offer was accepted, Thailand will build a 1000 kilometres long underwater gas pipeline with estimated costs of US$ 200 billion.
An International class Bay of Bengal Resort will be built in Ngwe Saung Beach.
Expired medicines are being sold in Burma's markets and the public should be careful in buying medicines, said the article.
Jade buyers from foreign countries are buying jades directly from Mandalay and Rangoon's jade market has been seeing a dwindling business, said the market sources.
Burma to prevent the imports of unwanted GMO products by forming Bio Safety units, a project officer from Development of National Biosafety Framework Project said.
Silk Air to fly twice-daily flights to Rangoon from Singapore, staring from October.
Australian Centre for International Agriculture (ACIAR) is providing assistance to Burma's veterinary department to produce 60 million vaccines for a poultry virus.
Chin traditional dresses gaining popularity among the fashion
conscious Burmese people. Chin handmade blankets are also selling
well in the markets.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 42 (Aug 31st to Sept. 6, 2005)
Bagan airport expansion works will be completed in early 2006. Bagan airport is being extended until big aircraft such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A-300-400 can land.
France based Enfants du Monde is planning to provide health care assistance to the children in the schools under the social welfare department in Mandalay, Moulmein and Lashio. Enfacts du Monde is planning to provide education programmes, water and sanitation programs and other necessary programs for the children. Three schools in Mandalay, 2 schools in Moulmein and one school in Lashio will benefit from the programs.
Burma's pulses and beans exporters should target Middle East market, an official from MAPT said at a recent seminar to promote pulses and beans exports.
Rangoon's meat production has declined in this rainy season, said an official from YCDC. The decline is a seasonal trend, said the official.
Burma is expanding agriculture lands every year and there are 16 million acres of paddy fields in Burma, said an official from Myanma Agriculture Enterprise. Burma could make over US$ 60 million from rice exports from newly reclaimed lands, said the official.
Egg prices are up in the whole country due to egg exports to China by border trade.
The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 42 (24~30/8/2005,)
Burma designates special crop zones to increase exports, starting from 2005, said an official from MAPT. Farmers in the special zones will have to grow only the selected crop in the zone. The government officials say the project will help develop agriculture sector in the country, by concentrating on a selected crop in a designated area.
Plenty wild Ginsengs plants (herbal medicinal plants) are found by a Buddhist monk on a mountain in Kyine Ton in eastern Shan State, an officer from Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise said. The government is planning to promote the growing of Ginseng plants and encourage the private sector to take part.
Import and export licence applications need price endorsements from the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the invoice prices.
Business is cool at the goldsmiths due to increased gold prices, said the gold market sources.
Eastern Shan State's Kyine Ton township will become the major area for medicinal orchids, to be farmed as an opium substitution crop, said an official from the government's agriculture enterprise. The government is promoting orchid farming in the area.
Government's MAPT (Myanmar Agriculture Produce Trading) is offering export services to the private sector, such as marketing, transportation, export licence application, signing contract and etc.
Cottage industries are urged to register with the government's cottage industries department. The department officials say that by registering, the cottage industries will receive assistance from the department.
Tourist arrivals have increased this monsoon, said the tourism officials. During 1st April and August 7th, tourist arrivals in Rangoon, Mandalay and border entry points were over 190,000. Arrivals in Rangoon have declined slightly and entries through the borders have increased.
Government's MAPT estimates that Burma will be able to export extra US$ 14 million worth of products derive from the newly reclaimed lands, which were around 100,000 acres.
Rattan furniture are being exported regularly to Belgium, Italy and Hong Kong, said an exporter. About 25 containers of rattan furniture are exported monthly to Europe.
Egg prices up in local markets due to exports by border trade to China and Thailand.
The Flower News 15/8/2005-19/8-2005
Construction works begin for Myawaddy-Thingannyinaung road, which is a part of the East-West Economic Corridor that will link Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Thailand has provided finance for the Burma's part and Thailand's Sor Chiangrai Company undertakes the construction works.
Amazing Holiday Tour Company has commissioned another river cruise boat named RV Min Kyan Sit 5, built all with teak.
Many migratory birds with marking rings and radio apparatus for observation and tracking are sighted in northern Burma's Inn Taw Gyi Lake, said the BANCA general secretary. About 300 species of migratory birds can be sighted in Burma between October and March.
A health official from anti-contagious diseases department said the WHO is giving warnings about a flu epidemic that could threaten the world and the disease could start from Asia, since the bird flu outbreaks in Asia are the preliminary signs of the global flu epidemic. The health official said it is strange that Burma is still not affected with the Asian bird flu and scientists have no clue why Burma was not affected.
Burmese officials seized 2000 small chickens in southern Burma which were smuggled in from Thailand. Burma bans the imports of chicks from neighbouring countries due to the Asian bird flu outbreaks.
There are less rain in Mandalay and the surrounding areas this year and the major lakes in Mandalay have seen low water levels.
The popular Taung Pyone festival near Mandalay is in full swing, where the transvestites around the country gather once a year for the religious Nats festival.
works begin for Myawaddy-Thingannyinaung road, which is a part of
the East-West Economic Corridor that will link Burma, Thailand, Laos
The Flower News (6-12/7/2005)
GM crops, mostly corn and wheat, have entered Burma by Thai border trade, said the deputy general manger of Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise. GM crops are highly resistant to pestilent insects and known for their high yields.
Japanese government to grant US$ 10.8 mil grant to Burma.
Tour companies, which are found negligent while taking tourists around, will be reprimanded, said the announcement by the ministry of hotel and tourism. 2 tour companies' licences were suspended for five months. Some foreign tourists on package tours were found wandering on their own on motorbikes in Mandalay and Taunggyi, said an official from the ministry.
KMD computer centre won NCC Education (UK)'s Academic Excellent Award out of 350 NCC's Accredited Centres worldwide. Two students from KMD also won global high achiever award and Asia high achiever award in 2005 IADCS examinations.
A total of 63000 mobile libraries will be opened around the country, said an officer from information and public relation department. Currently, a total of 19575 libraries have been opened around the country, said the officer. There are a total of 63900 villages plus 16941 combined villages. The biggest problem is getting enough book donors, said the officer.
UK's Trinity Music College could come to Burma and conduct graduate exams for BA (Piano) degree, but there are no students interested in pursuing the music degree, said a piano teacher from YMCA. There are Piano courses in Rangoon YMCA with the monthly fees of kyats 10,000. Most of the piano students drop out after finishing grade 1 or 2, out of a total of grade 8 in piano lessons, said the teacher.
KMD computer centre, in collaboration with the NCC (UK), has offered examinations in Burma for B.Sc (Hons) degrees from UK metropolitan University.
Some diplomats are placing orders for wooden furniture made from old and used teakwood, to be exported with the designs from their home countries.
Another 300 shops will be built in the compound of Myanmar convention centre, which is designated as the meeting place for Asean Travel Forum.
MSEC will hold a seminar on 29th July at the Traders Hotel on stocks and shares market.
Government's Agriculture Enterprise is offering courses and demonstrations on orchid farming. The government is promoting orchid farming in the country.
A Japanese NGO named Iwasaki Musou Initiative is providing training for baseball players at Burma's baseball federation, aiming at promoting the sport in the country.
Burma's government agriculture enterprise is offering to provide technical assistance to the interested farmers, for growing organic fruits and vegetables.
Construction works of a 500 tons private owned flourmill has completed in Rangoon's Shwe Pyithat Industrial Zone, with the machines and technical assistance from Switzerland. 6 Swiss technicians installed the Buthar flourmills, imported from Switzerland.
Broiler chicks' prices up, due to increase demands by the poultry farmers. There are more poultry farms in Burma this year.
MSEC is providing trading services for immature government's treasury bonds. The three years and five years treasury bonds are issued by the government, with denominations of kyats 10,000, kyats 100,000 and kyats one million. The government pays 8.5% annual interest rate for the three years bonds and 9% interest rate for the five years bonds.
Drinking water taps and water taps at Rangoon Central Train Station are not working.
Charcoal prices up in Pyinmana.
Rice prices up in Karen State Pa-an.
Iron scraps are being exported to Bangladesh on a regular basic.
Private owned Supreme Enterprise starts producing bio-fertilisers at its newly built factory in Pandanaw in the Delta, with high technology from Australia; using water hyacinth, flotsam, kelp and seaweed as raw materials. The factory currently produces 300-400 tons of bio-fertilisers a month, with a plan to increase production to 800 tons a month. The factory requires maintaining 3000 acres of wetlands to ensure continuos raw materials supply.
Basic floor prices are set, at the directorate of commerce, for exporting oil seeds such as sesame.
Bangkok Assumption University is taking in Burmese students. About 400 Burmese students are studying in the University, mostly majoring in economics, science, arts, engineering and IT. Annual school fee is about US$ 3000, with opportunities for scholarships.
Bagan hotels are offering special discounts to local tourists in the low tourist season. Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel is offering its bungalow room for kyats 30,000 (US$ 30) per night, including breakfast and airport transfer.
Japanese shipping lines are increasingly interested in hiring more Burmese crews, said a reputed crewing agent. About 3000 Burmese crew are expected to be hired by Japanese shipping lines in the coming months, said the agent. The company is facing difficulties in recruiting qualified ship officers and engineers, the agent added.
Security measures on the trains and stations have increased since the bomb blasts last month. Passengers and their luggage are thoroughly checked before they board the trains, said the news report.
Three international airlines, which are flying regularly to Burma, are among the world's best airlines selected by Sky Trax. They are Thai Airways, Malaysian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
Real estate sector is cool with no buyers and only a few rentals. Sale and rental prices have dropped. There are uncertainties for the small real estate agents to survive, said the agents' sources.
Cultured pearls from India and India are becoming popular with Burmese women, said the market sources.
Myanmar Airways International is planning to expand its flights to Korea and Japan.
Animals and animal by-products exports from Burma have increased since the government relaxed private sector exports in 2004. Leather, bones and horns are being exported China, Thailand, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam.
The knowledge of a monk and a teacher in two villages, have save many lives on 26th December in their villages in Burma's delta area, said an expert who surveyed the impacts of Tsunami in Burma. The monk has read about tsunamis and warned the villagers after the earthquakes, before the tsunami arrived. The abbot summoned the villagers to his monastery, which is on a higher ground, and the villagers escaped the tsunami. The teacher from another village was also worried for his students and asked the parents to take their children from the school and to stay alert. Damages were minimal at the villages.
Rangoon YMCA is offering English classes for B.A English graduate examinations from London University and Dublin Metropolitan University.
A modern 1000 acres orchid farm, a joint venture between ministry of forestry and a private company, is being established in the forests near Muse border town on China-Burma border. The forest cum orchid farm will become a model for forest conservation along the China-Burma border.
Cold storage will be built in Muse, to prepare for increased marine product exports to China by border trade, said the ministry of fisheries source.
Reservations for this tourist season have started to come in for package tours to Myeik archipelago, said the managing director Shambhala Tour Company, which organised package tour to the area.
YMCA is planning to establish a lifetime learning centre at their compound in Rangoon.
UNICEF has proposed to the ministry of education to insert the courses on healthy living, in the primary and middle schools syllabus.
Turtle experts from Smithsonian Institution will come to Burma in October, to conduct surveys on turtles in the Myeik archipelago. Although there were reports of plentiful turtles in the area, only a few turtles were sighted on a recent survey trip to the area, said Dr. Jack Frazier from Smithsonian.
Security measures in Rangoon Zoo have increased after the bombings in Rangoon.
Thai fruits are illegally passing Burma's Tarchileik border town and going to China. Truckloads of Thai fruits are daily by-passing the check points on their way to China, without paying any duties to Burma customs, said the report.
The security firms employ more women security guards after the bombings in Rangoon.
UTM (Universal Tranverse Macretor) mappings for the whole country will be completed in 2006, said the Land Survey Department. Drawing UTM maps started in Burma since 2001, with assistance from JICA.
A Japanese company is planning to set up a large-scale sesame cultivation in central Burma's Magwe Division.
ASEAN's agriculture and forestry ministerial meeting will be held in Mandalay in July.
YWCA in Rangoon is conducting monsoon courses on sewing, home decoration, banquet preparation, fruits shaping, cooking and etc
The ministry of hotel and tourism to restrict the construction of hotels and will restrict the issuance of hotel licenses in Burma. The ministry will also revoke hotel licenses from those small hotels with substandard service and low room rates. The move was to prevent 'price war' among Burmese hotels and to stabilise hotel room rates in the country. There are 596 hotels in Burma with 18560 rooms.
Burma is in a key position for co-operations between ASEAN and India, said the Indian Ambassador at a follow up meeting on India-ASEAN Motor Rally. Burma is an active member of BIMSTEC and would like to reduce the obstacles between India and ASEAN relationships, said a senior official of Burma's ministry of commerce.
Police Colonel Win Kaung said security measures at the schools are sufficient and the pubic should beware of the rumours about attacks on the schools. Those who spread the rumours will face severe actions, said the police colonel.
Burma will introduce degree courses in cinematography at some universities, said the minister for information. The government will assist the movie industry in Burma with modern equipment and technology, said the minister at a meeting discussing for the development of Burma's movie industry.
FAO starts conducting training courses for the trainers of Burma's animal husbandry and veterinary department, on milk and diary products production.
Charcoal sales are up in Burma due to increased consumption in monsoon season. Charcoal prices are up in rainy season when transportation is difficult.
The installations of satellite receivers have increased at the homes in Burma due to the ban on uncensored foreign movies, and also because of the approaching World Cup 2006.
Fish and shrimp catches in western Burma's Rakkhine State have increased to 540,000 tons in 2004/05, compared with 506,000 tons in 2003/04.
Over 3000 applications for new gems mining blocks' licenses were received at the committee for gems mining inspection and overseeing. New gems mining licenses were issued every 3 years, said the managing director of government's gems trading enterprise. The applicants have to submit their proposed mining blocks with maps and relevant testimonials from the local authorities. The new gems mining blocks are located in Mine Shu, Nant Yar, Moe Hnyin, Kan Tee, Maw Lu Maw Han and Par Kant in northern Burma. New mining blocks' licenses for Moe Gyoke, Par Kant (Lone Kin), Kan Tee (Nant Salin stream) will be issued with limitations and restrictions, to prevent environmental degradations, said the officials.
The Producer Gas Generator in a fish and shrimp farm in Chaung Thar, using waste coconut branches as the fuel source, has been in operation with success. The costs for waste coconut branches for running the generator is 20 times lower than using diesel, said the farm owner. The farm is saving about kyats 6 lakhs per month on diesel purchase. The initial costs for the producer gas generator is kyats 35 lakhs. Producer gas can be produced from rice husks and other tree branches and twigs.
If the owner of a private teak plantation passes away, the spouse or the inheritors will be allowed to continue to own and operate the plantation, said the ministry of forestry. The private teak plantations should grow best quality plants derived from 'vegetative propagation' method and the private plantations must establish 'seed orchards' for research and development, said the instructions from the ministry of forestry. The private teak plantations will have to strictly follow the environmental conservation rules and regulations of the forestry department and will have to establish forest villages for its workers and take care of their welfare, said the instructions.
A new resort hotel in Mandalay named Yupar Mandalar will open soon. The bungalow type resort hotel has 20 rooms and built to highlight natural and cultural backgrounds.
The cases of Dengue Fever have not declined yet in Burma and the citizens are urged by the health department officials to beware of the disease.
Three species of groupers will be artificially hatched in a fish and prawn hatchery in western Burma's Chaung Tha. The groupers fetch good prices in international markets. One of the species, the Mouse Grouper fetch US$ 60 per kilogram in international markets, said the chairwoman of the farm. There are over 20 species of groupers in Burma.
The Japan Grassroots Grant Association made a donation of US$ 90,000 to the medical research department. The donations will be used for purchase of equipment and drugs for testing Hepatitis C among blood donors. JICA had made donations in 2000 for the same equipment and drugs, but they are almost broken due to prolonged use.
Smoking among the youths and students have been declining in Burma, from 30.9% in 2001 to 17% in 2004, said a survey conducted by health department.
Reservations for tours by steam locomotives and special trains have been on the rise, said the Burma's Railways' commercial department officials.
There is a trade proposal to the government by the Burma-India business association, for the exchanges of precious gems such as rubies and sapphires from Burma and diamonds from India, said the association chairman. Currently, India's diamonds are entering to Burma via Thailand and Burmese gems are going to India via Thailand. Burmese gems traders can not sell on credit to the Indian traders and the direct gems exchange program will benefit both countries' traders, said the association chairman.
The imports of olive oil have been increasing in Burma. Olive oil is use for cooking and for beauty and health care.
Medicine sales have been up in the markets and analgesic medicines, medicines for diarrhoea and cold tablets top the list, said the market sources. The sales of malaria drugs and medicines for dengue fever are also rising, said the market sources.
The prices of green mung beans are high even at the beginning of this year harvest and the traders who have sold in advance or made sales contracts with speculative prices are losing big, said the pulses and beans market sources. An average speculative trader would sell 500 tons to 1000 tons with future prices and a trader who has sold 500 tons would lose about kyats 600 lakhs, explained a trader. Future trading have been banned in Burma after the recent financial frauds in the markets.
An official from MAPT has urged the farmers to grow banana for exports and offered assistance in technology. The Delta area is the biggest banana producer in Burma, followed by lower Burma Taunggu and upper Burma's Sagaing division.
Ar Yone Oo program, a micro credit scheme aimed at uplifting the lives of women and children, is providing micro credit finances to women in some townships in Rangoon. The women are required to have a stable home and a business. The interest rate is 4% per month and minimum credit amount of the program is kyats 18000.
A shipping affairs department official denied the news reports about a cargo vessel, sailing from Burma to India loaded with pulses and beans, has sunk.
Parents are not allow entering into the school compounds while sending their children to schools, said a headmaster in Rangoon. All the schools in Rangoon are ordered by the authorities to observe the security measures.
Salt producers are required to obtain license from Myanma Salt Enterprise, said an official from the enterprise. Only sun bake salt producer licenses are issued and salt productions in the forests are not allowed to protect the environment, said the official. There are about 1500-1800 salt producers in Burma producing about 270,000 to 300,000 tons of salt and there are surpluses after the local consumption is fulfilled. The number of salt producers varies depending on the salt prices in the country
Consuming of foods stored in glazed clay pots can cause lead poisoning, said Dr. Paing Soe, the director general of (lower Burma) medical research department. Lead contents in the traditional Burmese foods such as fish paste, fish sauce, pickled vegetables and sour bamboo shoots could be high since they are stored in glazed clay pots, said Dr. Paing Soe. Apart from the danger of lead poisoning cause by glazed clay pots, some foods varieties in the markets such as pickled fruits and jams, dried shrimps, bamboo shoots, dried meat, sausages and wine, are also dangerous because lead contents are high in the additives used to coloured them.
Medicines imported from India will be scrutinised because there are counterfeit Indian medicines in the market, said the Burma-India Trade Association. Counterfeit or imitation drugs from smaller Indian companies are entering Burma using big brand names in India, said the association's president.
Burma's Popa Mountain Resort won the joint first prize for this year's ASEAN energy efficient building awards, presented annually by ASEAN engineering association.
Tissue culture method for producing high growth teak plants have been successful in the laboratory of ministry of forestry and high growth teak plants will be produced commercially, said an officer from the ministry of forestry.
Only 500 HIV/AIDS sufferers in Burma receive free ARV treatment from the country's health department because of a shortage of the anti-retroviral drugs to treat 25,000 AIDS patients who need the medication, out of the 300,000 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country, said Dr. Sit Naing from the UNAIDS. ARV treatment costs kyats 30,000 per patient per month and WHO and some international NGOs are providing financial assistance for the ARV treatment. But the assistance are still insufficient and helps are still needed, said Dr. Sit Naing.
Venomous snakebite cases are on the rise in Burma and about 82% of the victims were bitten by viper with 10% of the victims lost their lives, said the medical research department. Most of the victims were farmers and the farmers are now urged to wear protective boots while working in the fields. Cobra bite cases are fewer, said the advisor from medical research department.
The current weather of random rains and high temperature can cause sneezing, coughing and sore throat due to the spread of viruses that cause the diseases and the people are advised to take precautions to avoid sickness during weather changes, said a professor from ear, nose and throat hospital. Virus infections are high and people are advised to avoid crowded places during the weather changes.
Medicinal orchids with high potential for export markets can become an opium substitute crop for the farmers in Shan State, said an official from Burma's Agriculture Enterprise. Shan State's cool weather and the environment is suitable to set up orchid gardens but it is up to the locals to grow orchids, said the official, who is going on a tour in Shan State to conduct feasibility studies.
Burmese student won her master degree and the award of 'Outstanding Academic Performance in the field of Regional and Rural Development Planning' at Bangkok's Asian Institute of Technology School of Environment, Resources and Development. Daw Lwin Lwin Aung, the assistant manager from Kalaw Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise, was on a government scholarship program.
Burmese traditional herbal medicines, which were researched and developed by the upper Burma medical research department, are successful in treating TB patients, said the director general of medical research department Dr. Paing Soe. The department is currently treating TB patients for free and donors are needed to carry on the free treatments, said Dr. Paing Soe. He also stresses about the requirement to prepare for continuous herbal supplies by setting up herbal plantations.
Starting from this year monsoon season, private teak plantations will be allowed to establish with 30 years land lease agreements from the government, said an official from the forestry department. There are about 7 companies applying to set up private teak plantations, and among them, Honda Myanmar, Asia Green and Yarsu Kyaw Company will start planting operations this year, said the official. Teak produced from private companies will be allowed to trade freely both locally and for export and that the government will take 25% of the sale proceeds. Land lease charge is kyats 500 per acre per year. There are millions of acres of depleted forests in Burma. Teak can be extracted after 20 years, because current markets accept smaller teak trees for producing flooring parquets and plywood, explained the official, asked whether the 30 years land lease agreements will be enough for the teak trees to grow to enough size.
MAPT will assist entrepreneurs who want to establish plantations for exportable crops, such as onion, sesame, castor, potato, ginger and pulses and beans, said an official from MAPT.
State owned teak plantations will be expanded with the funds from 18 private logging companies, which were allowed to extract timbers from the forests, said an official from forestry department. A total of 10,000 acres of state owned teak plantations will be planted and during last 2004 raining season, some 3050 acres have been planted in six areas. In the previous time, the government used its own funds for planting teak, but due to the accelerated deforestation in the country, state budgets were not enough for reforestation projects, explained the official.
Burma's Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs Association plans to expand their micro credit finances operations in the big markets in Rangoon. Micro credit finance amount ranging from kyats 5000 to kyats 100,000 were issued to the women shop keepers in Rangoon's big markets.
HIV/AIDS awareness programs, being implemented by the NGOs, are increasingly targeting the factories and workshops in the country, since most of the HIV/AIDS sufferers are from the workforce aged between 15 to 49.
Burmese rubies from Nant Yar mining area in northern Burma are gaining popularity among foreign buyers, said a veteran gem trader in Rangoon. Mogok rubies used to be the best seller in Burma but now Nant Yar rubies are surpassing Mogok rubies with their quality and prices, said the gem trader. European buyers are buying good quality rubies with best prices (worth over kyats 100 lakhs), and the majority of the European buyers are from England, said the trader.
Burma's first dental hospital, adjoining to the dental institute, will be completed in July.
A lone motorcyclist from Libya, who is on a world-wide overland tour, will cross Burma from Bangladesh and proceeds to Thailand. Mr. Mohamed Bahar, 45, will end this part of the tour in New Zealand.
There are more travellers this summer to northwest India-Burma border area of Kalay from Mandalay, said the bus stations in Mandalay.
Private companies, which want to import commercial vehicles, are asked to contact directly to the directorate of commerce in applying import licences. Many companies depend on the brokers in applying for vehicle import licences and that can cause unnecessary delays and problems, said an official from the directorate of commerce. Burmese exporter/importers with export earnings are allowed to apply for the import licences of dump trucks and box trucks.
Ngapali Hotel Entrepreneurs Association will be formed in western Burma's Ngapali beach, said an official from ministry of tourism. The association will work on the pricing of hotel rooms in Ngapali beach and work for unity among hotel owners, said the official.
Burma government Agriculture Enterprise is planning to turn to technology intensive farming methods, such as turning to GMO products, said an officer from Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise.
Export prices in live fish exports have been declining due to competition from other supplying countries, said a major live fish exporter from Myeik archipelago.
Burmese gem and jewellery exporters are planning to expand their market to India by taking advantage of India's relaxation on gold and jewellery imports.
Burma should expand pulses and beans plantings on unused lands because there are increased purchase inquiries from foreign buyers, said an official from Myanmar Agriculture Produce Trading (MAPT). Burma annually exports 1 million tons of pulses and beans to India and other Asian countries like Singapore and Japan. About 70% of Burma's pulses and beans are being exported annually to India.
Sales of electrolyte beverages have increased significantly this year due to the hot weather, said the medicine market sources. Electrolyte beverages are taken to recover energy losses due to excessive sweating.
Burma's youth national soccer team is planning to hire a foreign coach.
Burma last year has exported US$ 300 million worth of teak planks to India, Hong Kong and European countries, said an officer from Forestry Department. Current teak prices range from US$ 5400 per ton for second quality teak, US$ 4470 per ton for third quality teak and to US$ 1330 lastly. This year export target is also over US$ 300 million, said the forestry sources.
Myanmar Industrial Development Bank begins money transfer services, said the bank officials.
The Flower News (25~31/5/2005)
· The UNICEF is introducing another program to prevent mother-child transmissions of HIV/AIDS in Burma. The nation-wide program will begin in 10 major government hospitals next month. UNICEF is spending US$ 2 million every year in Burma on HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.
· US based Carnival and Apollo cruise lines are hiring Burmese seamen on their cruise ships. The Burmese crews are in catering services, such as housekeeping, waiter, F&B and cook.
· TOTAL Chairman said the company has no plan to depart from Burma.
· An India-Burma Trade Centre has opened since 30th April in Porunport Town in India’s Manipur State. The US$ 9 mil centre will serve to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.
· Many businesses are rushing to install security cameras and security system sales have been increasing sharply after the May 7 bomb blasts, said a security business executive.
· Italy based CESVI NGO is expanding their anti-malaria program into eastern Shan State. The CESVI has been in Burma since the last three years and was successful in anti-malaria programs in some 50 villages in Pyin-Oo-Lwin Township and is expanding its activities to Kunlone and Lauk Kai. Their activities include collecting data on infection, counselling, conducting educational programmes, distributing medicated anti-mosquito nets and distributing anti-malaria pills.
· Security measures have been stepped up in the movie theatre halls in Rangoon.
· The government owned TV channels, for the first time ever, on 15th May has broadcast unedited news coverage on the government press conference held after the bomb blasts.
· 8 private companies from Burma exported 4600 tons of onion worth US$ 700,000 in 2004/05, grown on newly reclaimed lands, reclaimed for growing exportable crops. The government is encouraging private companies to grow restricted crops on the new lands reclaimed for the purpose of growing exportable crops and about 70 private companies have been participating in the scheme.
· Conservation works are needed for the monument stone pillar and the statues depicting the construction of the “death railroad” in Thanbyuzayat town in southeast Burma, said a resident in the town. The monument pillar and the statues, which are damaged due to negligence, are located at the beginning of the notorious railroad which was constructed during the World War II.
· A local private company is planning to market a locally brewed grape wine, neatly bottled and packed. The white wine, named Green Jade Wine, was brewed in Rangoon from green grapes grown in central Burma and will be sold at kyats 1200 ($1.2) per bottle.
· A French student named Aurore is studying in Rangoon University on Burma’s Kone Baung Era history for her doctorate degree. She has also learned and mastered Burmese traditional dance and has filmed some Burmese traditional performance videos.
· Two villages, Kyauk Kar village and Yee Khar village in central Burma Sagine Division, are in short supply of fresh water and the villagers are seeking donors who would donate deep water wells for their villages. Currently, the villagers have to travel 7 miles by bull carts to a fresh water pipeline, to buy water supply by the government at kyats 100 per drum.
· The article (records) about foreign embassies and foreign visitors’ visits to the NLD offices.
· Burma’s first tidal power generating project, jointly sponsored by YMCA and Burma’s Engineering Society, has started operating successfully in Kabala village in Burma delta’s Ngapudaw Township. The 3 KVA capacity generating plant uses retained tidal water flows in draft tubes as the power source to run the electric turbines. The project costs kyats 500,000 and took 1 month to finish. Watching the success of the project, nearby villages are now asking for help in building similar plants in their villages, said the project engineer.
· The Hukaung Tiger Sanctuary in northern Burma will become a model sanctuary, where tigers and human beings inhabit together. The local people in the sanctuary will not be expelled, but will learn to coexist with the tigers by participating in modern multiple land utilisation programs, aided by international organisations.
· Middle East’s Qatar Country will accept Burmese workers to work in their factories, said Kaung & Sons Int Ltd., the employment agency which gets agreement and license to send the first batch of 50 Burmese workers to Qatar.
· Burmese youths will soon get opportunities for training and employment in Japan, said Kaung & Sons Ltd., which reached an agreement with Japan International Training Organisation (JITCO) to take in Burmese youths as trainees in Japan.
· 82 land plots were auctioned to the public in the 105 miles checkpoint near Muse border town. The area will be turned into a border-trading zone, said the China-Burma border sources.
· Experts from New York Botanical Garden and Burmese botanists have found two species of unrecorded orchids in Hukaung Tiger Sanctuary.
· Burma-Thai trades have increased in 2004, said the commercial attaché of Thai embassy in Rangoon. Trades between the two countries reached US$ 1.963 billion in 2004. Burma exported US$ 1.34 billion and imported US$ 634 mil. Compared to previous year, exports from Burma increased 40.39% and exports from Thailand increased 30.7%. 70% of the bilateral trades are border trades and the remaining 30% are normal trades.
· Many health workers are still needed to provide health care services in maternity and childcare, said the deputy director general from ministry of health. There are only 100 obstetrics and gynaecologists in Burma and 8,000 nurses in the field of maternity and childcare, said the official. The deputy director of maternity and childcare department from ministry of health said 99% of death at birth are in poor countries and 40% are in Burma and other SE Asian countries.
· Residents have to buy water at kyats 1000 ($ 1.1) per drum (50 gals) in the new Yuzana Garden City in the outskirts of Rangoon. A severe electric power and water shortage is occuring in Rangoon since mid April.
· Brisk businesses in Nanparlone border market in Tamu border town on India-Burma border. Chinese and Thai goods and Burmese snacks, fruits, cotton blankets and mattresses are selling well in the market to Indian shoppers coming from Morei, said a trader from the market.
· Sugar prices up trend due to low sugar cane harvest.
· Prices of Chinese products imported by border trade, including consumer products, medicines and electronic products, have increased 25% in the end of April.
· Gold prices up trend, selling around ks 222,000/tical with brisk sales in end April.
· Burma’s first tiger conservation police station, which will also serves as the base camp for tiger conservation works, is being under construction in Hukaung Valley.
· Awareness programs on prevention of Arsenic contamination in waters are being conducted in three townships each in Rangoon and Delta Divisions. The programs include introducing activities such as marking of contaminated water wells with red paint, treating waters with liquid medicines distributed by PSI, treating water by sun bathing and distributing educational leaflets.
· Smokes from mosquito coils and incense sticks can be harmful to children, said a child specialist from ministry of health’s maternal and child health department, at a meeting of Maternal and Child Health for Media Group. Medicated mosquito nets are needed to be used widely in the country to prevent malaria and dengue fever but it is still difficult to educate the people to use mosquito nets for the children, said the specialist. The ministry of health is conducting education programs in 354 villages in 100 townships around the country, said the doctor.
· Tourist arrivals in the country have increased by 50,000 compared to last year, said the ministry of hotel and tourism. About 900,000 tourists arrived in 2004-05 financial year, up from 840,000 last year, according to the ministry’s statistics. 250,000 tourists arrived by Rangoon & Mandalay entry points and 650,000 tourists arrived by border entry points. Kyaing Ton-Tachileik entry point recorded the highest arrivals. FIT accounted for 40% of the tourist arrivals in Burma.
· Burma’s marine product productions have been increasing 12% annually since 1996-97, according to the statistics published by fisheries department. Burma produces 1.4 million metric tons of fishes and 0.2 million metric tons of shrimps in 2002-03. Burma still need to produce 1.797 million metric tons of fish and shrimps to meet its target of feeding 24 kg per person per annum consumption. There is an urgent requirement to increase production by not harming the marine resources, said in a report.
· Monsoon may be late this year but there is no sign of draught, said the deputy DG of meteorological department. Mosoon may arrive late due to the rising temperature in lower Burma, and it is estimated that Monsoon rains may start only in the end of May, delaying about 10 days to 2 weeks, the official said. Central Burma’s Monywa town recorded the highest temperature of 44 .C and Magwe, Minbu and Myinchan towns recorded 43 .C heat.
· Crab exports by border trade to Thailand have been increasing yearly since 2001 and exports to China by border trade have been decreasing, said the secretary of crab merchants association. Burma yearly exports about 15,000 tons of live crabs by border trade.
· Burmese government’s pearl enterprise is urging Burmese entrepreneurs into pearl breeding and production business. The officials from the government enterprise said peal production business in Burma has high potential.
· German T.V movie series TRAUMSCHIEF (Dream Boat) is filming a movie in Burma’s tourist destinations including northern Burma’s Putao snowy mountains, with 15 international casts.
· A total of 14214 illegal ‘without’ cars were surrendered to the authorities up to 18th April, said Police Colonel Win Kaung. The number of surrendered 'without cars' were as close to the authorities' estimation and ‘without’ funeral coaches operated by volunteer funeral services were exempted from the move, said the police colonel. The authorities also have plans to confiscate the motorcycles that arrived after the nation-wide registration last year, said the police colonel.
· Portable generator sales have been brisk in Burma since March, said the generator shops.
· Co-operative Bank and Myanma Industrial Development Bank will link their money transfer services, said an official from Co-op Bank.
· Burma’s Agriculture Enterprise and Medical Research Department will jointly conduct a research on medicinal properties of Burmese orchids, with the aim to produce traditional medicines that could cure liver diseases and cancer, and to boost the business opportunities for orchid farmers.
· India make motorcycles, imported by border trade, were selling well in western Burma Chin State. Motorcycle prices have risen significantly (about 30%) in Mandalay and upper Burma, since a few days before the water festival.
· Burma’s Bird Watchers Association has found the world’s most endangered Osprey birds in northern Burma a recent survey jointly conducted with a Dutch bird expert. 7 birds of prey from the same specie were recorded sighting during the survey.
· Singapore’s Silk Air will increase its regular Rangoon- Singapore flights, from current 10 flights per week to 11 flights per week, starting 20th June.
· An architectural student from Burma, Chaw Kalyar, currently studying in Cardiff (UK) under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chevening Scholarship programme, has met the President of Cardiff University and Chairman of the British Council.
· Burmese school children have started learning basic human rights courses beginning from 2004/2005-school term, said the Burmese minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement Maj. Gen Sein Htwa, at the East Asia and Pacific countries ministerial level meeting on children affairs in Cambodia’s Siem Reap. The Burmese general said Burmese children are receiving the right education on basic human rights from the schools’ curriculum, which were drawn up according to international conventions & treaties and the Burmese laws for children.
· Burma exports coffee to seven countries. Australia’s Hulile Trading, India’s GP Premijec Trading, Singapore’s Sinenim Co Pte Ltd and Coffee & Herbs Co., Taiwan’s Pack Right SDN BHD Co., Thailand’s Chomporn Grain Co., Ltd are buying coffee seeds from Burma. France’s Anada Co., has also signed a five years contract to buy coffee from Burma. Burma exports 1186 tons of coffee in 2003/04 and 376 tons in 2004/05.
· A weekly regular direct flight between India’s Budda Ghaya and Rangoon has started by Air India since 28th of March.
· Pulses and beans exports from Burma may regain momentum soon, said the exporters. Since February this year, local buying prices have risen almost double, making them impossible for the exporters to buy & export with the local purchased prices, which were higher than international market prices. But prices have come down since the second week of March and there is a downtrend in prices. The exporters are watching the situation and when the prices reach affordable prices, they will resume the buying for exports. Burma has 8 million acres of pulses and beans cultivation and produces 3 millions tons annually. Burma is the world’s second biggest exporter of pulses and beans since 2000-2001. Burma’s pulses and beans exports go to India, Japan, Taiwan and India is the biggest importer of Burma’s pulses and beans.
· Burmese movies and videos sales and rentals have increased due to a ban on foreign movies and videos, said the industry sources.
· Rangoon-Mandalay rail transport services will remain open during the water festival, said the railway officials.
· Burma has found out 80,000 acres of cultivable land near the newly built water dams and the lands will be allocated to those who want to cultivate export crops, said an announcement from MAPT. Burma currently has 22 million acres of cultivable land.
Burma is still free from bird flu, announced the director of the government veterinary department. The official was referring to a recent check on 9.4 million chicken from 9878 poultry farms around the country and no bird flu virus was found during the check. Burma has already received from OIE & JICA, test equipment and laboratory kits to test the bird flu virus and has sent Burmese vets to China, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Japan for training on testing bird flu.
· YCDC will be having problems is culling stray dogs from the city streets this year due to the shortage of Strychnine Hydrochloride, a kind of poison used for culling the strayed dogs. There are difficulties in ordering the poison from India, said the deputy head of YCDC’s Vet department. There are more stray dogs on the city streets this year, said the official. YCDC has ordered dog owners to register their dogs with the department. About 20,000 dogs have been culled by YCDC every year, said the official.
· About 20% of Burma’s populations are remaining as backward groups in receiving clean water and proper sanitation, said the minister for health at the opening ceremony of 8th National Cleaner Environment Movement 2005 on 26th February.
· ARV (Anti Retrol Viral) drugs for AIDS patients will be distributed by department of health in Mandalay with the financial aid from Total Oil Company. ARV drugs are being distributed by the department of health in Lashio and Muse, with the financial aid from UNAIDS.
· Ministry of Commerce has opened the Export Promotion Information Centre on 1st March. The centre would provide local & international market prices of export commodities and other related information. The ministry has formed a Market Information Research Team in January and the team has been providing news and information to the media.
· Burma stands as the biggest exporter of natural gas in Asia and Pacific and the world’s 9th biggest exporter, said the director general of energy department. Burma’s current capacity for natural gas export is cubic feet 650 million per day and the country is exporting cubic feet 460 million per day.
· Businesses in real estate sector in Rangoon, both rentals & sales, are much cooler than last year, an agent.
· Car prices may change in the near future because there are conditions that might lead to price changes, said an experienced car dealer.
· Japan Pea & Bean Importers Association JPBIA visited Burma and conducted a meeting with exporters from Burma. The meeting discussed excess Hydrogen Cyanide content in Burma’s pulses and beans exported to Japan. Burmese side has demanded for better prices, said a company executive who attended the meeting.
· JICA is planning to give assistance to the local residents in the central dry region.
· An order banning the sales of foods vulnerable for causing diarrhoea and dysentery has been issued in Thigangyun Township in Rangoon on 1st March. There are cases of dysentery and diarrhoea in the township, said the order.
· Construction iron bars prices increased over 10%, from kyats 5 lakhs per ton to kyats 6 lakhs per ton. Reasons unknown.
· A NGO named CSM (Cooperative Services Myanmar) to distribute a kind of soap that could cure skin diseases, to the hospitals, schools and prisons in the country.
· There is a government policy to allow the exports restricted agriculture products, such as rice & onion, to the exporters who are involved in utilising new farm lands, said the managing director of MAPT.
· Fish prices up in Rangoon’s fish wholesale market, due to declining supply.
· Malaysia based E.O.G (England Optical Group) is offering 10 scholarships to the Burmese students for the 4 years refractionist courses in Malaysia.
· Burmese film festival will be held in Singapore at the end of March. About 6 movies, which highlight Burmese tradition, will be presented at the film festival. The minister for information, who has instructed the Burmese film industrialists to compete in the international market, will open the festival.
· Drunken drivers during the water festival will face severe penalty, said an officer from the traffic police department.
· There is no plan by the government to expelled old cars out of Rangoon, said an officer from the traffic police department. There are rumours that those cars over 20 years old will not be allowed anymore to register in Rangoon. According to the government statistics, there are 5 millions people in Rangoon with 152,533 registered vehicles. The ratio is 3 cars per 100 people.
· The authorities will take severe actions against the ‘black taxis’, the private cars operating without proper taxi license, said an official from the department of transport.
· Burma’s first liver transplant recipient still alive six months after the operation, said the patient in a press conference. There were rumours that the patient has died after the operation because he could not afford the subsequent medical expenses.
· Custom tailor shops which make western suits are experiencing brisk businesses due to the increase in people leaving the country. A custom-made western suit cost between kyats 18000 to kyats 85,000 depending on the material used.
· 5000 acres more tea plantations will be planted in Chin State in 2006-2007, said an official from border area development department. The government has ordered Chin State to become a tea producing state and instructed to grow 10,000 acres of tea plantation in the state.
· Private pig farmers are urged to breed more pigs for export because there are offers from Singapore and Brunei to buy pigs from Burma, said the director of livestock breeding department. Burma currently breeds 5.5 million of pigs.
· EM Bio-fertiliser can be produced from a mixture of banana, cooked rice and water, said a Japanese expert at a seminar on using organic fertilisers in Burma. Organic fertilisers can be produced from hay and other organic wastes, but organic fertiliser production is still not sufficient in the country. Burma has about 16 million agriculture lands but organic farming is used only in about 1 million acre of farmland.
· About 400 dozens of melon were exported to Hong Kong from Burma in February by a garment company. Melon is a new prospective export item for Burma.
· 100 young learners received certificates from Cambridge. The British Council presented the English language certificates to the young learners on 1st March in Traders Hotel.
· The British Council will hold the U.K Education Fair on 13th & 14th March at the Traders Hotel.
· Parami Consultant Service to provide education consulting & travel service for bona fide students, who want to study in the U.K’s Abacus College Oxford University, said an executive from the service. The university fee is £ 6600 per year and payable in three instalment, said the executive.
· Burma to build a friendship border crossing bridge over Mekkong River at the Burma-Laos border.
· Five unrecorded rattan species found in the tiger sanctuary in Hu Kaung Valley in northern Burma. An expedition team, with members from the WCS, New York Botanical Garden & Rangoon University, conducted a survey in the Valley and recorded 61 species of rattan. The locals will be provided with training for rattan cultivation, production and marketing.
· Burma to gove archaeological diploma course, the one & only in southeast Asia, at the Pyi (Prome) Archaeological School. Construction works have been 60% completed for the school, said the school principle.
· Burma, since 2002 has designated a 667.88 square miles area in western Burma Rakkhine State as an elephant sanctuary. The elephant sanctuary is the one and only elephant sanctuary in Burma. According to a survey in 1992, Burma has around 4500 to 5000 elephants in the wild, second biggest wild elephant population in the world after India.
· Japanese Mitsubishi Trading Company enquiring to buy mangoes from Burma. Burma still needs to solve technical problems, such as seed worms in the mango seeds, for mango exports. An Australian company named CMC is trying to provide technical assistance to the Burmese mango plantation owners.
· There are more buyers buying gold as an investment, said the owner of a prominent gold shop in Rangoon. Gold prices have been stable this week, around kyats 210,000 per tical.
· The forestry department & the central dry zone reforestation department plan to distribute about 300,000 firewood saving stoves to the locals in central Burma in this fiscal year. The high efficiency firewood stoves can save up to 40% of firewood. It is not certain to be able to fetch 5.5 tons of firewood from an acre of a wood plantation, but by using 7 high efficiency stoves in 7 families can save up to 5.6 tons of firewood per year.
· Burma’s oyster and shell exports, starting December 2004 by border trade through Thailand to Vietnam, have dropped and the market has collapsed, said the secretary of Burma’s crabs merchants association. Only 25 tons of oysters have been exported with kyats 700-1000 per viss, but the prices have dropped to kyats 550 per viss.
· Private owned Pyi Lone Chan Thar company is exporting 400,000 tons of fish salamis worth 571 million annually to Japan, said an official from Japanese Takamasu & Co., Ltd, which is providing technical assistance to the Pyi Lone Chan Thar Company. (???)
· YCDC will conduct regular inspections on hygiene standards & practices at all the high-class restaurants in Rangoon. In a recent survey by the YCDC, only 84 restaurants in Rangoon were found to be saved said the health department head of YCDC.
· Burma to crackdown on uncensored foreign movies and videos, a senior police officer said.
· About 500 kg to 1000 kg of traditional diabetic medicines have been exported monthly to Japan since three years ago, said the Ananda Thuka dispensary, which is exporting the traditional medicines to Japan’s Magic Corporation.
· The first voyage of the Rangoon-Chennai direct sea link, in the first week of February, was successful and the shipping line is planning to increase their regular service to 5 voyages per two months, said the Rangoon agent of the India’s Gati Coast to Coast Shipping Line.
· About 1500 rare and endangered golden deer have been protected and conserved in the Chukthin Wildlife Sanctuary in central Burma, said an information at the wildlife educational museum in the Hlawga National Park.
· China Traditional Herbal Medicine Group, in the second week of February, proposes to buy 1000 tons of long stem orchids from Burma. About 20 species of orchids were included in the long stem orchid family, said the official from Burma’s Agriculture Enterprise. Recently, another Chinese company had proposed to buy 50,000 tons of orchid stems from Burma.
· A Burmese private firm named Pyidaw Myittar Co-op is planning to build a wine refinery in central Burma’s Yamethin near Mandalay, for wine exports to China.
· Burma exports Cardamom seeds to China & South Korea. This year export is around 100 tons. Cardamom plants can be found in lower Burma Taungoo and Karen State’s Thantaung and Kyaukgyi. Cardamom seeds are use as a spice, in cooking Bariyani and in the chewable beetles.
· Article about bee breeding. Warning bee farmers to beware of plants that are poisonous to the bees. The article said that the chemical insecticides cause big casualties on the bee populations.
· Rangoon’s Institute of Economics held its 39th Convocation on 13th February and bestowed two students with Burma’s first economics doctorate degrees. 51 students received executive MBA degrees and 65 students received master in public administration degrees at the convocation. About 6400 students receive economic degrees annually from Burma’s three economic institutes, a sharp rise from previous 400 students per year.
· Burma’s football team will participate in more international matches, said the new president of Burma’s football federation. U Zaw Zaw of Max Company becomes the new chairman of the federation in a recent reshuffle at the federation. He said the federation will build new football fields and also renovate the old fields.
· Incomes from inland water transports have increased 2 and a half times compared to five years ago, said the government’s inland water transport department.
· Burma is conducting wetland conservation works and will observe the World Wetlands Day starting from next year, said the secretary of the Burma’s Birds and Nature Society.
· Rare and unrecorded specie of wild orchid found in the Tiger Reserve in Kachin State Hukaung Valley. There are about 40 species of orchids in the area and two botanists from the New York Botanical Garden are conducting surveys in the area, together with botanists from Rangoon University.
· Mud crabs prices have reached record high this year in Rangoon, due to the good prices fetched from exports to Taiwan and an increased in consumption in Rangoon due to the increase in tourist arrivals, said an executive from the crab merchant association.
· The funeral assistance association to build their headquarters in a compound which will include a clinic, a school and a home for the aged, in north Dagon township 48 ward. The association is seeking donations for constructing the buildings in a two-acre land plot given by the government. Most of the cash donations received by the association were spent on conducting the average 35 funeral services a day free of charge for the poor.
· Burma and Bangladesh plan to build a highway road linking Rangoon & B’desh capital Dhaka. Construction works for the first phase of the highway, a 100 kilometres long road linking Burma’s Rakkhine state’s Kyauktaw and eastern B’desh’s Tanboro town, will begin soon. The surveys for the roads jointly conducted by Burmese & Bangladesh engineers are underway, said an official from the ministry of construction.
· The first spa (hot spring) hotel in Burma, the Cherry Spa Hotel, opens in Shan State’s Inle Lake starting from January. The hotel is about 45 minutes drive from Heho airport.
· Private owned Asian Technology Group will build the first Chitosan (shrimp shells) factory in Burma. Chitosan has been use for body fat reducing & to treat burned skins and also as organic fertilisers.
· Banana wholesales centres in Burma are using an imported hormone from China called ‘ETHREL’, to quicken the ripening of the banana bunches.
· Game fishing hobbyists in Rangoon are in difficulty because there is no place to go game fishing near Rangoon, said a fishing hobbyist. Fishing at all the lakes and ponds in Rangoon are strictly prohibited. Previously, the royal lake in Rangoon was allowed for game fishing with a fee of kyats 500 per fishing rod, but the lake was closed for fishing two years ago. The lakes at the Udo golf course & the City golf course were also closed since last year because the lakes were auctioned for commercial fishing. The game fishing hobbyists are hopeful that there will be a private company, which will build lakes for game fishing.
· Dagon International Co., which owns and operates the Dagon Centre in Rangoon’s Myanigone commercial area, soon to build another high rise building on the adjoining land plot of the centre, said the company’s managing director U Win Aung.
· Burma’s ministry of construction to build another Sittaung River crossing bridge, on the road to Moulmein in south-east Burma. The new bridge will be about 4 miles downstream of the current Sittaung Bridge, which was built during the Second World War. Construction of the new bridge will be completed in 2006, said the official from the ministry of construction.
· Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre (MSEC), which is co-founded by the Japanese Daiwa Institute of Research Limited, to conduct a seminar in Rangoon on ‘Introduction to Securities Investment.’ The seminar will be held in early March at the Traders Hotel. The MSEC has been undertaking the trading of shares of the semi-government Forest Products Joint Venture. There are no sellers of the shares at the time, but only buyers who want to buy the shares, which give annual dividend of 30%. A share originally worth kyats 10,000.
· A Chinese company is offering to buy 5,000 tons of orchid stems from Burma, said an official from the government’s agriculture enterprise. The Chinese company offered in December to buy five species of Burmese origin wild orchids by border trade. The official said the legal exports of the orchids could stop the illegal exports and could help conserve the rare orchid species.
· All of Burma’s cold stores and marine products processing plants have to practice HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system and standards by 2006, according to ASEAN Fisheries Road Map, said the minister for livestock breeding and fishery.
· Jade sales to tourists at the jade shops in central Bogyoike Market have declined because the tourist guides are now taking the tourists to the home shops, which give 40% commission to the tourist guides. The home shops are mostly in the prestigious locations of Rangoon, such as Windermere and Inya Myaing Road.
· Married couples without any child can adopt orphans at the government’s orphanage, said the principle of the Shwegondine orphanage in Rangoon. The orphanage is seeking donors to take the orphans on regular trips to the zoo & to the playgrounds.
· Some Burmese entrepreneurs are interested in artificial breeding of the swiftlets for bird nests in southern Burma, said an executive from Irrawaddy Trading. Some Malaysian companies are introducing the technical know-how to breed the swiftlets artificially in southeaster Burma.
· Burma to expand its fish breeding farms’ acreage from current 160,000 acres to 200,000 acres. About 50% of fresh water fishes produce in Burma come from the fish farms.
Rangoon is situated closely to the earth’s fault line and buildings in Rangoon should be built to be able to withstand earthquakes, said the director general of the meteorological department
· Construction works for upgrading the highway road linking Burma’s Kachin State Bhamo Town & China’s Lweje have started. A Chinese company will spend Yuen 28 million in the upgrading of the road and the road will be given free to Burma and the company will also make maintenance on the road for another 10 years for free of charge.
· Burma’s National Symphony Orchestra will perform on Myanmar T.V. Burma’s national symphony orchestra has been established with musicians from the military band, the police band, individual musicians and with students from the culture university, since November 2002 and is being conducted by Mr. Mitch Mark Kowitz from the U.S. The conductor is helping the orchestra for free of charge and has also donated required musical instruments to the orchestra.
· India’s Gati Coast to Coast Shipping Line will run a weekly regular service to Burma from India’s Chennai port, starting from February.
· Burma is producing 500 metric tons of honey annually and has exported 365 metric tons in 2004 to Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore & China, with prices ranging from US$ 550 to 800.
· Cargos vessels plying Rangoon & Bangladesh’s Chittagone port have entered western Burma’s Sittwe port for return cargoes to Rangoon. The vessels load corn & broken rice for exports and bring back fertilisers to Rangoon.
· Burma’s fishery exports grew 5 times in the last 10 years, according to the government’s statistics. Burma exported 205,463 metric tons of marine products worth US$ 333.55 mil in 2003/04, and that is 5 times bigger than 1993/94 exports. Burma is exporting marine products mainly to China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Australia, EU & Arab countries.
· Interests for rental & buying of high rise buildings have declined in Rangoon after the tsunami, said a real estate agent.
· Burma does not have GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) products in its agriculture sector, said the manager of Myanmar Agriculture Enterprise. But there are news that farmers in Shan State are growing GM Soya beans from China. 50% of Burma’s Soya beans cultivation are in Shan State.
· Soya beans harvests in Hinthada district in Burma’s delta region have been low (only a third to previous year’s yields) due to the flooding during the monsoon season. Hinthada district supplies Burma's local demands for Soya beans.
· Burma will have a regular container barge service between Rangoon and Bhamo, starting from February this year. A 500 GRT container barge, built with financial assistance from China, will ply the route regularly, according to the D.G of Burma’s Inland Water Transport Dept.
· There are 70 AIDS patients at the Wai Bar Gee Communicable Diseases Hospital in northern Rangoon and they are in need of medicines and financial assistance, said a doctor from the hospital. Among the 70 AIDS patients, there are 9 children. There are 8 doctors in the hospital. The government statistics show that there are over 330,000 AIDS sufferers in Burma.
· The train coaches are very dirty, complained the news article about Rangoon’s circular trains.
· Burma is building a fruit processing plant (Pack House) with US$ 500,000 investment, aiming for mango exports by normal trade. The plant was built by Y.C.D.C in Rangoon. Australia based CMC Company is involves in building the plant. Burma currently exports fresh mangoes to China by border trade and dried mangoes to Bangladesh also by border trade. An Australian company is negotiating with Burmese authorities for mango exports to Australia, but the company is asking consulting fees in US$ for technology transfer and the mango plantation owners are not willing to pay the consulting fees in US$.
· Canadian mineral prospecting firm Leeward Capital, in co-operation with the government’s mineral prospecting enterprise, is going to do diamond prospecting in Burma. The company is currently mining gold in Set Gadone area in Ma Bane Township in northern Shan State. The company will co-operate with the government on diamond prospecting in In Taw Gyi, Ma Bane and Shwe Gu in northern Burma. “Burma has potentials for diamond prospecting,” said the company’s Chairman Mr. James W. David.
· Burma plans to ban selling of Shark fins & turtles at hotels & restaurants in the country, in an effort for wildlife conservation, said the minister for livestock & fishery. Burma designates some areas as shark sanctuaries to conserve the sharks and has been hatching sea turtles eggs and releases the baby turtles back into the sea. Burma claims that it has released 170,347 turtles back to nature since 2001.
· Air Bagan has hired two ATR aircrafts from the government’s ministry of transport, on a Wet Lease system, in which the government provides crews together with the airplanes.
· Most of the victims of human trafficking are young women, who have been smuggled mostly to China and Thailand, said Police Col. Sit Aye in an interview with The Flower News. Burma’s ‘Hot Spot’ areas are Mu Se’, Lwe Je, Tarchileik, KawThaung & Myawaddy, which are on the border with China & Thailand. The police colonel said Burma plans to open anti-human trafficking training for the police forces in those hot spot areas.
· Australia based Sun-tree International Pty, Ltd is offering to buy US$ 35 millions worth of agriculture products and fruits from Burma, said the ministry of commerce. The company offers to buy sesame seeds, cashew nuts, dried tomatoes, dried chillies, pineapples, mangoes, fresh ginger, fresh chillies & melons from Burma, said the ministry sources. Another Australian company named CMC is building a fruits & vegetables pack house in Rangoon and is offering post harvest technologies to the farmers.
· UMEHL is building another pineapple juice factory near Pegu, with technical assistance from foreign companies including the Australian CMC Company, said deputy minister for commerce.
· The number of passengers increases 4.5% at Mandalay international airport. About 13 flights arrive and depart daily from the airport.
· The international class hotels in Rangoon are hiring vocational and part-time staff for their staff requirements and there are complaints from hotel guests about the unskilled staff. Many of the experienced staff in the hotel industry have left the country for better paying jobs abroad and there are a shortage of skilled and experienced hotel staff in Burma.
· There are good prospects for Soya bean exports, said an officer from the ministry of commerce. Burma grows Soya beans in Shan State.
· Private owned Irrawaddy Company is exporting Star Tortoises, with the approval from the ministry of forestry, said the company’s spokesperson. About 50 Star Tortoises have been exported since 2003 and a tortoise fetched about US$ 400-500, said the company.
· Car prices down in Burma.
· Diamond prices cool with slow business in Rangoon’s diamond market.
· Local travellers find it expensive about the private toilet fees, which are kyats 200-400, along Rangoon-Pegu highway.
· Burma building an airport that can accommodate Boeing 747 aircraft, near Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo).
· Burma prepares to check border trade cargoes by using modern Gamma Ray Scanners at Muse checkpoint on China-Burma border.
· Edible-nest swiftlets are being lured for artificial breeding in southern Burma coastal region, by using artificial bird sounds from the sound CDs imported from Malaysia. Artificial breeding of edible-nest swiftlets in the old buildings are increasing in the region, said an entrepreneur from Dawei city in the region. Artificial breeding of the swiftlets can lead to environmental degradation, said an environmentalist. Bird nests, use for medicinal purpose, fetch good prices in the Asian markets.
· Burma has imported small chickens from Germany & Holland after the Asian bird flu crisis in 2004. Egg prices in the country will be reduced soon when the imported chickens from Germany and Holland start laying eggs, said an official from YCDC. Although the bird flu can happen in cold season, Burma is free from bird flu and it is safe to eat chicken, said the official.
· Burma is replacing its gas energy light buoys in Rangoon River with solar power system, imported from U.K Pharas Marine company. A solar system costs US$ 4258 and 14 light buoys and 1 lighthouse have been replaced with solar system, said the lighthouse department chief from Burma port authority.
· Burma’s minister for energy said Burma has found natural gases that can be extracted for another 90 years. The minister made the comment at a meeting on 14th January at the co-ordination meeting on using CNG in the vehicles in Burma.
· Research shows that there are the possibilities of an outbreak of Dengue fever in Rangoon in the upcoming monsoon season and precautionary measures are required, said Dr. Tin Mg Win from Y.C.D.C.
· Hundreds of illegal Burmese workers have recently returned from Malaysia and they are planning to go back to Malaysia with legal documents, said a returnee. Malaysia is a popular destination for Burmese migrant workers.
· Paddy prices drop. Rice prices stable in Rangoon Bayint Naung wholesales market. There are still rice old stocks in the market, said a rice merchant.
· Burma betel nuts production & exports are increasing, said an official from ministry of commerce.
· Ethnic Chin traditional musical instruments become rare and need to be conserved said the local residents of Chin State.
· Government MAPT (Myanmar Agriculture Produce Trading) is assisting exporters with the inspections of unwanted chemical residues in the agricultural crops that are to be exported. Burma received complaints from Japan, on excessive hydrogen cyanide resides in the pulses and beans exported to Japan.
· Burma is negotiating with India for direct exports of pulses and beans to India. Previously, Singapore acted as a transit point for Burma’s pulses and beans exports to India.
· Passport issuance will take only one week from application date, said the Passport Section of Burma. Women will be allowed to apply for job passports, said the announcement at the Passport Section.
· Restaurants in Rangoon will require hygiene certificates from YCDC’s health department for their license renewals, said the health department’s deputy head at YCDC.
· South Korea’s Daewoo Electronics has ceased operation in Burma is liquidating, said a news from UMFCCI. The liquidation of Daewoo Electronics is not related to other Daewoo’s business interests in Burma, such as the massive gas field, said the company’s liquidator.
· The waters in the lake of Sagain Kaunghmudaw Pagoda surged about 1.5 feet, 2 hours ahead of the Asian earthquake on 26th December. The waters in the lake started to surged around 6 a.m with hissing sounds until 9 a.m that morning. The earthquake occurred at 8:04 a.m.
· Burma has exported 6000 tons of mud crabs to Thailand in 2004 and Thailand gives better price than China, said the crab merchants association’s secretary. China pays only kyats 800 per kilo and Thailand pays kyats 1100-2200, said the merchant.
· Pulses and beans prices in the international markets have dropped and although Burma could export bigger quantity in 2004, the country’s pulses and beans export value did not increase. Burma earns US$ 325 million from pulses and beans exports in 2004, said the Chairman of UMFCCI.
· Burma ministry of commerce announced on 8th December that it will allow FOC (free of charge) imports worth up to US$ 1000. FOC import license can be applied at the directorate of trade, said the announcement.
· Cement prices low at kyats 4200 per bag.
Pulses and beans prices low in central Burma