The Flower News (weekly) 2005

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 59 (December 21-27)


The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 57 (December 7-13)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 56 (Nov 30 to Dec 6)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 55 (November 23-29)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 54 (November 16-22)


The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 53 (November 9-15)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 52 (Publication for November 2 to 8)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 51 (Oct 26 to Nov 1)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 48 (5~11/10/05)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 47 (28/9/05~4/10/05)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 46 (21-27/9/2005)

The Flower News  Vol. 1, No. 45 (14~20/9/2005)

The Flower News
Vol. 1, No. 44 (7~13/9/2005)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 42 (Aug 31st to Sept. 6, 2005)

The Flower News Vol. 1, No. 42 (24~30/8/2005,)

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.

The Flower News 29/6/05~5/7/05

The Flower News (22~28/6/2005)

The Flower News (15~21/6/2005)

The Flower News (8~14/6/2005)


The Flower News (1~7/6/2005)


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 Indias 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 Burmas 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.

The Flower News (4~10/5/2005)

·          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 Easts 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.

·          Burmas 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.

·          Burmas 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 Burmas 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.


The Flower News (27/4/05~3/5/05)

·          German T.V movie series TRAUMSCHIEF (Dream Boat) is filming a movie in Burmas tourist destinations including northern Burmas 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.

·          Burmas 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.

·          Burmas 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.

·          Singapores 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.

The Flower News (6~12/4/2005)

·          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 Cambodias 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. Australias Hulile Trading, Indias GP Premijec Trading, Singapores Sinenim Co Pte Ltd and Coffee & Herbs Co., Taiwans Pack Right SDN BHD Co., Thailands Chomporn Grain Co., Ltd are buying coffee seeds from Burma. Frances 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 Indias 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. Burmas pulses and beans exports go to India, Japan, Taiwan and India is the biggest importer of Burmas 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.


The Flower News (16~22/3/2005)

·          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 Burmas 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. Burmas 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 Burmas 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 Rangoons 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.

The Flower News (8~16/3/2005)

·          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.

·          Burmas 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.

The France based children society named Enfant du monde has donated Burma’s ministry of social welfare, with new buildings hygiene care kits for the boys’ rehabilitation school in Twentae Hnet Aw San near Rangoon. The French society has also donated buildings & hygiene care kits at the other youth rehabilitation centres in Burma.


The Flower News (2~8/2/2005)

·          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.

The Flower News (23/2/2005)

·          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 Burmas 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 Burmas 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 States 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.

·          Rangoons Institute of Economics held its 39th Convocation on 13th February and bestowed two students with Burmas 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 Burmas three economic institutes, a sharp rise from previous 400 students per year.

·          Burmas football team will participate in more international matches, said the new president of Burmas 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 Burmas 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.

The Flower News (16~22/2/2005)

·          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 States 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 Rangoons 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.

·          Burmas 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 Burmas 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

The Flower News (9~15/2/05)

·          Construction works for upgrading the highway road linking Burmas 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.

·          Indias Gati Coast to Coast Shipping Line will run a weekly regular service to Burma from Indias 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 Burmas Sittwe port for return cargoes to Rangoon. The vessels load corn & broken rice for exports and bring back fertilisers to Rangoon.

·          Burmas 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 Burmas Soya beans cultivation are in Shan State.

·          Soya beans harvests in Hinthada district in Burmas 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 Burmas 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 Rangoons circular trains.

The Flower News 2~8/2/2005

·          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.  Burmas ‘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 Rangoons diamond market.

·          Local travellers find it expensive about the private toilet fees, which are kyats 200-400, along Rangoon-Pegu highway.

The Flower News Jan 19-25, 2005

 ·          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.

·          Burmas 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.


The Flower News 12~18/1/2005

·          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 Burmas 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 Koreas 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