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A war-time engineering miracle


Plan aims to reduce  cost of city property
By Win Kyaw Oo
DEVELOPERS have welcomed a move by the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development aimed at stabilising the property market in Yangon. The reaction follows the formation by the Department of a City Housing Project Supervisory Committee which includes representatives from the government and the private sector. The decision to set up the committee coincides with strong demand for real estate by residential buyers. State-owned enterprises would meet the committee’s aims by supplying construction materials to developers at special prices, said U Win Myint, a departmental official. Developers would be able to buy 50-kilogram sacks of cement for K800 and hardwood for K10,000 a ton, he said. Imported cement sells on the open market for up to K1800 a sack and a ton of hardwood costs about K80,000. Developers will also benefit from an import facilitation move aimed at cutting the cost of steel bars. "In addition, land use and government services fees imposed on developers will be reduced to contribute to lower property development costs," U Win Myint said. The fees currently comprise between 15 per cent to 50 per cent of the development cost of a building, depending on its location. Developers were optimistic that the committee’s actions would lead to lower property prices. U Shwe Kyaing, chairman of Wah Wah Win International, one of the biggest property developers, said helping to reduce the cost of building materials might lead to more low-income earners being able to buy units in the city. The cost of building materials has risen by up to four times during the past 10 years, leading to a corresponding increase in property prices.

Myanmar steps up technology thrust with new $10m facility
THE computer industry has welcomed the opening of Myanmar’s first information technology park, saying it will bring enormous benefits to the growth of the nation’s IT and software sectors. FULL STORY
Agreement in principle to join rice consortium
RICE dealers have welcomed reports that Myanmar has decided in principle to join an organisation of Asia’s biggest exporters of the cereal. FULL STORY


Koizumi has ‘strong hopes’ for talks
By Thet Khaing
JAPAN’S Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has expressed "strong hope" for the dialogue between the government and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Japanese ambassador, Mr Shigeru Tsumori, said last week. In an interview with Myanmar Times, Mr Tsumori said Mr Koizumi supports the efforts of the Myanmar government and the role of UN special envoy Mr Razali Ismail "in bringing about national reconciliation and democratisation." He said the Japanese Government is ready to provide "the necessary support for the talks" while continuing to provide aid "centering on humanitarian assistance and human resources development" for Myanmar. Mr Tsumori’s comments came after Mr Koizumi discussed the Myanmar political situation with his Malaysian and Thai counterparts as well as with Mr Razali, during a tour of five Asean countries earlier this month. "It is important for Myanmar to promote democratisation and proceed with the construction of the nation," Mr Koizumi told the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.


The first exhibition of rare and antiquarian books to be held in Myanmar opened at the Lokanat Gallery in Pansodan Street, Yangon, last Friday. The exhibition features more than 50,000 old and rare books, as well as magazines, newspapers and journals in Myanmar and English. Most of the books are on sale. The exhibition ends on January 27.

  In Other News:
Ministry Cancels Licences Of 68 Tour Industry Firms
Bat Deposits Keep Gardens Lush
Government Approves Fisheries Joint Venture
Five Win Art Contest
Luxury Cloth From Lotus Stems
Thousands Celebrate Kayin New Year
Camping Against Drugs Results In Record Seizures In 2001
Media Roundup
Increase In Rice Exports Helps Inspection Services
High Prices Affect Cooking Oil Sales
Negotiations Begin For Buckwheat Crop
Raindrops, But No Downpour
Community Home Care System To Easy Burden On Hospital Of AIDS Patients
Dept Issues Appeal On Hepatitis B Injections
Building Work Starts On Vaccine Factory
Myanmar-Made Jeeps Move In On Market
  Time Out:
Robot Or Real, It Is a Dog's Life
Housewife Woons Monk
Ground Control To... all Fitness Fantatics
Puttin' On The Ritz
What's On In Yangon?




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