The Voice (weekly) 2005


The Voice Vol. 2, No. 13 (December 26)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 12 (December 19)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 10 (December 5)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 9 (November 28)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 8 (November 21)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 7 (November 14)



The Voice  Vol. 2, No. 6 (November 7)


The Voice Vol. 2, No. 5 (October 31)



The Voice Vol. 2, No. 4 (Oct 24)

The Voice Vol. 2, No. 1 (3/10/05)


The Voice Vol. 1, No. 52 (26/9/2005)


The Voice Vol. 1, No. 51 (19/9/2005)


The Voice Vol. 1, No. 50 (12/9/2005)


The Voice Vol. 1, No. 49 (5/9/2005)

The Voice Vol 1, No. 48, Aug 29

The Voice Vol. 1, No. 47 (22/8/2005)



The Voice 15/8/2005~19/8/2005



The Voice 11/7/2005


The Voice
4/7/2005

 
The Voice 27/6/2005



The Voice 20/6/2005



The Voice 13/6/2005

 

The Voice 6/6/2005

 The Voice 2/5/2005

·          Feasibility studies for another highway road linking Thaton town in southeast Burma and Thantaung in lower Burma stretching in the eastern side of the Sittaung River is underway, said the executive engineer from public works department. The new highway road will become a part of the India-Burma-Thailand three country highway. Construction works for the first part of the three-country highway, starting from Myawaddy near Thai-Burma border to Thaton, have been in progress. 

·          Burma to hold auditions for Myanmar Idol 2005 in June.

·          New Zealand to accept more Burmese students and New Zealands immigration minister said that the regulations will be relaxed for foreign students to enter into New Zealand and take up part-time jobs.

·          Bangkok Airways to increase its regular flights to Rangoon, from current 1 flight per day to two flights per day, starting from November and using new Air Bus A320 aircraft. Air Bagan is approaching Bangkok Airways for co-operation in flight routes, said the sales executive from Bangkok Airways.

·          Temperature in Burma is high this summer, but would not reach record high like in 1998 when the highest temperature reached 44.C in Rangoon, said the deputy D.G for meteorological department. Central Burmas Myinchan town is experiencing a 44.C heat since the third week of April. The snows in northernmost Burmas mountains have melted and the water levels in the rivers have increased, creating good environmental conditions, the deputy D.G said.  

·          Although about 1500 tons of onions were exported to Malaysia and Indonesia in 2004-2005 season, there were no disruption in local supplies and local prices, said the wholesales market sources. Private companies with owned farmland reclaimed for restricted crops exports purpose were allowed to export the restricted crops such as onion and sesame seeds.

·          Plantation labourers in southern plantations are mostly from central regions said the plantation owners in southern Burmas coastal region. The local people in coastal region tend to work in fishing industry due to better pay on the fishing boats (kyats 1500-2500 per day) than the plantations, said a businessman in the region.

·          Hlaing Thayar Industry Zone in Rangoon to be awarded as ASEAN’s best Industrial Zone, said the zone’s chairman. Hlaing Thayar Industrial zone was selected for its good town plan, ready accommodations for workers, good water supply and no pollution, said the chairman.

·          Burma could earn US$ 5 millions in 2004-05, from the exports of restricted crops such as onion, sesame seeds, peanuts, and castors, said the sources from ministry of commerce.

·          Relatives of the Shan leaders, who announced independent Shan State, are not being arrested and detained in Burma, the minister for information said in the news conference on 17th April.

·          Burma has no chemical weapons and will not break the treaty on international convention on chemical weapons control, said the minister for information at a news conference on 22nd April.

·          Burmas anti malaria department under the ministry of health, with the aid from Global Fund, to distribute anti-mosquito pills to medicate the mosquito nets, said a doctor from the health department.  PSI is currently distributing the pills. 

·          Myawaddy Travel & Tours (owned by UMEHL) has taken over the airport transfer service business from Phoenix Travel Service (owned by MI) since January.

·          Irrawaddy Flotilla company has donated US$ 50,000 to the U Hla Tun cancer hospice in Mandalay.

·          Unlicensed vendors in Chaung Tha beach will face kyats 50,000 fines and one-month imprisonment, said the local authorities. The garbage from the vendors, such as fish bones, lobster heads and barbecue sticks, are causing injuries to the beach comers, said a stall owner at the beach.

·          FAO to participate in the forestry co-operation between Burma, Laos and Vietnam, said the assistant representative of FAO.

·          Burma is exporting Tilapia fishes to Saudi Arabia, UAE and England, said a director from fisheries department. Tilapia fish exports earn US$ 890,000 this year, said the director. Burma is promoting Tilapia fish farming in the country.

·          Burma approves limited culture farming of Hawaii White Shrimp (Vannamei) in Ngwesaung area. A shrimp virus could cause great damages to the white shrimp farms and also could seriously affect the environment, said the shrimp farming industry sources.

·          The British Council has announced in April that the English Teachers Conference will be held on 14th and 15th May in Rangoons Sedona Hotel. All the English Teachers are invited. The upcoming conference is the 7th conference conducted yearly by the British Council.

 

The Voice 25/4/2005

·          Another 369 mile long international class highway road linking Rangoon and Mandalay will be built to the west of existing highway road, said the senior executive engineer from ministry of construction. Preparation works such as surveying and demarcation works have been completed, said the official. The new highway road construction works were assigned in 1996 to private companies such as Yuzana, Services International, Naing Yadanar and Delta Myanmar, but the project did not materialise.

·          Construction works for the first phase of Burmas biggest pharmaceutical factory near Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) has completed, said an official from ministry of industrial 1.

·          Burma to reduce the number of seamen employment agencies said the director general of directorate of water transport. There are over 60,000 registered Burmese seamen and about 14700 seamen left Burma in 2004/05 for employment abroad. Since 1997, over 12000 Burmese seamen left Burma every year to work abroad.

·          Burma earned Euro 1.6 million from teak tender sales on 28th March. A total of 44 companies; 13 companies from Europe, 8 companies from Singapore, 5 from Japan, 1 from India, 1 from Malaysia and 7 from Burma, competed in buying 1300 tons of teak logs.

·          Mr. Steven James Winter from the National Geographic Magazine travels to Burma for the third time, starting from 18/4/2005. He would stay in Burmas delta region for 41 days and would study and record the culture, geography, animals and plants and traditions of the region. The Magazine has published an article about gold hunters and the wildlife and beauty of Hukaung Valley in northern Burma Kachin State in its April 2004 issue.

·          Myanmar Timber Enterprise has announced that all companies, which have signed contracts with MTE, will have to sign new contracts with MTE in the new financial year. MTE has urged all the companies to make payments for the outstanding balances.

·          Shop owners in the Yuzana Plaza have made a petition to the plaza owner, to postpone the rise of shop rents until businesses have improved. The plaza owner informed shop owners in March that the rents will be increased about 1 ½ to 2 times than the current prices and one-year lease contracts have to be signed. The shop owners said businesses have been slow and it is not possible for them to make a one-time payment for a one-year contract. 

·          Two sugar mills, the Bee Lin and Zeyawaddy Sugar Mills, owned by Myanma Sugar Cane Enterprise under the ministry of agriculture have been transferred to ministry of industry 1. Myanma Sugar Enterprise has recently transferred Oak Kan Sugar Mill to UMEHL and Taung Zin Aye Sugar Mill to MEC.

·          MAPT (Myanma Agriculture Produce Trading) is conducting a survey on hydrogen cyanide contamination (HCN) in the butter beans produced in Burma. Burma exported about 90,000 tons of butter beans to Korea and Japan in 2003/04 and earned about US$ 2.4 millions.

·          Foundry factories in the industrial zones across Burma would start operating in April, said an exhibition from the ministry of industry 1, at the armed forces day.

·          Portable engine-driven air compressor rental services, which are use to pump water from artesian wells, doing brisk business in Rangoon where an acute power shortage is occurring. The rental charges are kyats 3000 (US$ 3.3) per hour and can pump about 500 gallons of water per hour.

·          A workshop on “Turning border trade into normal trade” was conducted in the Thai-Burma border town of Myawaddy on 30th March.

·          Burma is promoting Tilapia fish breeding, aimed at supplying for local consumption and exports.

·          Bus fares from Rangoon to Mandalay before and during the water festival rose 3 times than the normal fare, form kyats 4500 to kyats 12,000.

 

The Voice 14/3/2005

·          Construction works for the upper Paung Laung hydropower project begin in March. The project is the subsequent project of Burmas second biggest Paung Laung hydropower project, which was projected to generate 280 megawatts of electricity. The subsequent project will generate 140 megawatts of electricity. Burma is projected to generate a total of 1880.733 megawatts of electricity, after all the ongoing power projects are completed.

·          Suntac Technologies Ltd, a private owned company, will build an international class convention hall on Pyay Road near the People’s Park.

·          Mandalays 78th Main Road has turn into a new downtown area of Mandalay, with new late 20th century style buildings and the Mandalay Information & Computer Technology Park (MICT), replacing the old 84th Main Road which only has old buildings and conventional businesses. Mandalays young generations flock to the 78th main road for IT and entertainment facilities.

·          The British Council will replace white boards with Electronic Boards after the water festival, said a student from BC.  BC will become the first to use Electronic Boards in Burma.

·          Indian tourists are entering Burma from the new border gate in Nantparlon on India-Burma border. Tamu border gate is the most popular entry point for Indian tourists, who can enter Burma with a 15-day visa and travel to inland cities like Mandalay.

·          Lai Lai Hotel in Chaung Thar beach will spend kyats 3000 million for the hotel expansion. Lai Lai Hotel has rented the 70 rooms hotel and 27 acres of land from the ministry of tourism since 1997.

·          Actions will be taken against the shark hunters, said a notice from the ministry of fisheries posted at the Pathein fishery office in Burmas delta. Local village authorities are urged to inform the fishermen about the ban on shark hunting, said the notice. Shark populations have dwindled dramatically in Burma, due to illegal shark hunting.

·          Burmas ministry of fisheries has entered into joint venture with Chinas Zhoashan Dahyo company on a trial marine caged farming for marine fishes such as butterfish and red snapper. 

·          Two Burmese companies, Soe Electronic Machinery Company and IBTC International Beverages Trading Company, will receive ISO certifications in April, said an officer from Asia Pacific Inspection Agency.

·          The employers in Malaysia are exploiting on workers from Burma, said a worker in Malaysia. Burmese workers were told by the employment agencies in Burma that 200 Ringgits will be cut from their monthly salary for a period of 9 months as agent fees, but the workers are facing salary cuts after the 9 months period. Some workers have not received overtime pays as promised and in worst cases, they receive only food allowances after working. Most of the Burmese overseas workers going to Malaysia after 2003 are on credit contracts with the employment agencies. 

·          A group of Burmese workers in Malaysias Jahor Baru State are trying to sue their employer, Teh Teik Boay Furnishing Factory, for not paying them in the last 8 months. The 14 Burmese workers said they receive only Ringgit 100 per month for food money in the last 8 months from their employer.

·          The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company resumes its Pandaw Cruises starting from 12th March. The Road to Mandalay cruises and Pandaw 1947 cruises were operating regularly while the company was working on license application with the related ministries in February.

Car prices in Rangoon are up due to buyers from the provinces who get good prices for their exportable pulses and beans. Pulses and beans prices are up due to the buying for exports by China border trade.

 
The Voice 21/2/2005

·          Burmas fishery federation has invited 4 professors from the Bangkok based AIT (Asian Institute of Technology), and conducted a workshop on Tilapia breeding on 14th & 15th February. The four professors, one British, two Chinese and one Nepalese, presented research papers on modern Tilapia breeding.

·          Burma to form SME (Small & Medium Enterprise) development committee to help develop the SME sector in the country, said professor Daw Nu Nu Yin of Rangoon’s Economics Institute. A small SME Club was established in 2002 with some entrepreneurs and had conducted seminars & workshops, but the club was disbanded later.

·          Burma and China to conduct joint geological surveys along the China-Burma border.

·          Sea turtles conservation training to be held soon on Kayetgyi Island in Burma delta’s Bogalay Township.  The 10-day course is organised by fishery department and will study natural habitats of the sea turtles along Burmas coastal.

·          A local owned Interconnection Co., has leased from the government and has been operating the Pandaw cruise ship along the Irrawaddy River since 2004. The ship was built in 1947 in Scotland. The Irrwaddy Flotilla Co., owned by a Scottish name Paul Strachan, chartered the ship from the Burmese government and operated river cruises along the Irrawaddy River, attracting many tourists. The company became very successful with the river cruises and had built 4 more new ships in Burma. Irrawaddy Flotilla stopped all its businesses in Burma last year and moved to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and India.

·          Burmas ministry of commerce has issued a new announcement, setting cars’ model (year made) for applying car import license. Import license applications will be considered only for buses and trucks built after 1998, pick-ups and mini-buses built after 2000 and saloons, sedans, vans & wagons built after 2002.

·          A paper mill in Ma-u-bin Township in Burmas delta, jointly built by China Yunnan Corporation and Burmese government owned Myanma Jute Enterprise, will annually produce 5000 tons of white paper.

·          Burmas seafarers association is planning to establish a home for the aged seamen.

·          Burma exported US$ 15 million worth of mud crabs to Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2003/04.

·          Burma building 8 more CNG gas stations in Rangoon and is turning the city buses into natural gas vehicles.

·          Ruby Dragon Jade and Gems Company, an affiliate of the ethnic Pa’O cease-fire group from southern Shan State special region (6) and headed by its economic co-ordinator U Nay Win Tun, is planning to grow onions in Shan State for exports. The company is also an affiliate of Jade Dragon Company.

·          Korea International Co-operation Agency KOICA has given US$ 300,000 for central region greening project. The project will plant 815 acres of forest plantations in central dry zone and Korea will supply machinery and training for the project staff.

·          Burma has potentials to increase the productions of marine products, said an article on Burmas fishery sector.

·          Rangoon Institute of Technology will supply private entrepreneurs with technologies to produce low costs construction materials, made from locally available raw materials. The products, ranging from roofing sheets to partition walls, can be produced from fibres from banana plants, coconut shells, pine apple leaves and used papers.

·          Burma to try seashells and oysters farming in western Rakkhine State, with technology and breeder oysters imported from China.

 
The Voice 14/2/2005

·          Irrawaddy Flotilla Company to cease its operation in Burma. The company has operated Pandaw river cruises between Mandalay & Bagan. The company’s flag ship Pandaw (1) was built in Scotland in 1947 and the company had hired the vessel from the government. The company later built Pandaw (2) & Pandaw (3) and had successfully operated between Pyi-Mandalay-Bagan-Banmaw route. On 2003, the two vessels were brought to Thailand & Vietnam.  A local private company is now hiring Pandaw (1) from the government and operating near Mandalay.

·          Asia World Port, to most successful private owned port in Rangoon, to expand it’s berthing space in 2005 on a 14-acre land adjoining the port.

·          Air Bagan, which becomes successful in a short time in Burmas air travel industry, plans to fly charter flights to any town which has airfields, said a company executive. The charter flights are intended for foreign tourists and northern Burma's snowy areas are targetted areas to attract foreing skiers, said travel industry sources.

·          Burma to establish animal check points in Shan States Tarchileik & Mine Yang to check for foot & mouth disease on imported and exported animals.

·          Burma laid down water resources development policies and is working according to the policies to protect its rivers and water resources, said the meteorology department D.G.

·          Burmas football federation’s chairmanship has been transfer to U Zaw Zaw of Max Myanmar Company from U Win Aung of Dagon International Company. U Zaw Zaw is also the chairman of Burmas Tennis Federation.

·          Export earnings from pulses and beans export may increase if there are infrastructure developments to produce value-added products, the industry sources said. The most prospective beans for increased exports are Soya beans and Green Mung beans, said the businessmen. Burma urgently needs to use modern machinery, such as colour sorter, to upgrade its pulses and beans, said the industry sources.

 

The Voice 7/2/05

·          Burma to export 500,000 tons of rice this year. 8 private companies, which are involve in big-scale paddy farming, are being allowed to export rice, said a rice merchant. Among them are Ayar Shwe War & Thein Swe & Brothers companies.

·          Thailands Board of Investment to visit Burma from 22nd February to 25th February. Will visit Pa-an, Moulmein & Hlaing Tharyar Industrial zones.

·          A new island emerged in Rakkhine State after the Asian tsunami. The highest point of the new island rises 20 feet above sea level, said the fishermen in the area.

·          Nawadday Hotel & Tourism Company, which is owned by UMEHL, is building the Central Ngwe Saung Hotel, in Ngwe Saung beach. The hotel is said to become one of Burmas best hotels.

·          Philippines Airlines is planning to sign an agreement with the Burmese government to fly to Rangoon. 14 foreign airlines are currently flying to Burma.

·          Burma to introduce Rice-Shrimp farming method in its paddy fields. Fresh water shrimps are to be farmed simultaneously with paddy. Baby fresh water shrimps cost kyats 10/pcs, compare to kyats 4/pcs for seawater shrimps, due to higher production costs and longer duration to hatch baby fresh water shrimps.

·          Burmas mineral prospecting department & Chinas Hainan Jiayi Export & Import Co., Ltd to jointly conduct copper & other minerals prospecting in Burma northern Kachin State.

·          Private owned Asia World Port Terminal in Rangoon handles 43% of the cargo containers arriving & departing Burma. The port is the number one port in Burma with 620 meters long berthing wharf. Burma has 3 others international cargo terminals, which are Thilawa Port, Bo Aung Kyaw Port & Myanmar Industrial Port.

·          Burma & Thailand negotiating for crabs & shells export to Thailand directly from Rangoon.

·          Western Rangoons township authorities have ordered household employers & shop owners to register their maids & employees with the township police station & local authorities. There have been increased crimes in Rangoon which involve house maids & shop employees.

·          Burma & Thailand to co-operate in Soya bean plantations project in Burma. Burma is the forth-biggest Soya beans exporter in the world.

·          A new international class resort hotel in Chin States Mindut Town will be opened in April.

·          Burmese authorities say they have released the 82-year old U.S citizen, who staged a lone protest last month in front of the city hall in Rangoon, out of goodwill towards international relations & due to old age of the protestor.

·          Local private media companies have been invited to the recent government’s news conference. 

·          Seamen who are going abroad for employment have to attend HIV/AIDS awareness courses before leaving Burma, said a seaman.

·          Burma to breed Hawaii white shrimps starting this year, said the general secretary of shrimp farmers association. Burmas conventional tiger shrimp farmers are facing difficulties in competing with the Hawaii white shrimps, which are gaining popularity in the world market due to its low costs & higher yield (double) compare to the tiger shrimps.

·          Burmas seafarers association to build another international class golf course near the Than Hlyin Bridge in Tharketa. The new course will be compatible to Pun Hlaing Golf Course, which is considered to be the best golf course in Burma, said the association officials.

·          Burmese government perennial crops enterprise sold (by auctions), 952 tons of rubber with over kyats 8900 lakhs to 4 private companies for exports. Rubber fetches US$ 1100-1300 per ton in international market.

·          There are about 25,000 unregistered (without) vehicles in Burma, estimated Police Chief Khin Yee. The authorities are asking (without) car owners to surrender their cars before 31st March. A total of 3400 vehicles have been surrendered all over Burma since last November.

·          The government’s irrigation department has demanded kyats 90 per gallon for waters taken from the water dams, from fish farmers in central Burma’s Mandalay & Sagaing Divisions, said a fish farmer in central Burma. The farmer complained that a farmer with 4 feet by feet pond would have to pay kyats 90,000 for waters taken from the water dams.

 
The Voice 31/1/2005

·          An Austrian based investment firm has visited Ngwe Saung beach on 19th January, to study the possibilities for investment in estates for the elderly people from Europe, said the company’s senior investment officer Mr. Helmut Deuitchler.

·          Candi Craig Hotel in May Myo will be transferred to Kappa group. The Kappa group owns the Pagan’s Tharabar Hotel & Ngapali’s Beach Resort Hotel.

·          Madalay Inwa Hotel will be transferred to Htoo Trading Company. Htoo Trading owns an international class hotel in Ngwe Saung Beach and is building another international hotel on a large land plot near Pagan Golf Course in Pagan.

·          Post graduate (master class) student visas to U.K are 100% sure to obtain, said Dr. Nay Win Naung of Nawarat Education Co-op Ltd at an education seminar on 22nd January, quoting the words of British Ambassador to Burma. Nawarat Education is working with Wigan & Leigh College (UK) in providing post graduate courses in UK for Burmese students. 

·          Burmas exports have been increasing yearly and there are trade surplus since 2001-2002 due to correct trade policies by the government, said an official from UMFCCI at the opening ceremony for trade courses offered by UMFCCI. Burmas exports up from kyats 16 billion in 96/97 to kyats 35 billion in 2002/03, said the official.

·          There are no fish poisoning in the tsunami affected areas in Burmas Irrawaddy Delta and people are eating fish as usual, said a resident in the area. FAO has issued a statement, saying that it is safe to eat fish in the tsunami affected areas in Asia and there are no sign of Biotoxin in the area. 

·          FAO to assist Burma in building two Soya bean oil factories in Burma, said a staff from the organisation. The Soya Bean Oil factories will be built in Mandalay & Magwe (or) Pegu divisions, said the staff.

·          Burma imports rubber flooring parquet from Australia on a trial basic, to compete with Koreas Vinyl flooring which dominates Burma market, said the company which imports the flooring parquet from Australia.

·          A big factory for disposable syringe & dextrose, will open soon in InnYaung village near Kyauk Se, Mandalay Division.  Investment for the factory was US$ 6 mil and kyats 4232 mil, and the factory output capacity is 30 million disposable syringes and 2.5 mil destrose I.V per year.

·          A new road linking Matupi and Palekwa in southern Chin State is under construction, said the military strategic officer of Chin State.

·          Onion grew by private companies are on their way for export, said an officer from ministry of commerce.

·          A child had died recently from eating boiled tapioca, said a doctor at the Children Hospital in Rangoon. There are Cyanide toxins in raw tapioca, said the doctor and she advised that tapioca should be boiled with the lid of the boiling pot opened.

·          Himalaya Company will build a resort hotel in Min Dut Town in Chin State.

·          Burma to use satellite images to estimate crops output, said Credent Technology, which supply the technology to the Burmese government.

 
The Voice 24/1/2005

·          Burmas new private owned Air Bagan, which becomes successful in a short time, gets two more ATR aircraft for its fleet. Air Bagan is flying with its Fokker 100 aircraft. The airline is also expanding its flights to Pathein in delta region, starting from 8th January.

·          Rangoon UNICEF has enough medicine and medical supplies for one year for Burmas tsunami victims, said UNICEF’s public relation officer.

·          Burmas private owned Royal Mail Express Service changes its logo because the old logo was similar to a mail delivery service in Britain.

·          The India based World Peace Foundation will come and grow organic food & plants in Burma for Europe market. The NGO will grow rice, corn, pulses and beans, fruits and vegetables. The NGO is seeking 1 million acres of land near Rangoon.

·          Pho Kyar Resort (elephant camp) in central Burma near Taungoo, receives enough guests, said a tour operator. Current season is elephant training season.

·          Burma to issue mango export licenses within 24 hours to promote mangoes exports, said a ministry of commerce officer.

·          Preserved foods produced in Burma, such as canned food, tamarind fruit cordials, dried shrimps, dried and preserved bamboo shoots, sausages and jams, have excessive lead content and they are not save to consume, said Dr. Phyu Phyu Aung of medical research in a seminar in Rangoon.

·          Cease-fire groups are urged to plant 10,000 acres of rubber each by the government.

·          Burmas private sector will be allowed to export 30,000 tons of rice through UMFCCI, said the Chamber sources.

·          American Saffron becomes opium substitute crop in Kachin State, said a Kachin co-operative society.

4 Singapore companies, Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprise Pte Ltd, Virval Global Trade Pte Ltd, Growth Pte Ltd and MP Global Pte Ltd, buy pulses and beans worth US$ 86.88 million from Burma in a recent Burmas Co-operatives Show

 

The Voice 17/1/2005

·          Burma to build another Irrawaddy River crossing bridge near Bagan archaeological site. The bridge will become 10th Irrawaddy crossing bridge.

·          Bagan Tharabar Hotel group signed co-operation agreement with the Road to Mandalay river cruise. The Road to Mandalay river cruise was invested by U.K’s Eastern & Oriental Company and the company last year also bought the shares of Pansea Hotel Group.

·          Mandalay City Hospital will open soon. The hospital is said to be the most modern hospital in Burma.

·          Iran has provided relief aid for Burma tsunami victims. A plane carrying 600 tons of relief aid arrived Rangoon airport on 8th January.

·          Burma received Euro 1.6 million from recent teak sales by tender system in December, announced the government’s Myanmar Timber Enterprise. 12 European companies, 2 Singapore companies, 6 Hong Kong companies, 5 Japanese companies, 1 Indian company, 1 Malaysia company, 9 Thai companies and 12 Burmese companies, a total of 57 companies competed in the tender sales of 1000 tons of teak.

·          Burmas ministry of energy says Burma can save US$ 5.5 million a year by switching to use CNG (compress natural gas) in Burma. Burma has 455822 cars and by saving 1 gallon of petrol/diesel per car per month, the country can save US$ 5.5 million in fuel imports, said the news from the ministry. Burma spends about US$ 300 million per year on diesel and petrol imports. Burma is changing 5000 city buses into CNG vehicles in Rangoon.

·          Rangoons industrial zones lack architectural design composition due to commercial constraints, said a lecturer from Rangoon institute of technology at the seminar on ‘Formation of a Design Guidelines for Industrial Planning in Rangoon.

·          Burma ministry of forests will scrutinise illegal timber trading both for local use and exports, said the minister for forestry at the annual meeting of the timber merchants association. The association’s annual report said timber merchants are responsible for reforestation works in the country.

·          Burma opens forestry museum on 3rd January at the forestry department compound in Rangoon.

·          Burmas forestry department has been working on conservation of tidal forests, in co-operation with JICA, said an official from JICA.

·          Ethnic Naga tribes in Rangoon held “Naga New Year Celebration” at a Naga’s residence in Hlaing Tharyar. There are about 100 Naga people in Rangoon, who are mostly students, government employees and Christian missionaries.

·          Rice prices up. Onion prices slightly up. Garlic & potato prices up.

·          Commodity prices are cool at Mandalay wholesales market. Border trades at China border have been slow, with very few imports. There are some exports to China but the export prices are low.

 

The Voice 10/1/2005

·          The famous U Pein Bridge, one of Burmas few popular tourist site, will be repaired by Diamond Palace Company. Some sections of the bridge were damaged in last monsoon flooding. U Pein, who served Pagan King as a city clerk, constructed the bridge in 1849. 1086 teak posts were use to construct the 3967 feet long bridge. The Diamond Palace company constructed the Naung Cho section of the Mandalay-Lashio-Muse highway road.

·          Burma is arranging to export pulses and beans directly to India, not via Singapore, said the minister for commerce at the annual meeting of the pulses and beans merchants on 30th December.  India is Burmas biggest buyer, with 72% of Burmas pulses and beans go to India. Additional US$ 20 per ton is costing Burma, for the exports which go via Singapore, said the minister.

·          Burma is the world’s second biggest exporter of pulse and beans with exports of 12.1 thousand tons of pulses and beans, said the commerce minister. But, the minister said that Japanese ministry of health informed Burma that Burmas pulses and beans exports to Japan were contaminated with Cyanide and Burmas exports of pulses and beans need to be value added. Burma earns 40% of its export earnings from pulses and beans exports.

·          Burmas passports section announced on 5th January that it will issue passports for Burmese women who seek employment abroad. Passports will be issued within a week from the application date, said the announcement.

·          A Malaysian Company named Golden Adequate Sdn. Bhd will breed ostriches in Burma, in joint venture with the government’s agriculture and animal breeding enterprise. Previous trial breeding in Burma, both by private and government enterprises, were not successful said an officer from the enterprise.

·          Burma to allow the private sector to import CNG automobiles. The ministry of commerce on 31st December announced specifications for the CNG automobiles.

·          The increases in the heavy machinery usage in jade mining in Parkant area are causing employment losses for local labourers, said a jade broker from Parkant.

·          Burmas meteorological department has detected 38 aftershocks after the massive earthquake on 26th December until 28th December, said the department’s deputy D.G.

·          OPEC has granted an aid package worth US$ 12.3 million to help oil crops farmers in 36 townships of Burma.

·          An environmental conservation exhibition booth was included in the students fair, which was held from 28th December to 3rd January. Burmas birds and nature society has displayed the photos and information of rare and endangered bird species and other environmental awareness materials at the booth.

·          Burmas ministry of construction is planning to auction bridge toll collection licenses for highway bridges, for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The government earns kyats 5 billion in 2004-2005 from toll collection license fees for the 73 bridges around the country. The bridge toll collection licenses are auction annually to private companies.

·          The government has auctioned licenses for toll collection at 103 highway tollbooths on 43 public highways around the country. Private companies have started collecting tolls on the public highways, starting from 1st January.

·          FAO Library in Rangoon FAO office is open to the public for free, said the librarian at the library.