ASEANEWS HEADLINE: RANGON, Myanmar- Week in Review: State Counsellor woos investors on Japan trip


State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attempted to woo investors during her official visit to Japan, urging them to seize on Myanmar’s new-found economic vibrancy.

“We in Myanmar believe that a quality investment, one that is responsible and sustainable, can and must play a role, and it is for this reason that I value forums such as this,” Daw Aung San Su Kyi said in her speech at the Second Myanmar Investment Conference in Tokyo on Monday.

She was invited to the country by the Japanese government to attend the coronation of Emperor Naruhito and to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss promoting cooperation between the two nations.

“We can offer investors a chance to capitalise on Myanmar’s new-found economic vibrancy. At the same time, it gives us the opportunity to highlight sectors where the right mix of reform, ambition and political will can unlock additional opportunities,” she said.

The Myanmar government is also willing to provide the timely support that is required by investors, she added.

Her visit to Japan marks the third for the State Counsellor. She visited in 2016 to attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and last year to attend the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit.


Chinese consortia win tenders

Two consortia led by Hong Kong-listed VPower and China Energy Engineering Group (CEEC) have won tenders for five projects to meet Myanmar’s power needs next summer.

In June, the Ministry of Energy and Electricity called for tenders for five emergency power projects with the aim of adding 1040 megawatts of electricity by next summer.

Three projects – in Yangon Region’s Thanlyin and Thaketa townships, and Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu township – would use imported liquefied natural gas with guaranteed outputs of 400MW, 350MW, and 150MW, respectively. Two other projects, in Yangon’s Ahlone township and Magwe’s Chauk township, will use government gas to produce 151.5MW and 20.5MW, respectively.

The consortium led by VPower won the projects in Chauk, Thaketa, Thanlyin, and Kyaukphyu, and the consortium led by CEEC won the project in Ahlone.

The ministry that Myanmar’s 20 gas-fired power stations, 62 hydropower plants, and one coal plant are able to supply the electricity needs of around 40 percent of Myanmar’s population.

The ministry announced an increase in electricity rates in July, as the government had been providing power at a loss.

Myanmar’s power demand has been rising by 15-16pc each year, but the ministry said this year’s demand has increased by19pc.


Myanmar tumbles in women’s security index

Myanmar fell 31 places, to 150th this year from 119th last year, on the Women, Peace and Security Index published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Safety.

The index measures women’s wellbeing and empowerment in homes, communities, and society.

“[Myanmar’s] rank of 150th reflects, among other things, the worst rate of organised violence in the region,” according to the index, which cited “systemic, ongoing oppression and gross human rights violations” against minority Muslims in northern Rakhine State.

Statistics gathered by the institute showed that the rate of organised violence against women in Myanmar rose from 0.980 to 1.60 deaths per 100,000, the worst in the region.


In addition, the data showed that only 69 percent of women felt safe in their neighbourhoods at night, down from 76pc in the previous index.

Myanmar also showed poor performance in other indicators in the index, such as women’s education, financial inclusion, employment, cell phone use, legal discrimination, and discriminatory norms. The country was in the bottom quintile of the 167 countries ranked.

Women in Myanmar have little representation in politics, as they hold only 13pc of seats – one in eight – in the Union Parliament. The prevention of violence against women law is also being delayed.

“If [political participation by women is] not happening even when we have a de-facto leader who is a woman, we don’t know when we will see that,” said women activist Ma Thinzar Shunlei Yi.


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