Category Archives: Business

Biotechnology to Turn Assam into an Organic Hub

Guwahati Biotech Park

Galvanized by the boon of biotechnological application elevating the economic potential and scenario, the state of Assam has welcomed the Guwahati Biotech Park by laying the foundation stone of its Technology Incubation Center.

Assam is the northeastern paradise of natural resources—microbial, medicinal, plant and animal species correctly acknowledged and recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspot regions. Naturally endowed with resources and crops of rich commercial value and economic viability, the bio-resource potential of the region is vast.

Tapping onto its plethora of natural gems and organic farming skills, Assam’s Chief Minister Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal perceive biotechnology as an instrumental tool in enhancing value creation and production, and most importantly in leading Assam as an organic hub.

He believes that application oriented science is the new, rewarding and smarter way of life, triggering the state’s competency in capturing the organic market of the Southeast Asian region.

Skilled and proficient in traditional methods of farming, biotechnological intervention in the same would ensure more productivity and better wealth prospects, particularly in Assam’s agro based industry.

The technology incubation center is being established with a view to integrate and instill a scientific culture of biotechnology. This knowledge-based sector of biotech is being lauded as an emblem of progress, employment and an economic booster, leading and impacting the state’s social and economic development goals.

Pronouncing Assam as an important gateway to Southeast Asia, Mr. Sonowal encourages the youth and the people in general to embrace and develop science based skills and evolve their entrepreneurial development. In effect, generating and promoting business in biotechnology, enhancing research and development activities, as well as augmenting the prospects and scale of biotech industry, is the driving force behind the setting up of Technology Incubation Center of Guwahati Biotech Park.

2017 Horasis Asia Meeting to Promote Business in Mandalay

2017 Horasis Asia Meeting

An international conference organised to beckon business leaders and government representatives to boost Mandalay’s business landscape was held in Kolkata, India recently.

Mandalay – the second largest city in Myanmar – is considered the economic powerhouse and cultural hub of Myanmar.

Speaking at the 2017 Horasis Asia Meeting, Chief Minister of Mandalay Region Government Dr. Zw Myint Maung urged foreign participants to invest in this central region of Myanmar for it is the nerve centre of the country with its commercial activities, educational and health domain being its primary growth drivers. He solicited and advised delegates to chart a business course to amplify and reap from the development opportunities of Mandalay.

Themes permeating the session comprised ‘Start-ups and Entrepreneurship’, ‘Partnerships in Competition’ and ‘Knowledge as a Public Good’.

The Horasis Asia Meeting annually invites representatives and delegates from developing and developed markets to Asia’s seminal business congregation to bolster investment prospects, regional cooperation while ensuring sustainable growth opportunities. In 2017, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Government of West Bengal jointly hosted the Horasis Asia Meeting later in November.

Myanmar’s cordiality with India and vice versa, got re-affirmed with the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Myanmar wherein he offered Government of India’s support in restoring and revamping the Ananada Temple that got severely damaged due to the forces of earthquake. Thus, Mr. Maung expressed, optimism between the two nations and greeted India’s policies – Neighbourhood First and Act East Policy – as the integrative podium of better and stronger relations between both the countries.

Asia IoT Business Platform Launches in Myanmar

Asia IoT Business Platform

Transitory waves in Myanmar’s business and economic sphere are evident through its development graph and an incessant interest evinced by the global communities. With passably paced infrastructural growth and expansion, the subsequent moves are driving toward digitisation to advance the economic paradigm of the nation.

To enhance business productivity and efficiency through the use of services such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IOT), Asia IoT Business Platform has entered Myanmar to explore the potential of these services in Myanmar and engage companies with its benefits.

This platform is an educational and a collaborative medium to seek, learn and benefit from the IoT Industry reigning in the South East Asian region. With central focus on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things(IoT) Technology, Asia IoT Business Platform aims to enable efficient, effectual and competent business solutions across multiple industries and sectors in Myanmar and other South East Asian countries.

Singapore firm: Industry Platform Private Limited, vital to telecommunication sector made the announcement of Asia IoT Business Platform’s launch in Myanmar. This was affirmed by the support extended by the ministries of Commerce, Education, Industry, and Transport and Communication.

Myanmar’s current stand is aspirational and is in a constant move to rapidly grow and progress. Thus, for Myanmar to vault into new technologies and greater economic opportunities, four priority areas have been outlined – integration with the global sphere, digitisation of infrastructural services, transition to manufacturing domain and growth in urbanization.

Director of Industry Platform Private Limited, Mr. Irza Fauzan Suprapto stated, “Myanmar is at an interesting crossroad for telecommunications and digital transformation. While basic ICT infrastructure is being developed and completed, awareness on a digital strategy is crucial for local firms to grow and maximize the potential of ICT and IoT in their operations.”

Mobile Money operations are adequately active in Myanmar with Telenor’s Wave Money and Ooredo’s M-Pitesan – major telecom operators – geared to launch their operations soon. The platform had speakers from Asia Green Development Bank, Ooredoo Myanmar, KBZ Bank, First Private Bank, Telenor Myanmar, MPTKSGM, Yoma Bank and Aya Bank, engage with mobile money sector.

The Asia IoT Business Platform with its industry programme showcased case studies highlighting the benefits of IoT and IoC through educational technology, road safety measures and more.

IFFCO Signs MOU with Sikkim to Diversify its Business

Dr U S Awasthi
Dr. U S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO

With wide-ranging business interests and models, India’s biggest processed fertilizer cooperative – IFFCO has expressed its plans to explore business possibilities and opportunities across the organic food market segment and food processing sector. Constantly striving to expand, diversify and mature its business canvas, IFFCO has inked an agreement with the Government of Sikkim with an initial investment of Rs.200 crore, which shall increase to Rs.500 crore gradually.

In this joint venture, IFFCO shall hold the majority stake of 51 percent equity and 49 percent equity shall be held by the Government of Sikkim.

For this venture, the superlative technological expertise and innovative knowledge of Aquagri Processing Private Limited have been leveraged by IFFCO and Aquagri’s 50 percent shareholding has also been acquired for Rs.11 crore for the purpose of creating value additions in the food processing sector.

Reputed for harvesting natural sea plants, with particular emphasis on seaweed cultivation, Aquagri’s innovative solutions, apart from adding values to the industries of animal husbandry, food processing, and agriculture, are also a potential source of ameliorating community living through employment generation.

One of the significant engagements of Aquagri revolves around the development of organic product portfolio by making use of humic substances, bio actives and alternate sources of nutrition.

One of the pivotal products – a biostimulant – SAGARIKA, developed collectively by Aquagri and IFFCO, has been appreciated and valued by the farmers for espousing qualities that enhance crop productivity and is capable of resisting stress.

Capitalizing on this union, IFFCO is all prepared and energized to exhibit a variety of organic and nonchemical based products for crop nutrition. With the vision to enrich the entire northeastern region as a mega organic agricultural zone, Sikkim’s MOU with IFFCO has led the state in being responsible for facilitating the industrial level mass production and packaging of the organic products.

The accessibility and the reach of the products within the length and breadth of the northeastern region shall be taken care of by two IFFCO e-bazar centers in all the RainbowStates as planned by IFFCO.

Dr. U S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO remarks, “Nobel ventures and good ideas which don’t result in profitable enterprises are quickly forgotten, as they are not sustainable. We are looking forward to exploring the organic opportunities across the country.”

First Foreign Company Set to Build Oil and Gas Supply Base in Myanmar

Oil and Gas Supply Base

Singapore‘s MOSB Limited -Myanmar Offshore Supply Base, has been granted authorization to set up an oil and gas supply base, becoming the first overseas company to do so in the Mon State of Myanmar.

Myanmar has welcomed this project with great energy and enthusiasm as it gets approved and endorsed by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

With this arrangement, the oil and gas industry in Myanmar is expected to boom and impact the communities around by furnishing employment opportunities as well as aid in providing infrastructure, health and education facilities. Also, the travel time shall get substantially reduced, thereby, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

The Executive Chairman of MOSB, Mr. Leonard Oh, stated, “The planned offshore supply base would reduce the traveling time for oil and gas companies with Myanmar operations, who would otherwise have to travel to Singapore or Thailand.”

Contributing to the growth and expansion of Myanmar’s economy, MOSB’s efforts and commitment to boosting business shall involve its investment in refining the expansive and widespread infrastructure, transportation and the associated telecommunications.

U Zaw Min Oo, Village Head of Waeka Li Village, Mon State believes, “This will support the local communities by creating a lot of job opportunities, and will most definitely improve our standard of living in many different ways.”

The joint venture between Two Fish Supply Base Limited of Myanmar and 2 Fish (SG) Pte Ltd of Singapore is represented by the MOSB company, engaged in abetting the growth plans of Myanmar.

World Bank appoints Ellen Goldstein as the new director of Myanmar, Cambodia and LAO PDR.

Miss Ellen Goldstein

Miss Ellen Goldstein has been appointed as the new director of Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR by the World Bank. Miss Goldstein’s efforts in promoting peace, prosperity and ending extreme poverty would require her to foster partnerships and deepen relationships with client countries while strengthening economic reforms, to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of her position.

Miss Goldstein is a dual Master degree holder in International Economics and Development Studies from Princeton University, and in International Health and Population Dynamics from John Hopkin’s University.

She has held several meritorious positions prior to this recent appointment. These include – Director for the Western Balkans and Central Asia Region, Director for Bangladesh and Nepal. She has been associated with the World Bank for more than 30 years and has discharged key responsibilities.

Map of Myanmar

With Myanmar liberalizing its economy, welcoming global resources and aggressively connecting with global networks, the World Bank, in placing a Director in Yangon for the first time, has exhibited its deep, engaging interest in Myanmar’s transition to a market-oriented economy.

Miss Goldstein remarked, “I am honored to have been appointed to represent the World Bank in Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR, and look forward to better understanding their unique histories and development paths.”
“Most recently, Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR have seen the fastest economic growth in East Asia. Through our partnership strategy in each country, the World Bank will continue to support inclusive growth that benefits the poor,” stated Miss Goldstein.

With the US $ 2.17 committed by the World Bank in supporting more than 40 active projects in these countries, the World Bank’s inclusive growth mission to benefit the impoverished by providing access to health, nutrition and education facilities, is an integral part of these projects.

CEVA begins operations from its own office in Yangon

CEVA

World’s leading freight management and supply chain management company-CEVA, has opened its office in Myanmar’s capital, Yangon. Prior to this, it had been operating through a network partner in Myanmar. However, now, with its own establishment in Yangon, it has expanded its range, encompassing air and ocean freight facilities, leveraging its global system of One Freight System (OFS).

Myanmar is beaming with business and investment opportunities, and with CEVA‘s office in Myanmar, developing businesses are sure to reap benefits. Accentuating the ease in business flow through its effective supply chain solutions, operations and logistics, and with its proficiency in retail, industrial and consumer sectors, CEVA’s competitive professionalism shall certainly trigger business growth in Myanmar.

CEVA’s Managing Director Mekong Cluster states, “Myanmar is a country with real opportunities for growth. It has a population of 55 million people who are looking at companies like CEVA to provide supply chain services to support their developing business and meet their requirements. In the past, the country’s infrastructure has been a limiting and inhibiting factor but with our global network and more importantly, our experience in emerging markets, especially in this region, we are confident that with our own office and robust IT offerings, we can deliver options and solutions to the market and, at the same time, grow our commercial footprints.”

Revitalising and realigning its economic avenues post its democratic embrace, Myanmar’s export and import trade is expected to grow and escalate.

Worlds Bank Extends Aid to Myanmar by Two Years

The World Bank

Steadfast in its quest to mitigate poverty, unemployment, and to let the business climate of Myanmar keep buzzing with further opportunities, developments and investments, the World Bank has pushed the time frame of its Aid-Programme by two years to 2019, from the initially frozen 2017.

The Senior Economic Advisor of World Bank, Mr. Sjamsu Rahadja stated, “Since 2015, we have provided $3 billion in aid to Myanmar. We have made the commitment to provide aid for two more years after the agreement with State Counsellor and the Ministry of Finance and Planning.”

Driven by its primary goal of alleviating poverty, generating job opportunities and enhancing human capacity, the World Bank’s activities for the extended period involve – developing irrigated farmland spanning 10,000 hectares, electricity access to more than 3 million people and building bridges for connectivity in rural areas. In addition to this, scholarship programmes, preparing Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Report for Oil, Mining and Gas Sectors, are also on the World Bank’s task-list aimed for 2019.

The Public Relations Officer of World Bank Myanmar, Mr. U Kya Soe Lin stated, “To be successful or unsuccessful, the project depends on the public, the beneficiary of the project. By receiving feedback from the public, we will keep working on the project and know what to make our priorities.”

The World Bank’s list of activities also includes disbursal of loan worth $500 million to private sector corporates.

Dentons Law Firm expands its presence in Yangon

Business expansion in Myanmar is driving most of the global company’s investment strategies. The organic landscape of possibilities and potentialities that Myanmar has become synonymous with, is leading global giants in every field to launch their set-up in this newly reformed country.

World’s largest and most renowned law firm – Dentons, has ushered in its presence in the capital city of Myanmar. Dentons in Myanmar shall work in close proximity with Singapore’s prominent law firm-Dentons Rodyk. The new Dentons office has been equipped with a team of seven lawyers and staff led by Mark Livingston, from Livingston Legal.

Global chairman of Dentons, Mr. Joe Andrew stated, “The economic development and democratization of Myanmar has opened up a wealth of inbound and outbound opportunities for our clients from within Asia and around the world.”

The provision of superior, well-structured and dependable legal services through the opening of Dentons Law Firm in Yangon shall catalyze the economic development of Myanmar, and prove to be significant in the progress of an emerging economy.

“At Dentons Myanmar, our team’s deep understanding of the country’s regulatory and business environment will be combined with the direct support, global reach and resources of the world’s largest and leading law firm,” said Mr Livingston. “Being part of this hugely expanded platform will greatly enhance our ability to provide superior services in the Myanmar market, and our clients will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that come with access to global resources and a global network.”

With exuberant demographic dividend of young population of more than 600 million, and the collective GDP of US $ 2.4 trillion, the ASEAN Block is bursting with economic energy and growth plans, making it a thriving business and trading zone.

BHEL bags Rs 10,000 Crore contract from Bangladesh

BHEL

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged its largest-ever export order which is valued at Rs. 10,000 crore. This order is for setting up a thermal power project in Bangladesh. The Indian company was able to win this contract in spite of very hard and competitive bidding. The order has been secured from Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL) which is a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). BHEL is India’s largest power equipment manufacturer. The company has arranged debt financing for the project from Exim bank for which loan agreement between Exim bank and BIFPCL was signed in March 2017.

BHEL’s scope of work in the project includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the 1320 MW thermal sets with ultra-supercritical parameters on turnkey basis. It will also set up a jetty and a river-water intake system. The main equipment to be used by the project will be manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Ranipet, Bhopal, Bangalore and Jhansi plants. The responsibility for the construction and installation activities at site will lie upon the company’s power sector construction division. BHEL has done some projects in Bangladesh earlier as well which include 100 MW Baghabari Gas Turbine Power Project and 2×120 MW Siddhirganj in Bangladesh. It has also set up 220 KV Baghabari & Ishurdi substations.