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Jan / 2017 / Vol 15



Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15



Business & Life Style Magazine

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Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Business & Life Style Magazine

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Business & Life Style Magazine


Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Magazine in Myanmar

Joseph Moon, Aung Zaya


Editor in Chief
Shin Sung Hyun
Htet Lynn Lak Soe
David Aung


Graphic Design
Aung Kyaw Myint
Kim Yoon Sung

Registration No
Aung Kyaw Myint


First issue
Appearance -


November 1st, 2015.

A4, saddle, 110 pages,
full color
3,000 Copies Printing

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kakao talk: myankoshin1018

1005, 10F, Yuzana Tower, Shwegondaing junction, Bahan T/S, Yangon1005, 10F,
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Tel : 099 6881 4850 , 097 7061 7640 , 097 7999 8550
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Business & Life Style Magazine


Vol-15 /January /2017





Restaurant Review





Doing Business in Myanmar - Last Frontier


Biz News - Myanmar access to electronic payments


INTERVIEW With U Thura Htet Oo Maung


Mr. Jeon Special


KOICA and More - Korea tries to get global change agenda in Myanmar






MeTTa Capitalism Less is More


KOREA-ASEAN CENTER - Myanmar, First Mover Advantage?!




ASEAN - Now AEC after 1 year




The Korean Treasure Perilla Oil


2016 Asia: GOOD TO BAD


Geo-Politics - New China Silk Road Has Myanmar still got a role?










Italys unique soft power approach to Myanmar






INTERVIEW with Aye Myat Myat Thu


Fashion Review

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Learn Myanmar and be Awesome...


- A meeting of minds Are you a CEO looking to take the next step?
Learn more about the rapidly changing Myanmar program
You can get the beyond CEO Perspectives!


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Contact: Aung Zaya(MYANKORE Advisor) 099 7022 1281

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Daw Nanda Hmun is the Director General of the Department of

Historical Research at the Ministry of Culture of Myanmar. Before that,
she served as Rector of the Myanmar National University of Arts and
Culture. She has been extensively involved in ASEAN affairs concerned
with culture. She was appointed National focal point for the ASEAN
Socio-Cultural Community. Her expertise is cultural administration and
management, an area in which she spent 20 years giving lectures

Dr. Nanda Hmun

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture & Religion
Topic: Understanding Myanmar Culture

and holding workshops. She has been engaged in human rights

mechanism workshops and meetings at local and regional levels, and
is also the Joint Secretary of the Myanmar Historical Commission.

- Read Myanmar through cultural code -

GRACE Swe Zin Htaik is a Myanmar Academy Award-winning actress, acting in over
200 movies throughout her film career, debuting in 1971. She retired from filming in
1991. She currently works with Population Services International, an international NGO
in Burma, focusing on sex and HIV education. Swe Zin Htaik graduated from State
High School No. 2 Sanchaung (now BEHS 2 Sanchaung) and subsequently attended
the Rangoon Institute of Economics, graduating in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in
She promoted an communication campaign launched in 1993 by UNICEF, the Ministry
of Health and the Myanmar Motion Picture Organization. She started working on HIV
prevention in 1999 to reduce the problems of HIV/ AIDS. Swe
Managing Director, Communications Services Group Co., Ltd
Zin Htaik continued to face a two-front battle against the
Topic: Understanding Myanmar Entertainment Industry
spread of HIV/AIDS in Burma.
- Now it's the right time for creative industry -

MD Grace Swe Zin Htike

Dr. Tin Htoo Naing is a Director of Center for Economy, Environment and
Society (CEES Myanmar) and an International Research Associate at AsiaEurope Institute, University of Malaya, Malaysia. He was a visiting lecturer
at Yangon Institute of Economics, a Senior Policy advisor for the Garman
Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ-Myanmar, and a Research Fellow

Dr. Ko Tin Htoo Naing

Director of Center for Economy,
Environment and Society (CEES Myanmar)
Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya
Topic: Where to invest in Myanmar

at University of Turin in Italy. As an economist, he possesses sound knowledge

and broad experiences of providing advisory services for economic policy
making, law drafting and evaluating projects in Myanmar.

A business woman and entrepreneur. Managing Director of Myanmar

Hand in Hand Marketing Services Co., Ltd since 2011. Master of Business
Administration holder.General Management mainly in Client Service,
Business Development and Training.Executive MB of Yangon Institute
of Economics.Market Logistic Partner at Coca Cola Pinya Beverage
Myanmar. Executive Committee at Professional Marketers Association.

MD Aye Myat Myat Thu

Managing Director, Myanmar Hand in Hand
Topic: It's time to blow up HR and build something new.
Here's HOW

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Zin Mar Aung is a NLD MP. Due to her involvement in Burma's democracy movement,
she served 11 years as a political prisoner. She created a cultural impact studies group to
spread the idea that Asian culture and democracy are compatible, as well as a self-help
association for female ex-political prisoners, and Yangon School of Political Science. She
also cofounded a women's empowerment group, and she leads an organization to
raise awareness of issues affecting ethnic minorities in conflict areas.She graduated with
botany subject from University of Distance Education, Yangon.

MP Zin Mar Aung

Topic: Myanmar's roadmap for
game changer

MD Zaw Win Khaing


She is the first woman from Burma who received International Women of Courage award
in 2012. She received the International Women of Courage award in 2012 from U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. Zin Mar Aung
has been working with IFES since April 2012 on womens political empowerment under
the Global Womens Leadership Fund. During a trip to the United States, she spoke with
IFES Senior Gender Specialist Jessica Huber about 2013 International Womens Day and
Myanmars womens movement.

He is a journalist and a writer. He is Managing Director at Yangon Media Group. He

publishes The Yangon Times Journal, Flower News Journal, Democracy Today Daily
Newspaper and YMG Online Broadcasting. He writes about travel, Politics and
Economy. He is a Chief Editor at China Today Magazine. He is also Managing Director
at Brilliant Focus International Travel Co., Ltd. He is studying Executive Master of Business
Administration(EMBA) at Yangon Institute of Economics. He graduated Diploma in Global
English, Yangon Institute of Education and B.Sc (Defense Services Academy, DSA) at
Pyin Oo Lwin.

Myanmar Media's role to understand

and promote between the peoples

Customer Service Specialist, Sales Advisor and Trainer. Senior Consultant at Simitri Group
International, Executive Director at Heptamix Creative Media and Managing Director at
Mahar Shopper Mystery Shopping Services.CEO and Founder of Kudos Business School
and Consultancy Services (KBS). Head of Consumer Electronic Channel in Samsung
Myanmar Office during 2013 and also the Director of Sales and Marketing in Royal
Modern Furniture from 2011 to 2013.
MD Kaung Nyein Soe

Topic: How to prosper when all advantage is fleeting

Strategy for Turbulent Times through consumer behavior


If YOU are interested in the lecture, please send me your CV
including schedule and contents of lecture.
We will reply to you as soon as possible.

099 7022 1281

The best business minds come together to find solutions!

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Business & Life Style Magazine


Dr. Nandar Hmun

Topic: ,

(Permanent Secretary)
Rector of the Myanmar National University
of Arts and Culture.
Myanmar-Korea Connectivity Forum

20 .


MP Zin Mar Aung

Dr. Tin Htoo Naing

Topic: ,
Director of Center for Economy, Environment and


MD Grace Swe Zin Htike

Topic: ,
Creative Industry!
Managing Director,
Communications Services Group Co., Ltd

Topic: ,
NLD ( )
'International Women of Courage'
2012 ,



Topic: ,

MD Zaw Win Khaing
Managing Director, Yangon Media Group

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

MD Kaung Nyein Soe

Aye Myat Myat Thu

Topic: , ?
Managing Director, Myanmar Hand in Hand (Marketing



Topic: , ?
MD, HeptaMix Creative Media and Advertising,


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Doing Business in Myanmar

Last Frontier
Myanmar looks to be on the path to a prosperous future and a
fast-growing, dynamic economy.
Myanmars explosive economic growth and untapped potential
have led many investors to dub the country as Asias final
frontier. Myanmars first truly civilian-led government in
over half a century. The country has come from international
isolation, pariah status, and a 2010 general election that the
UN dubbed deeply flawed to become Asias newest fledgling
democracy and the worlds fastest-growing economy, according
to the IMF.
Despite breakneck economic growth of around 8 percent
year-on-year, the country faces serious challenges and a lot
of catching up to do. Sixty years of economic isolation and
mismanagement has left a mark. Myanmar is the poorest
country in Southeast Asia, has the lowest life expectancy, and
the second-highest rate of infant and child mortality. Basic
infrastructure also presents a huge challenge, with just one-third
of the population having access to electricity and road density
standing at just 220 kilometers per 1,000 square kilometers of
land, according to figures from the World Bank. A lack of clear
land ownership, difficulties accessing commercial credit, poor
port and road infrastructure, and a large skills gap also top the
laundry list of investor gripes.

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The Clock Is Ticking

The challenges may be many, but the opportunities are greater
still. Young demographics, cheap labor costs, huge untapped
domestic consumption with a population of around 60 million,
and the geographic advantage of being the largest country in
mainland Southeast Asia sandwiched between the Asian
giants of China and India make Myanmar well positioned to
reclaim its crown as a regional trading hub. Colonial Burma
was once the richest and most advanced country in Southeast
Asia, with Rangoon serving as Britains primary trading port
and transport gateway to the region. A rich endowment of
natural resources including minerals, oil and gas, teakwood,
and agricultural products add to the bright prospectus for
adventurous investors and entrepreneurial businesses seeking
new markets and areas of growth.
Robert Easson, CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce in
Myanmar, is bullish on the countrys potential and scathing of
investors who continue to wait and see, saying that foreign
investors and businesses are now running out of excuses not
to do business in and with Myanmar.

Business & Life Style Magazine

The NLD government has been busy pushing through

economic reforms, including the passage of a new
investment law, which will combine and replace the
overlapping foreign investment and Myanmar citizens
investment laws. The new law will simplify the
investment process and allow the government to use
tax breaks and other incentives, such as establishing
special economic zones, to make targeted regions and
sectors more attractive for investment.
Aung San Suu Kyi, in her position as state counselor
and de facto head of government, has also spent the
last few months on a global promotional tour, with
stop overs in China, India, Japan, the U.K., and the
United States, to pitch the country to foreign investors
and further economic ties. Over the last few weeks,
and with the end of sanctions and the new investment
law in place, Suu Kyi convened an audience of foreign
businesses and investors in Naypyidaw to further drive
the message home and make the case that economic
development is crucial for advancing the countrys
democratic institutions.
On the horizon, and something that many Myanmar
analysts are more eagerly awaiting, is the passing of the
new companies act, which looks to bring Myanmar up
to international standards and replace the existing act
which dates back to colonial-era legislation from 1914.
The new companies act looks to further modernize
the business environment, bringing Myanmar in
line with basic international standards of corporate
governance and frameworks, with provisions including
the strengthening of shareholder rights, outlining the
responsibilities of company directors, and crucially
and perhaps the real hidden game changer the
possible loosening of laws to allow foreign entities
to obtain long-term land leases and titles. Land rights
have been a major stumbling block for many investors,
not to mention disputes over land title ownership.
The new companies act will also massively reduce
compliance costs and regulatory burdens for firms,
with the cost of doing business in Myanmar frequently
underestimated by investors coming into the market.
Combined with another provision that may allow foreign
investors to buy shares on the Yangon Stock Exchange,

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

Aung Naing Oo, the director general of the Directorate of

Investment & Company Administration (DICA), was upbeat
on how these reforms would modernize and simplify business
These types of modernizations are of course badly needed in
Myanmar. The World Banks global ease of doing business
rankings, currently scores Myanmar at the bottom end of
the table at 170 out of 190 countries globally far behind
neighboring countries such as Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia,
and Vietnam, and more than a hundred places behind next door
neighbor and regional export leader, Thailand, which comes in
at a global ranking of 46. Myanmar still has a very long way to
climb to catch up with its neighbors, but the country is in a hurry
to make up the gap. After a significant investment slowdown last
year, in which many investors, especially Western firms, waited
to see how the elections played out and the new government
shaped up, many businesses, especially from Asia, are now
queuing up for permits and positioning themselves to take first
mover advantage. The clock is now ticking for those wanting
to get in on the countrys economic opening.

A Good Signal
Although behind their Asian rivals, Western multinationals
are certainly taking advantage of Myanmars progress and
potential. TODAY Ogilvy & Mather, one of the countrys
biggest advertising and public relations firms, and part of the
global WPP marketing group, is seeing a number of big brands
enter the market, such as helping to introduce KFC to the
countryr. Shell, Coca-Cola, and Nestl are other big names on
their client roster that are working to build brand awareness and
increase their in-country profiles.

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Doing Business in Myanmar

Perhaps most indicative, though, of the win-win that greater

economic openness and foreign investment has brought to
Myanmar can be seen in the countrys rapidly developing
telecommunications sector. Gaining licenses in 2013, Norways
Telenor and Qatars Ooredoo have sunk multimillion dollar
investments into the country over the past three years, and now
dominate the mobile market. The liberalization of the sector
and subsequent investment in towers and telco-technology
infrastructure has increased mobile and internet penetration
vastly. Mobile and internet coverage in the country has leapfrogged from less than 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively,
in 2014, to 60 percent and 25 percent today, allowing millions
of people in Myanmar to access information online through 3G
and even some 4G covered areas, and make calls at affordable
prices for the first time.

Hidden Gems
As a new frontier market, almost every sector is seeing
growth, but certain areas are faring better than others. GAP and
H&M have been quietly doing business in the country for a
number of years now, with basic textile factories on the outskirts
of Yangon. These multinationals benefit from Myanmars low
cost of labor, as wages across the region, especially in China,
rise highlighting the countrys next factory floor potential.
Beyond resources and manufacturing, it is the service sector
which is seeing the fastest rates of growth in big demand in
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a country where the advancement of modern services ground

to a halt with the juntas coup and subsequent nationalization
of the economy. Education and healthcare are such specialist
areas where Western businesses are seeing a gap and filling it.
Recent entrants include leading U.K. independent school group,
Dulwich College, which announced its entry into Myanmar
with two campuses in Yangon, funded by a capital investment
of more than $30 million by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic
Holdings. Global private healthcare provider, International
SOS, is also growing its presence in the country, as a lack of
adequate healthcare blights the nation. The suits are also in
town, with Western multinational service firms all scooping
up good business in the country. Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and
PwC all have a presence in Myanmar, doing the all-important
due diligence and auditing that new investors require, vetting
suitor projects and potential local business partners, as more
firms expand into the market.
Perhaps surprisingly in a frontier Asian market, it is the
upmarket Anglo-American legal firms that are seeing some of
the most significant growth, making the most of the multiple
deals and transactions now being carried out. Global law firms
Baker & McKenzie and Allen & Over both have a presence in
the country. For Easson, it is Myanmars British-based common
law legal system that may well be the countrys secret weapon
and an often overlooked advantage in making the country
favorable to Western investors, ahead of other neighbors in the
region, who mostly have different legal systems. Many Western
Business & Life Style Magazine

firms, after first experiencing significant initial growth, have

often found it difficult to traverse the complexities of alien and
opaque legal and regulatory frameworks in the region, whereas
Myanmars law, as is the case in Singapore and Hong Kong, is
essentially based on British law. Easson says this gives those
companies with similar legal systems most notably U.S. and
U.K. companies a distinct advantage of being at home within
the same legal framework.

building its presence. Although both financial heavyweights do

not yet possess operating licenses, nor are they commercially
active, their representative offices have been busy establishing
networks and relationships, working on a number of groundlaying initiatives to educate and improve capacity in the
financial sector such as joint capacity-building initiatives
with the government and financial literacy programs aimed at
educating the public. Both hope, and are looking to receive,
operating licenses over the next year, reaping the benefits after
many years of slowly building up their presence.

Back to the Future

Exponential Potential

As one would expect in a country largely cut off from the world
for decades, the development of technology services and ICT
infrastructure is well behind that of Myanmars neighbors and
presents a huge area for potential growth, but also a huge headache
for businesses operating in the country. The government, too,
is looking to ICT and e-government systems to improve and
modernize antiquated government bureaucracy and is setting
up a dedicated committee to put more government services
online, in an attempt to replicate the successes of neighboring
countries e-governance systems, such as Thailand.

Although the new government is young and inexperienced,

many in Yangons business circles have been positively
surprised by how receptive the government has been. Despite
huge disadvantages with a government administration that
lacks experience, expertise, and funding Easson says that
what is different in Myanmar, in comparison to other countries
in the region, is that the government does not just pay lip
service to business complaints and recommendations, but acts
on suggestions and then implements them in practice. While
foreign businesses in neighboring countries, such as Vietnam
and Indonesia, have fallen foul of nationalist and protectionist
policies of late, Myanmars government and its people have been
more welcoming of foreign businesses especially after decades
of being left on the sidelines of Asias economic ascent and
global trade. Institutions such as the World Bank, International
Finance Corporation, and Asian Development Bank have also
found a greater willingness from the government to listen and
engage. The recent investment law had considerable input from
the business community and international institutions in its

Although a weak IT backbone and a lack of skilled expertise

in the sector presents a real challenge, the governments
commitment to modernization through technology has already
been realized in Myanmars highly successful e-visa
program, built with the support of Singapore. Now tourists and
business travelers from outside ASEAN can apply for, pay for,
and receive their Myanmar visa online usually within a day.
Here again, Myanmar is jumping ahead of many other more
established countries in the Asia region, which often have
notably more trying visa and permit restrictions. It is this type
of small win that is making many in Myanmars business
community hopeful that, despite the challenges, the country is
very much on the right track to further ease doing business and
attract ever growing investment in the years ahead.

Despite starting from a low base, the general sentiments from

economists, analysts, and businesses active in Myanmar today
reflect optimism about the future. Consumer consumption alone
has been skyrocketing over the last year, as Myanmars people
start to consume the branded foreign goods and products now
flooding into the market, from shampoo to snacks.

Despite a past history of asset seizures and currency revaluations

under junta rule and decades of financial sanctions, which led
all major foreign banks to leave the country, Myanmar is now
seeing many returns. Some Western banking and insurance
companies have been patiently persevering over the last few
years, softly reestablishing themselves in the country and waiting
for the chance to jump back in, when sanctions are eased and
foreign business permits permitted. Standard Chartered, which
can date its heritage in Myanmar back to colonial Rangoon
when the city used to be a financial hub for the British East
India Company has had a representative office in the country
for a number of years. Insurance giant, Prudential, also has been

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

For those willing to take the plunge, deal with the difficulties,
and invest for the long haul, Myanmar now looks to be on
the path to a prosperous future and a fast-growing, dynamic
economy. More importantly though, it is Myanmars people that
are now experiencing the benefits that greater political freedom
and economic growth is bringing, from jobs to development.
It is for this reason that Myanmar is now past the point of no
return. The genie is now well and truly out of the bottle.

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Biz News

Myanmar access to electronic payments

AS ONLY 0.5 per cent of the population has access to electronic payments so far,
Visa Inc, the global payments firm,
sees a lot of room for improvement in Myanmar.
Arturo Planell, Visa country manager for Myanmar, said the
number of Visa cards in the country had increased by 80 per
cent in 2015, and he expected the growth to continue last year.
We have seen very strong growth here, and we are very excited
about that. There is a lot of demand, as the country opens
up. A lot more Myanmar nationals are flying and travelling
abroad, Planell said. Last year, the value of transactions made
by Myanmar cardholders while travelling overseas grew by 54
per cent.

Myanmar has increased by 49 per cent to approximately 3,500,

while the number of ATMs has risen by 39 per cent, growing
to about 2,000 across the country. Tourists card spending has
grown by 22 per cent outside of Yangon, compared to total
spending growth of 4.8 per cent across the country. Our
focus was in Yangon. Now we are making sure that we drive as
much acceptance as we can outside of Yangon, he explained.
Although many foreign investors consider Myanmars
infrastructure as a business obstacle, Planell is optimistic about
the situation.

The value of e-commerce transactions made on international

websites expanded by 108 per cent, mostly from sales of air
tickets and accommodation. Currently, the Visa cards available
in Myanmar are prepaid cards, issued by four local banks: KBZ,
CB, Aya and Myanmar Apex Bank.

Visa also plans to promote clients financial literacy by

educating them about electronic payments. However, Planell
acknowledged that it was very hard to change the culture of
cash in a cash-dominated society like Myanmar. It will take
investment and time. But, that is something we are definitely
committed to continuing to drive for, he added.

This year, the number of retailers that accept Visa cards in

A different approach to boosting Myanmar economy

Stonestep brings microinsurance to Southeast Asia, beginning with Myanmar
In many ways, Myanmar is ground zero for fintech innovation
right now. The countrys population is largely unbanked and
despite having been closed off to foreign investment for
decades, its witnessed an explosion of investment development
since 2013. Digital financial products could boost the GDP of
emerging economies by $3.7 trillion by 2025. Mobile phones
have given the unbanked and underbanked access to services
that were out of reach just a few years ago. By paying bills
and purchasing games online, these people are able to build
financial credibility that could lead to more sophisticated
products and greater wealth creation in their lives.
But one foreign company is taking a different approach to
boosting emerging markets economies. Stonestep is bringing
microinsurance to Southeast Asia, beginning with Myanmar.
The company, founded in Switzerland by Brandon Mathews,

announced that it had received $4 million in funding from the

insurtech venture fund XL Innovate. Stonestep established its
Myanmar headquarters earlier last year and plans to launch its
first products in the first quarter of 2017.
Mathews, who built successful microinsurance companies in
Latin America for AIG and Zurich before launching Stonestep,
said that countries such as Myanmar demand products
that suit the realities of most households and those of the
distribution channels available to them. Thats why Stonestep
offers microinsurance as a service product, highly specific and
affordable coverage that speaks to the needs of emerging
While insurance is a global market, it currently reaches only a
small percentage of households in Asia. Swiss Re Sigma reports
that insurance penetration over GDP in Myanmar currently

- 26 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

stands at .08%, a number that the Asia Insurance Review

predicts will rise to 1.4% by 2030, at which point premium
volume could reach $2.8 billion. Stonestep hopes to spur
insurance adaptation by enabling mobile networks, retailers
and other companies to sell affordable risk transfer products
via mobile apps and platforms.

levied tariffs worth more than 100 million kyat from mainly
passengers during last November. Imported items subject to
customs tariffs at the airport consisted of consolidated cargo,
documents, newspapers and personal goods.

Stonestep also partners with local service agents to settle

claims through services, rather than having customers pay out
of pocket and receive cash reimbursements. This enables lowincome consumers to access medical care, legal assistance,
repair services and other necessities without jeopardizing their
finances while they wait for reimbursements. In countries such
as Myanmar, where insurance penetration is low and large
swaths of the population have fairly low incomes, nudge
products serve as a first step into the market, according to
Mathews. For instance, these might include benefits that are
embedded as features of choosing (and sticking with) a mobile
money providers. Ideally, these embedded policies help
familiarize people with risk products and get them thinking
about insurance in other areas of their lives as well.

The Burma-based Great Hor Kham Public Company plans to

issue shares on the Yangon Stock Exchange in four tranches
over the next three years. The listing is aimed at funding the
companys Nam Paw Hydropower project in Muse in Shan
State. The first of the four issues is expected to be in March
2017 when the company lists on the exchange.

Thanlyin and Yangon bridge project moving forward

Many people in Myanmar seem to think it is from money

changers in downtown Yangon to former government officials
and senior figures in the financial industry. U Ar Dun, a money
changer in Yangon, said that the exchange rate for one dollar
had reached K1440 in the informal market its weakest ever.

Great Hor Kham Preparing for YSE

The weakening kyat and

While economic analysts argue over whether the weakening
kyat is a preventable blight on the economy or a natural
by-product of global macroeconomic conditions, a second
question has arisen how to tell if the currency is actually at
record lows against the US dollar.

Plans are well underway in Myanmar for a new bridge

connecting Thanlyin and Yangon. The project is expected to be
complete by 2022 and is expected to cost US$302 million. The
link will be tolled and will carry an estimated 5,000 vehicles/day
when it opens to traffic. A loan facility from Japan is expected to
pay for the majority of the project. An international contractor
will carry out the main portion of the project, although subcontracting will be carried out by local firms.

The history of Myanmars exchange rate regime adds an

element of uncertainty to any claims. For decades there have
been two rates, the official rate, which is provided by the
Central Bank, and the informal rate used in the wider market.
When the Central Bank rate diverges too far from where
the market thinks the real exchange rate should be, money
changers typically flout the prescribed band and individuals
and firms opt for the informal market rather than banks.

Eden Group to Invest in Affordable Housing Projects

Local conglomerate the Eden Group plans to expand its
construction operations to include affordable housing,
chairman U Chit Khine told on a visit to Japan. Eden Groups
current business portfolio ranges from construction to finance
and agriculture. U Chit Khine told that affordable housing
outside main cities was now in the companys sights. The
market for middle and lower-middle income homes would
increase as family earnings rise in Myanmar.

The report quoted auto industry officials attributing some of the

dollars rise against the kyat to a restriction on the importation
of right-hand drive and old model cars, which is set to come into
force at the start of this year. That has sent people rushing to
exchange kyat to dollars in order to import such vehicles while
they still can, the officials said. The Central Bank announced it
will make renewed efforts to narrow the gap between its own
rate and that of the wider market. Starting this year, it plans
to let exchange rates in the interbank market inform the daily
reference rate, and free banks from the trading band around
the rate.

Customs Takings on the Rise at Airport

The customs department at Yangon International Airport

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 27 -





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Business & Life Style Magazine

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- 29 -


U Thura Htet Oo Maung

Korea and Myanmar are Buddhist countries and have pious

people. Both have foresighted leaders, interested in Architecture,
Arts and Crafts, playing football and golf and also trying hard
for the betterment of their countries.
The basic eating style possesses certain similarity between
Korea and Myanmar, like being rice is the staple food in both

Any progress between two countries?

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in May 1975,
the Republic of Korea and the Republic of the Union of
Myanmar have been enhancing bilateral ties in economic, trade
and cultural areas by promoting mutual exchanges in various
areas. The key areas of economic relations are investment, trade
and other economic cooperation for mutual benefits. We have
many cooperation areas between two countries that are now

The impression about Korea

Koreans, young as well as everyone else, work hard than people
in other countries I know of. Ive noticed that Korea is basically
a merit-oriented society and education is very important road
to success. Koreans are incredibly hard workers, they believe
mightily in education, and they take success very seriously.
Korean culture industries like the film, drama and other media
industries noticed the positive effect of Korean cultural export,
not only on the economy, but also on the nations image.
Myanmars current situation is similar with the Koreas situation
in 1960. We really impress the great efforts of Korean people
who were trying hard for their countrys development.

Korea government is now assisting Myanmar to establish a

Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization like KOTRA (Korea
Trade-Investment Promotion Agency). The South Korean
government is planning to build a friendship bridge crossing
the Yangon River to link urban Yangon with Dala and the
project is expected to promote the mutual relationship between
Korea and Myanmar as the name, 'Korea-Myanmar Friendship
Bridge. KOICA is now also providing development projects in
Myanmar. ASEAN-Korean Centre is also providing Myanmar
for capacity building programs and trade and investment
promotion programs.

Any similarity between Korea and

Myanmar, we are twin country?
Yes, there are. Korea was a colonialized country like Myanmar.
Korea war was very infamous like Myanmar. Both suffered
sadness and still under the chaos of war ruins and mental

To my humble knowledge, Korea and Myanmar are always

like exchanging cultural and industrial progress. Students and
scholars are plying almost always Education sector. We have

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Business & Life Style Magazine

many Korea products, automobile, IT products, working in

Korea by the youngsters, paying visits to Korea are improving
in leaps and bounds. Still in the great harmony, mutual
understanding and friendly cooperation is entirely expected.
Myanmar are fond of Koreans.

Korean Companys investment

in Myanmar?
Korea companies and entrepreneurs have played an important
role in Myanmars business community, with many companies
doing business in Myanmar. Currently, South Korea is the sixth
largest foreign investor in Myanmar. Popular Korean companies
that are now investing in Myanmar are POSCO Daewoo, Lotte
Group, Aju Group, CJ Group and Hanwha. Shinhan bank set
up its representative office in Myanmar in 2013 to extend
its presence into the market and they are now operating in
Myanmar as first Korean bank. Korean garment factories are
already operating in the country, so continued engagement with
the manufacturing will be promoting.

How to attract more

Korean businessperson?
Myanmar has many favorable factors to attract foreign investor
attention, such as its strategic location between two economic
giants China and India abundant land and water sources,
young population and labour resources. Furthermore, Myanmar
is rich in natural resources and there is an immense potential for
direct investment from abroad and a series of reform measures
has already taken place.

that create jobs and help reduce poverty in the formerly-closed

economy. It will be able to export Myanmars products to the
US duty-free under this programme and this is also one of the
attractions to foreign investors.
Myanmar government is making various efforts to attract foreign
investment by easing regulations and revising relevant laws.
Following democratic reforms, we been trying hard to boost the
economy and attract more foreign investment. With the launch
of the ASEAN Economic Community and political transition in
Myanmar, new investment opportunities for Korean companies
will be created.

Regaining GSP trade benefits by the United State will spur

economic development, generating opportunities for exports

Cultural Exchange between

Myanmar and Korea?
Successful and weak points
Cultural exchange is very successful, especially in film industry,
textile, cosmetics, dancing and KPop music are closely related.
Myanmar people are singing Korean songs, addicted to Korean
movies, IT and computer hardware technology (CHT). Samsung
phones are in the hands of all Myanmar. Working in South
Korea is a fashion in Myanmar. There are some weak points ,
eg. Language barrier between employers and employees.
Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 31 -

potential to deliver important economic and strategic
benefits to both countries. Mutual benefits on both sides
can be achieved through closer economic cooperation.

different from the other countries to
pave Myanmars way?
The word Metta actually has a meaning of goodwill
and non-violence. Myanmar people basically have
the empathy and it is the willingness to see the world
from anothers point of view. People cultivate Metta
for ourselves, friends, neutral person and also for the
difficult person. "Metta is the answer to almost every
problem the world faces today. All in all, it is not too
different from the other countries, especially the Asian

Any new trend or change

between two countries?
Of course, as Korea is a dynamic country, there are many new trends
and changes between two countries. Regarding in high technology
sector, Myanmar are cooperating and coordinating with Korean
Experts. Shipping Industry and seamen employment areas are the
new trend and changes between two countries. Myanmar needs knowhow and Korean surplus ships and launches to ply in Myanmar and

Any idea to promote or innovate the relationship

between both countries

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude for

Korea's support in our nation's reform, having given
some financial support and aid in the development of
technologies. Myanmar is rich in natural resources
but lack of capital and technology know-how to fully
exploit and utilize these resources. The South Korea,
on the other hand, has limited natural resources but it
is rich in capital and technology. So the economies of
Myanmar and Korea are complementary. As a result, I
am sure that we will have a very close relationship by
cooperation each other in various sectors.

Ideas promoting the relation between the two countries, innovation are
still in the wanting. We need to upgrade the relationship by exchanging
students, experts, scientists, doctors and engineers. More Research and
Developments should be thickened.
FDI and Korea factories and shipyards, Roads and Bridges, Real Estate
Development should be expanded in the near future with high speed.
Sports and medical phama factory should be operated by Korean in
Myanmar. Arts and culture sector should be more exchange for the
rosy relation between two lovely countries.
In terms of economic cooperation, we need to cooperate more closely
in the future by doing the activities such as holding economic forums,
dispatching the business missions, promoting trade and investment
between two countries and creating a safer environment for investors
and foreign entrepreneurs. The expansion of Korean- Myanmar
bilateral relations into a long-term economic partnership will have the

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 33 -

Mr. Jeon Special

Myanmar needs to retain stabilization in the countrys economic and politic sector for the development of the economy.
Speaker of this seminar in Yangon pointed out on the 3rd of January. Aiming to raise awareness of the countrys trend
and the cases of relation with neighboring countries. A seminar titled 'understanding global leadership' was held by
Myanmar Public Administration Network (MPAN). At the seminar the speaker, professor of Seoul Digital University,
pointed out that the country has many advantages in its transition to democracy.

Professor Jeon Gun Yong

Here the civilian government is building the
democratic country in cooperation with the
military. This is the good advantage of the country
and the country has possibility to be a developed
country economically during ten years. So to fulfil
the possibility, the country needs to maintain itss
stability in economy and politics.

Maung Maung Soe (Secretary of MPAN)

Further development of the country, public participation

is essential. Meanwhile the country has a big possibility in
economic development. Its a good thing that the government
and the parliaments are performing their best respectively for the
development for the countrys economic and the politic sector. But
meanwhile the country needs public participation in it, so we need
to give awareness to the public about that.

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Teachers and students from Yangon Economic University, the officials from MPAN and
the guests attended this seminar.
The event discussion of collaboration between Myanmar
Public Administration Network (MPAN) and MYANKORE
was held in 3rd of January 2017. In this event, they
discussed about the changes of democracy within
Southeast Asia and discussed about the development
of China, letting Myanmar people know more about the
ideas of democracy in Myanmar.

Professor Jeon Gun Yong:

We discussed about the country, religion and business
from all around the world by comparing to Myanmar and
solve the problems as well as educate together. As we
also try to think the solution about the chaos happening
in Rakhine state currently between the Islam religion and
this country. We also educate the students about the
basic communication with people from all around the


Mg Lwin Naing Oo
Of course there are changes in every country
from all around the world. So we need to learn
and update the news for ourselves to learn more
and improve our country and ourselves. This
event is about sharing knowledge to the people
of Myanmar about what is happening outside of

With the help of the professor from Seoul Digital University,

Mr. Jeon Gun Yong shared his idea to us about religion and
business by proving experimentally.

Nann Mo Mo Aung (University Student):

There is somehow a misunderstanding between 2 people when both people have different religions. So we need
to educate ourselves more about other religion to communicate with more people in life. So today, the professor
explained everything about the topic to all of our students so were glad to receive this plenty of knowledge.
The learning of changes within other countries and their economy from all around the world, it benefits and gives us
new ideas about improving Myanmar. There will be many more collaboration between MPAN and other professional
professors further in the future.
Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 35 -

U Tun Tun, the vice-president of MPAN opened the event

by introducing event speaker, Prof. Jeon. Daw Khin Than
Oo, the professor of Yangon University of Economics
expressed her speech by appreciation the inspiring
presentation of Prof. Jeon. He showed the problem
solving ways of the political sectors and presented
about the religion of other countries. He shared what's
happening outside of Myanmar as well as the religion
of the chaos happening in Rakhine state. He presented
about the different religions and different understanding
all around the world.
The parliament members said they got a lot of knowledge by paying attention and they had to consider more about
the constituents of religions in Myanmar. They appreciated about the heritage of professor from Korea. They had to
consider for the benefits of Myanmar by comparing the systems with China.
The audience was so delighted at attending this seminar for understanding of changing world. They got the new
perspective for the brighter future of Myanmar.

- 36 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Struggling Democracy in Middle East

Myanmar Sole Agency

Contact: 099 6881 4850 , 097 7061 7640 , 099 7022 1281
37 Address: No.1005,10F, Yuzana Tower, -ShweGonDanig,
Bahan Township, Yangon.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

Myanmar Institute of Technology

Universities' Central Library

University of Yangon

Yangon University of Education Library

Thanlyin Co-operative University

Yangon University of Foreign Language

Korean Library

National Library (Nay Pyi Taw)

. (Kay Thi Htwe,

. ,

: 099 6881 4850 / : myankoshin1018
Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 39 -

KOICA and More

Korea tries to get global change

agenda in Myanmar
Since the country began doling out development aid in 1987,
South Korea has been chiefly focusing on improving education,
public administration and health in recipient countries, building
on its experience from a rapid economic ascent. Technology
transfer and capacity building are the overarching theme across
the sectors, given Seouls relatively small scale of official
development assistance compared with that of countries like
Japan and China which are investing heavily in infrastructure
Data from the Korea International Cooperation Agency shows
that out of its total ODA disbursements between its 1991 founding
and 2015, education accounted for the largest share with 23.5
percent, or around $1.16 billion. Public administration came
second with 18.9 percent, followed by health with 16.1 percent,
technology and energy with 13.1 percent, and agriculture and
fisheries with 10.6 percent.

Yet in recent years, the state grant aid provider has been
diversifying its project portfolio to help combat climate change,
gender inequality and other emerging challenges in line with
the UN Millennium Development Goals and its successor, the
Sustainable Development Goals.
Under its midterm framework and the SDG agenda, KOICA
introduced five key initiatives last year, scaling up existing
programs. They are designed to support inclusive and
sustainable rural development, women empowerment, fight for
infectious diseases, science and technological innovation, and
environmentally friendly development.
Saemaul Movement
The Saemaul (new village) Movement is modeled on Koreas
rural and agricultural reform initiative that unfolded nationwide

A girl fetches water from a spring installed by the KOICAin Kampong Cham, Cambodia.
- 40 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

KOICA and More

A site for the KOICA's reforestation program in Bagan, Myanmar.

instance, many adolescent girls were missing classes or even
dropping out of school since they have to walk several hours
daily to fetch water and do other household chores. Many others
in Uganda said they do not to go school during their menstrual
periods because they cannot afford sanitary pads and the blood
often leaks onto their clothes, which boys tease them about.

in the 1970-80s. Some of its keywords are self-help, diligence

and cooperation -- vital to nurturing the Can Do spirit.
The program is designed to boost the peoples voluntary
participation and ownership, while promoting governance at
local and national levels. As many countries chiefly in Asia and
Africa looked to take a page from Seouls development book,
the Korean government had long been offering training for
community leaders and villagers.

In its flagship paper released in October, the UN Population

Fund, the UNFPA said that a 10-year-old girls lifetime income
may triple through empowerment, calling support for education
and health care the worlds best investment. Yet some 62
million adolescent girls were not in school today, while 16
million girls between the ages 6 and 11 will never even start
school. That is twice the number of boys, the report noted.

With some 70 percent of the worlds poorest population living

in rural areas, Seoul is now seeking to cultivate the program into
a more inclusive and sustainable paradigm to better meet the
SDGs, in collaboration with the UN Development Program and
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Seoul earmarked $200 million through 2020 to facilitate

girls education through the capacity building of teachers and
information communication technology. While providing
technical and vocational training, it is supporting health services
at schools and within the communities, as well as public
education to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive
health services. A young girls life may be one characterized

Better life for girls

Officially launched earlier this year, the initiative is intended to
improve health and education for young girls in poor countries
who are easily deprived of opportunities to study and have a
professional career. During a visit to Ethiopia last year, for

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 41 -

KOICA and More

by poverty and powerlessness, or full of potential and choices,
Kim Sae-ryo, the UNFPAs regional partnerships adviser to
Korea and China, told The Korea Herald.
A life cycle approach to development is essential -- beginning
before birth itself, focusing on the needs and development of
children and young persons with a special emphasis on the
young girl, and thus paving the way for sustainability and
prosperity well into a healthy old age.
Safe life for all from infectious diseases
In September 2015, top health policymakers from 56 nations
and multinational organizations gathered to discuss ways to
achieve strong and resilient global health security systems.
With the Seoul Declaration, Korea unveiled a $100 million
commitment to advance the Global Health Security Agenda,
calling for joint efforts to achieve its targets and 11 action
packages on preventing infectious diseases and enhancing
overall health security.
To that end, KOICA has mapped out three action plans to
support and contribute to disease control and health security
in vulnerable countries, focusing on immunization, national
laboratory system and workforce development. The agency is
seeking to contribute to the setup of functioning national vaccine
delivery systems that ensure nationwide, effective distributions
including to marginalized citizens, an adequate cold chain and
standing quality control.
It also supports the national labs, saying they play a critical
surveillance and effective modern point-of-care by conducting
tests on identified outbreak specimens, while fostering a skilled
health security workforce that could systemically collaborate to
meet relevant international regulations.

Climate compatible development

Climate change increasingly poses a challenge to development
as most developing countries experience severe natural disasters
every year. Korea helps to fight global warming with four main
themes -- low carbon growth, water and disaster management,
climate-smart agriculture and sustainable water management.
Its programs are designed to expand access to solar, wind,
small-hydro, biofuel and other renewable energy, and share
technologies for energy storage, demand response and energy
They also promote integrated water management skills to
better protect resources and respond to related disasters, while
developing resilient and disaster-resistant infrastructure. As
for agriculture, Korea calls for the application of appropriate
technology for low carbon and climate-resilient rural
infrastructure, and the adaptive capacity for the sustainable
increase of agricultural productivity and income. To promote
sustainable waste management, it adopted end-of-life
management of reuse, recycling and recovery, as well as wasteto-energy conversion technologies to curb greenhouse gas
In a signature project, KOICA has since 1998 been supporting
reforestation in Myanmar where about 9.2 percent of its
territory, or 68,000 square meters, faces increasingly severe
desertification, affecting some 15 million people. Throughout
the four phases, the agency has funneled in $428 million to
plant about 900,000 trees across 840 hectares, the equivalent of
1,200 football fields.
Science, technology and innovation
for better life
With science, technology and innovation being a critical means
of inclusive growth, Korea seeks to shore up global development
efforts through a three-pronged approach. To build the capacity
of science and technology personnel, the government carries
out programs in many countries to upgrade advanced technical
training and engineering education, send skilled volunteers
there, and run scholarship programs in Korea.
To boost innovation, Seoul provides consultation on science and
technology policy and strategies to local and national agencies,
while supporting research and development .

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Business & Life Style Magazine


As a donor (1990s-present)
After successfully overcoming the 1997-98 financial crisis
and the following economic recession, South Korea is today
recognized as a post-war success story. Through properly
designed development strategies and effective use of foreign
assistance, South Kv orea has grown into the world's 11th
largest economy and Korea proudly joined the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD).
As early as the 1980s, the South Korean government designed
a program for the purpose of sharing its experiences of rapid
and dynamic development based on the spirit of SouthSouth cooperation. Korea's first-hand experiences could be
of great help in assisting other developing countries. In 1982,
International Development Exchange Program(IDEP) began to
invite government officials and policymakers to participate in
training courses composed of lectures, seminars, workshops, and
field trips. In 1987, the South Korean government established
the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF)
through which concessional loans for development projects
were provided to the governments of developing countries. In
1991, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
was established to manage grant aid and technical cooperation


The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA, Korean:
, ) was established in 1991
by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a
governmental organization for Official Development Assistance
(ODA) to enhance the effectiveness of South Korea's grant
aid programs for developing countries by implementing the
government's grant aid and technical cooperation programs.
As a recipient(1945-1995)
In the wake of the devastating 1950 Korean War, South Korea
was one of the poorest countries in the world. During these hard
and desperate times, the Korean people could barely survive
without foreign aid. Aid was provided mainly for the supply
of commodities such as food, clothing, medicine, and raw
materials. Rice was provided from Myanmar. Foreign aid was
virtually the only source of capital earned up until the end of the
1950s. Following the inception of the first Five-Year Economic
Development Plan in 1962, foreign assistance began to play a
more substantive role in the economic and social development
of Korea. Foreign assistance in the 1960s functioned as a major
source of capital and investment and as a means to improve
management skills and industrial technology.

The focus has broadened to promoting sustainable development,

strengthening partnerships with developing partners, and
enhancing the local ownership of beneficiaries. Additionally,
global concerns such as the environment, poverty reduction,
and gender mainstreaming, have gained significant importance
in the international community.

Now in Myanmar

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 43 -

No.514(A), Waizayandar Road, 4 Ward, South-Okkalapa Township, Yangon

Proposal for Investment Opportunities in Myanmar
We intend to upgrade our country by finding investment
opportunities in Myanmar as our dream projects. We want
to awaken our citizens to attract more foreign investments
and inspire the business men to create new businesses and
innovations as possible as they can.Regarding with investment
opportunities in Myanmar, we would like to propose/mention
some business opportunities to make investment in Myanmar
in the following area of:
(1) Forest Restoration, Teak/Wood production and
Plywood Industry
(2) Environmental Conservation and Eco-tourism with
Hotel/Resort Project
(3) Education business
(4) Bamboo production and bamboo products manufacturing
with forest restoration
(5) Agriculture
(6) Industrial Zone Project
(7) Textile Industry
Among the projects and business industries, our State
Chairperson or State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is more
interested in Education sector and made-in-Myanmar products
such as bamboo and wood products. She also encourages local
business men and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to invest
for sustainable development of Myanmar. So, your business
enterprise should be a responsible business organization for
sustainable development of Myanmar if you would like to
invest in Myanmar. So, we would to suggest some business
scope or area that can inspire your business organization to
make investment in Myanmar.
Education, First
First of all, we would like to propose you to invest in Education
Industry. In the past, education budget is only about 10% of
the military expenses. But in this new government led by our
State Counsellor - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, education budget is
much more than military budget. Myanmar is now accelerating
to upgrade its education standard. Our State Counsellor is much
enthusiastic to change the education system to produce the
quality citizen.
- 44 -

Our State Counsellor is very interested in vocational education

and upgrading college and universities. Vocational Education
is for supporting professionalism in the area of engineering,
accountancy, carpentary, nursing, law, etc. Opening Vocational
Schools in Myanmar can be a good business and can get
more favorable opportunities from the new government and
State Counsellor. She always talks/mentions about Vocational
Education for Myanmar and her NLD party also opens some
Vocational Training Centers. Vocational Schools are needed
more widely and efficiently for Myanmar to produce skilled
workers, technicians and professionals. An internationally
recognized and modernized College or University, or Institute
for technology and IT sector is also demanded for tertiary
education in Myanmar. Also a business school with excellent
quality education is in demand for Myanmar education market.
All these education businesses are profitable for business
organization as well as beneficial to sustainable development
of Myanmar.
Education business is very good potential in Myanmar. If we start
from Primary education until tertiary education, International
Schools can be opened for primary and secondary students
in Myanmar to provide quality education for the education
market of Basic Education in Myanmar. (International Schools
are private schools which teach the students according to the
international syllabus of primary and secondary education
levels.) International school can earn high profit as it is based
on the market segment of high income families who want
Business & Life Style Magazine

to give their children better education. But, most of middle

income families in Myanmar cannot afford to pay for sending
their children to such schools. So, we would like to propose you
to (also) consider Budget International School for the children
from middle income families. (According to roughly calculation,
the budget International School can get 18% profit per year on
capital money if it is successful.) Children from low income
families can apply for scholarships to attend at this International
School. If so, this kind of budget international school can
give good education opportunities to all living standards of
Myanmar families. It is also to help in testing the education
system of Myanmar by practicing international curriculum to
compare with the curriculum of Myanmar education. So, both
two kinds of International Schools can be developed or opened
together by your esteemed organization to provide international
education for Myanmar society.

as furniture can be run and plywood industry can be invested to

produce high quality products. With forest restoration project,
environmental conservation project can be carried out with the
development of other projects such as hotel and resort project
as well as eco-tourism project.
We have found some sites or areas in Ka-yin State and Mon
State (at Maungmagan beach which is very near to Dawei deep
sea-port and special economic zone) to develop eco-tourism
and hotel/resort project. Both areas are beautiful at the beach
or at the river-bank with good sightseeing(s). (If your business
organization is interested in this business area, we can provide
more information.) Although these projects are potential in near
future, long-term investment must be made and other factors
should be considered. Another interesting industry for your
business organizations is Bamboo production and bamboo
products manufacturing as well as paper production. With forest
restoration, bamboo plantation can be made and good kinds of
bamboo can be produced for bamboo products or paper.

Also publishing education books for primary and secondary

students is a good business in Myanmar. Publishing English
language learning books can be a good support to Myanmar
students. TOSEL (Testing Of the Skills in the English Language)
learning system from EBS of Korea is to be brought and it can
help in upgrading English language skills of Myanmar people.
So, publishing TOSEL books and other educational books such
as - Science and Social Studies books is also a profitable and
attractive business area.

Handicrafts made with bamboo are very popular and the best
type of bamboo for making handicrafts is produced from
Myanmar (it is not from Thailand, indeed). We can plant such
type of bamboo here, a lot. Also paper production industry can
be built in Myanmar for its demanded paper-market.
Agriculture Business

Green Projects
Also we would like to propose Agriculture business. As
Myanmars economy is based on agriculture, Myanmar is
expecting more investors in agriculture sector and foreign
investment with new technology knowhow is extremely welcome
to Myanmar. We would like to propose to make investment in
agriculture with new agricultural item, Sacha inchi, also known
as the Inca peanut. Sacha Inchi has been cultivated and used as
a food source for 3,000 years in the Amazon rainforest. Sacha
inchi is much more than just a pleasant snack food.

Forest Restoration is very needed for conservation of Myanmar

forests. This green project can help Myanmar for its sustainable
development. Business organizations with having good
experiences in forest restoration can apply to get this project, and
with this project- the business organization can apply for permit
to produce teaks and other woods as well as forestry products. If
the permission from the government to produce teaks and other
woods can be got, the factories for wood finished products such

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 45 -

Industrial Zone Project

This superfood is rich in protein and omega 3,6, and 9 as well

as vitamin E and many nutrients. Its oil is unsaturated edible oil
which is very suitable for health and has a similar flavor to olive
oil, but it contains more protein and omega 3.
It is good for diabetes, vision, skin and hair, brain health, heart
health, bone health, joint health, well being (feeling calm and
happy), to reduce cholesterol, to make weight loss, etc. Its oil
can be used in cosmetics for skin care and other benefits. It is
better than perilla oil. Myanmar weather is very suitable for
growing Sacha inchi which can be exported to near China and
other countries, as snacks and oil. There are so many acres of
land in Myanmar to cultivate Sacha inchi or other plants such
as - cocoa for making chocolate. If your business organization
is interested in this agriculture sector of Myanmar, it is easy for
your organization to invest and we can provide all necessary
Textile Industry Business
This industry is a profitable business sector and the basic essential
need for Myanmar people as the fabrics entered from abroad
are expensive. Myanmar cannot produce required amount of
fabrics or textiles in demand in the market. As labor charges
are so cheap in Myanmar, many CMP businesses like garment
factories are invested in Myanmar. Therefore, fabric demand
is big in local and to export the quality fabric is also a needing
factor to grow Myanmar economy. As Myanmar can produce
fine cotton in large quantity, enough cotton as raw material
can be got for a textile factory. This kind of business can go
with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) or Joint-Venture. There
are some textile industries that can be made as Joint-Venture
system. Now, the two industries in Sarlingyi and Pakhokku can
be leased for the fabric production. If your business organization
is interested to build own industry, we can help for this project
as we have experienced textile engineers and technicians.

- 46 -

Although we cant compete with Thilawa Industiral Zone, it is

needed to create more industrial zones in Yangon. There is a land
taken at Nyaung-na-pin (near Hmaw-bi and Hle-gu Township)
to make housing development and industrial zone. There are
600 acres of land and it is a government-to-government project
which is got by Korea Land & Housing Corporation.
There are some land areas to develop industrial zones. There
are more than 600 acres of land (it is said about 700 acres of
land) near Mingaladon Industrial Park, which is very suitable
to develop an industrial zone. That land is owned by nonprivate organization. There is another estate which is owned by
a private investor. It is located near Hanthawaddy Airport that
may be the biggest international airport in Myanmar. It has 400
acres of land and it is situated in Bago region which is 80 km
away from Yangon. As we dont know the owner, we are still
inquiring to know more about this estate.
If your organization is interested in any area of the above
business types, we can provide more information and follow up
for these projects. Please feel free to contact us if you can get
more information and to know more about the detailed project
we have proposed.

Burmasia Communications Co., Ltd.

# 1005, 10th Floor, Yuzana Tower (Shwegondaing
Junction), West Shwegondaing
Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 09-968814850, 09 970 221 281

Business & Life Style Magazine

We offer you our business consulting services for sustainable

development of Myanmar

Burmasia Communications Co., Ltd.

# 1005, 10th Floor, Yuzana Tower (Shwegondaing Junction), West Shwegondaing

Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
- 47 Jan / 2017 / Vol 15
Tel: 09-968814850, 09 970 221 281

MeTTa Capitalism

Less Is More: The Art of Voluntary Poverty :

An Anthology of Ancient and Modern Voices Raised in Praise of Simplicity

Selected & Edited by

Goldian VandenBroeck
With a Foreword by E.F. Schumacher
Author of Small is Beautiful

- 48 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Less is More

The material is organized into the following topics

1) Voluntary Poverty and the Monopoly of Values
2) In Praise of Poverty
3) Lady Poverty: The Tradition
4) Lady Pecunia: Money as an Entity

8) Eco-Logic

5) The Right Thing

9) Voluntary Poverty and Space

6) Desire/Greed, Necessity/Need

10) Voluntary Poverty and Time

7) Controlled Folly

11) Choosing the Image: Life/Style

12) Creative Poverty: The Ascetic Aesthetic
13) Applied Poverty: Education
14) Voluntary Poverty and the U.S.A.

Get "less is More"

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 49 -


Myanmar, First Mover Advantage?!

With the recent enactment of the investment law and
lifting of sanctions, Myanmar has become friendlier to
foreign investment, particularly in infrastructure, transport
and energy, according to its state investment agency. The
Myanmar Investment Law was passed on Oct. 18 last year by
combining the countrys foreign investment law and citizen
investment law, providing income tax exemptions of up to
seven consecutive years to outside investors, operating in
underdeveloped regions.

Great opportunities lie ahead in Myanmar, Kim Young-sun,

secretary-general of the ASEAN-Korea Center, said at the
venue, noting its economy is estimated to grow over 8 percent
annually over the next two years. Myanmar has a young
and cheap workforce, long coastline and abundant farmland,
ideally wedged between the populous markets of China, India
and Southeast Asia.

When the law comes into effect in April this year, various
regulations will be eased to the favor of investors, the Myanmar
Directorate of Investment and Company Administration
highlights. To elicit Korean investment, a delegation of
Burmese officials from the investment agency and ministries
of construction, transport and communications, and energy
and electricity went to Korea last December. They participated
in the Investment and Business Environment Seminar on
Myanmar in Seoul , where they presented the countrys
business environment and held one-on-one meetings with
some 100 Korean company representatives.
Participants pose at the Investment and Business Environment
Seminar on Myanmar in Seoul, jointly organized by the ASEANKorea Center and the Myanmar Directorate of Investment and
Company Administration.

The conference was jointly organized by the ASEAN-Korea

Center and the Myanmar Directorate of Investment and
Company Administration. To witness firsthand Koreas
industrial capacity and technological expertise, the officials
also visited Dongtan New City, south of Seoul, famous for its
efficient transport system, and the waste-to-energy plant on
Nanji Island in Seoul. Accumulated Korean investment in the
country topped $4.9 billion in 2015 and is on the rise. The
Burmese economy is expected to expand nearly 8.6 percent
last year, according to the International Monetary Fund, with
strong growths in energy, telecommunications construction
and services sectors.
Foreign direct investments in oil and gas and electricity account
for over 65 percent of total investment, and companies are
plowing more and more capital into manufacturing, transport,
telecommunications and mining.

Participants pose at the Investment and Business Environment Seminar on Myanmar in Seoul, jointly organized by the ASEANKorea Center and the Myanmar Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
- 50 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Myanmar

Directorate of Investment and Company Administration
Kim Young-sun, secretary-general of the ASEAN-Korea Center

Since Myanmar opened up to foreign business and undertook

a series of economic reforms in 2011, many in the international
community have called the country a new economic frontier,
DICA Director General Aung Naing Oo said.

The government is pursuing balanced territorial development,

with plans to construct four industrial estates, seven satellite
cities around Yangon, border cities for trade, seaside tourism
attractions and natural resource-oriented cities.

The Southeast Asian nation has implemented its long-term

plan for foreign investment from 2014 to 2030, with an aim
to attract $140 billion of FDI. Its midterm goal covering 2016
through 2020 is to achieve a comparative advantage in the
ASEAN Economic Community and diversify domestic industries,
he added.

To help alleviate the lot of low-income and impoverished

families, the state plans to supply 1.8 million public homes by
2020 and 10 million units over the next 20 years. Myanmar
has achieved very strong progress in information technology,
Aung Naing said, adding the mobile communications market
has grown rapidly to serve over 43 million customers.

The Burmese capital Naypyidaw has laid out its seven-point

investment policies, which encompass dispute settlement,
protection of investor rights and reliable financing. By 2030,
Myanmar aims to upgrade its industrial and infrastructural
capacities with a targeted $19 billion in FDI.

Myanma, promising investment spot

Acknowledging the country has one of Asias lowest rates of
electricity access, at 30 percent of the population, he said
Myanmars energy demand will surge, with a targeted 100
percent coverage and 24,000 megawatts of electricity to
be generated by 2030. The Myanmar Energy Master Plan,
launched in January and covering 2015 through 2030, is geared
to bolstering energy supply through the mixed use of sources,
government cooperation and public-private partnership.

Stressing that political stability undergirds economic

development, the bureaucrat said his country has prioritized
national reconciliation following the end of decades long
ethnic strife and civil war.
Inclusive and sustainable growth is a fundamental pillar of
our economic policy, Aung Naing said. National reconciliation
and job creation are basic policy considerations for equitable
nationwide development, including agricultural, livestock and
manufacturing sectors.

Highlighting the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, adopted

in 2010, he said Myanmar is home to the Asia Highway One
that links India, Myanmar and Thailand. Vast opportunities
exist for investing in infrastructure and logistics projects, he
emphasized. Due to limited government resources, financing
will have to come mostly from the private sector, particularly
through public-private partnership. With the assistance of
Asia Development Bank, we have established a framework for
nurturing the private sector.

Highlighting the dire need for large-scale infrastructure

development, the director general said investment is welcome
in building electricity networks, roads, ports and an electronic
government system.

The ASEAN-Korea Centre is an intergovernmental organization

established in 2009 with an aim to promote exchanges among
Korea and the ten ASEAN Member States.

The countrys construction market is estimated to grow to

$5.6 billion by 2018, according to the ASEAN-Korea Center.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 51 -

What DICA is?

Promoted Sectors

The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration

(DICA) serves as the Secretariat of MIC.


The responsible for investment and company administration

and to implement the duties and responsibilities of Myanmar
Investment Commission.
The First Point of Contact for Investors

Myanmar Investment Law

Submitting Proposal (Section 36)
Businesses that are strategic for the Union
Large capital intensive investment projects
Projects which have large potential impact on the

environment and the local community
Business carried out in State-owned land and building
Businesses which are designated by the government to
require the submission of a proposal to the Commission

Endorsement Application Submission

Business except where

it concerns investments
stipulated under
section 36

Endorsement application
to the Commission

To enjoy the Rights to

Use Land under Chapter
(12) and Exemptions and
Reliefs under sections
75,77 and 78

Not required to submit

a Proposal to the

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Prohibited Investment

Restricted Investment

the hazardous or poisonous wastes;
technologies, medicines and instruments which are still being
tested abroad or which have not obtained relevant approvals for use,
planting except for the purpose of R&D;
may affect the traditional culture and customs of the racial groups;
may affect the public health
may cause damage to the natural environment and ecosystem;
manufactured goods that are prohibited in accordance with existing

Treatment of Investors
National Treatment for
the Foreign investors
and investments

Nation Treatment

Fair and Equitable


Investment activities allowed to carry out by State only;

Investment activities restricted to foreign investors;
Investment activities allowed only in form of joint venture
with a citizen owned entity or a citizen of Myanmar; and
Investment activities permitted with the recommendation
of the relevant ministries

Rights to Use Land

From any government
body or government
From private landholders

From any
government body
or government
From private landholders

Initial 50 years

Initial 50 years

Conditions for Expropriation

Employment of Staff and Workers

Guarantees not to expropriate or nationalize or indirect expropriation

to any investment

Any Citizen

Conditions for

Senior Manager

Only Myanmar
The work which does
not require skills

For a public interest

In a non-discriminatory manner
In accordance with due process of law
Upon payment of prompt, fair, adequate and effective compensation

Incentives under New Myanmar Investment Law

Incentive is not granted automatically
Investors may apply one or more than one the exemptions and reliefs
Exemption & Reliefs

Income Tax
Exemption & Relief

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

From any
government body
or government
From private landholders
Initial 50 years

Exemption from Customs Duty

& Other Internal Taxes

- 53 -

Exemption & Relief

Incentives under New Myanmar Investment Law

Least- Developed Regions
and States

Seven Years

Income Tax

What DICA is?

Moderately Developed
Regions and States

Income Tax

Adequately Regions
and States

Income Tax

Five Years

Five Years

FDI in Myanmar
FDI Situation in Myanmar

Inflow of FDI
2014-2015 USD 4 Billion
2016-2020 USD 6 Billion
2021-2025 USD 8 Billion
2026-2030 USD 11 Billion

Foreign Investment of Permitted Enterprises as of

(31/11/2016) (Sectors)
US $ in Million













Other Services
- Oil and Gas
3293.616 - Mining
- Industrial Estate
- Hotel and
- Real Estate
- Livestock &
2016-2017 - Agricultural
(the end of - Other

1 Oil and Gas


2 Power


3 Manufacturing


4 Transport & Communication


5 Real Estate


6 Mining


7 Hotel and Tourism


8 Livestock & Fisheries


9 Agriculture


10 Industrial Estate


11 Construction


12 Other Services


Hotel and
Transport &4%
Real Estate

Livestock &

Industrial Estate

Other Services


Oil and Gas






- 54 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Major Foreign Investors in Myanmar

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 55 -

FDI Situation in Myanmar

Korea Investment in Myanmar

- 56 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Ongoing Korean Project under MIC Permit

Company Name
Daewoo Amara Co., Ltd.
Company Name
INNO International
Development Co., Ltd.
(a joint venture company)
- Inno Co., Ltd. 95%
(Incorporated in Korea)
- Htet Myo Swe Co., Ltd. 5%
(Incorporated in Myanmar)

Type of Business
Hotel Development and Operation
Type of Business
Service Apartment, Hotel,
Office Spaces and Shopping
Mall on BOT basis

Hlaing Township, Yangon Region

Investment Amount
US $ 198.21 million

Shwe Man Thu Bus Compound,
Corner of Wayzayantar Road &
Parami Road, Plot No.(148,149),
Block No.(4+5 Kaytumarlar),
South Okkalapa Township,
Yangon Region.

Investment Amount
US$ 100.000 million

Cooperator of Business Community,Developer of National Economy


Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 57 -


Now AEC after 1 year

ASEAN sees positive progress but no Big Bang' reform
already approaching ASEAN on a regional basis. Most notably,
investment inflows from six prospective partners with ASEAN
Korea, China, Japan, Australia, India, and New Zealand
have increased by 11 percent and recorded $40 billion in 2015
according to the ASEAN Investment Report 2016.
ASEAN member states came up with implementation plans
for various areas, such as small- and medium-sized firms,
customs clearance, faster trade flows and intellectual property
rights. They will unveil a comprehensive implementation plan
encompassing all sectors in 2017. Also, they have established
a system to monitor and evaluate the AEC for the effective
implementation of AEC 2025. ASEAN has opened a tariff portal
site ( and a trade service portal (Assist. to help business people realize the real benefits the
AEC provides.

Any noticeable progress on the development

of the AEC
With the formal establishment of the AEC, its overall business
confidence has improved. Many companies, both inside and
outside of ASEAN, particularly the dialogue partner countries,
have shown increasing interest in investing ASEAN. Political
momentum has increased from hype to reality. The ASEAN
Insurance Forum was established in April.
However, not much progress has been made in harmonizing the
standards and regulations in order to deliver the full potential
of the united trade block. Furthermore, any attempt to unite
10 very diverse nations into one single trading block needs not
only perseverance, but also persistence and diligence.
There has been significant progress for the past year. At the
ASEAN Summit 2016 held in Vientiane, Laos, ASEAN leaders
have adopted "ASEAN Connectivity 2025" and "Initiative for
ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III," which are deemed as
supplementary to the completion of "ASEAN Community
Vision 2025."
Through these efforts, the 10 member states are promoting
their economic potentials and benefits as a region. These
efforts have paid off. Many companies across the borders are
- 58 -

Another positive aspect of progress of the AEC is tariff

elimination made under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
According to AEC 2015: Progress and Key Achievements,
ASEAN Plus Six countries have virtually eliminated all import
duties among themselves. Tariff elimination of CLMV countries
(Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) are scheduled to
be finalized by 2018. This will further facilitate intra-regional
trade, bringing the region closer to achieving its goal of being a
seamlessly connected Community with free flow of goods.
There have been advances in financial sector integration such
as liberalization of the insurance sector, the impact of which is
difficult to see unless you are working in the insurance industry.
However, I think it is fair to say that the first year of the AEC has
not produced a Big Bang of reform.
The biggest challenges for the AEC
The biggest obstacles to the economic integration of ASEAN
are development gaps and lack of infrastructure in the region.
The gap between advanced countries such as Singapore and
developing countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos
could hamper ASEAN integration. A lack of infrastructure in
most member states is a major stumbling block to economic
development in the region.
In order to address these issues, ASEAN announced IAI Work
Plan III and Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025
as the core task in the first year of the AEC. The IAI Work
Plan III (2016-2020), consisting of an implementation plan
and a monitoring and evaluation framework, is focused on
supporting poor countries, including Cambodia, Myanmar,
Laos and Vietnam.
Business & Life Style Magazine

Removing the barriers to financial market integration will be a

challenge. Removing non-tariff measures in health and safety
regulations, licenses and quotas need to be addressed. Free flow
of skilled labor from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, financial
inclusion for SME development, greening of the supply chain
will also remain challenges. In order to tackle these challenges,
ASEAN must address regulatory and institutional issues, build
up independent monitoring mechanisms and strengthen the
capacity of the ASEAN secretariat.

arrangements a game changer for the region and for the

world. Also, Korea should promote more exchanges of students
and young leaders through educational and professional
development scholarship, between ASEAN and Korea.
Korea's approach has been constructive, with the government
pushing things such as the ASEAN-Korea Business Council and
setting up ASEAN cultural centers in Korea and so on. The
relationship will also naturally become stronger over time on
both push and pull factors - when Korean businesses feel a
greater hunger to look for opportunities further afield perhaps
due to slowing growth at home, and when ASEAN economies
are able to offer more attractive conditions for doing business
in the region.

The biggest challenge is that China will push for a Regional

Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) rather than
work with the AEC and ASEAN. The reason is that China has
learned from the U.S. and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
negotiations and wants something more China-centered with
more negotiating power for China

In order for Korean business to gain a stronger foothold in

ASEAN, Korean companies should carefully consider corporate
strategy, home-country measures and competition, as well as
location advantages of ASEAN in the context of value chain
activities. There should be stronger linkages among Korean
multi-national enterprises (MNEs), micro, small, and mediumsized enterprises (MSMEs) and ASEAN suppliers. This will result
in win-win outcomes, through which both sides can further
enhance economic cooperation.

The external uncertainty due to the changing global economic

landscape can be considered a challenge for the AEC. The
Brexit has put a damper on regional integration. The election
of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency has diminished the
chances of America ratifying TPP. The uncertainties rising
from recent economic protectionism may hinder the progress
of the AEC going forward. The ASEAN must therefore realize
and promote the size and potential of its combined economy.
It should address issues of NTBs, infrastructure gaps among
the member states, as well as a transparent and efficient
regulatory framework in order to integrate more fully into the
global system of free trade and investment.

Korea's way to move forward

Korea needs to forge own path with ASEAN. Korea should come
up with its own path with the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) by strengthening cooperation in the political
and social sectors in order to gain a stronger foothold there.
Market analysts stressed that Korea should not try to copy
China and Japan because the country's influence and presence
in the 10-member bloc is totally different from that of the two
economic giants.

Korea's ASEAN strategy

As for Korea and ASEAN ties specifically, I would say some
progress has been made if we look at the numbers. The
ASEAN-6 economies excluding Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos
and Brunei accounted for 12.9 percent of Korea's total trade
in the year to October, which is an improvement from the
12.1 to 12.2 percent share witnessed since 2013. If we look at
Korean exports, there has naturally been a decline in the yearto-date, but nowhere as sharp as Korea's overall exports.

"Korea's awareness of ASEAN and its willingness to do more

business with the region will take time to grow. I understand
that within Korea the comparison is often made with China's
and Japan's ties with ASEAN," HSBC ASEAN economist Su Sian
Lim told. "But these countries share a long-standing political,
cultural and economic history with ASEAN that Korea will not
be able to replicate," the Singapore-based economist added.
So Korea needs to forge its own path with ASEAN.

First of all, Korean firms need to take a comprehensive approach

by considering ASEAN as one market and production base. In
other words, Korean firms should try to see both the forest
and the trees and take a think regional, act local' strategy to
find optimal places for regional production bases to cover the
entire ASEAN market.

Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, a senior economist at the

Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
based in Jakarta, said that Korea should expand its cooperation
strategy to more diverse sectors. "Efforts should be expanded
to include implementing the blueprint for the ASEAN Socio
Cultural Community where Korean expertise and experience in
tackling climate change, achieving green growth and reducing
inequality will be relevant and needed," he said. "Also, the
country needs to promote more exchanges of students
and young leaders through educational and professional
development scholarships between ASEAN and Korea."

Also, Korean firms should consider ASEAN as a friend not

an export destination. The best business person is the one
who pursues co-prosperity with business partners and local
communities. In that regard, Korean companies need to create
many examples of co-prosperity with ASEAN partners through
trade and investment.
Korea needs to proactively invigorate the negotiations
toward successful completion of the RCEP and ASEAN plus 6
Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 59 -



Dr. Koo Ja-Sam

BA.(Management, Finance) Korea university
Master Degree(Management, Finance)
Seoul National university
MBA, Boston University, USA
Phd Degree(Finance), Soongsil University, Korea

Career path
Dr. Koo's career has two different distinctive features. One is
a 30 years' investment banker's career in international market
in London and Seoul market as a president and director. The
other is a 12 years' professor and advisor's career in Seoul.
He has an well mixed and unique career path with teaching


& research background and working experience in banking,

finance and investment fields. His various experiences as CEO
& President in London & Seoul and as an advisor to public
corporations sharpens his insight and conceptional intuition
enough to pinpoint focal points and advise to make strategic
decision on solutions.
After a few years' CEO & president, his career path moved to
a professor and advisor to various public companies, ranging
from Dea Kyong Machinery co. as an auditor, to Soongsil
Univ, Woosung Univ and Soowon Science college as a

- 60 -

Business & Life Style Magazine


professor up to July 2015. He had been a director and

advisor to many Korean public companies including
National Forest Co-operative (2005-2012) and Gimpo
Urban Development corp(2011-2015) as a chairman
of the board of director. He is still working for Mapo
facility management Public corp (2013-2016) as a
director and advisor.
In July 2015 Dr. Koo, as a WFK Advisor, was sent
to Co-operative university, Sagaing, Myanmar by
KOICA(Korea International Cooperation Agency) to
upgrade the university's level.

Now doing in
Dr. Koo, a WFK Advisor by KOICA, has been actively
involved in sharing his accumulated knowledge and
experience with faculty members in Co-operative
university, Sagaing in Myanmar from July, 2015
onward. His advanced knowledge and his passion for
the subjects make him such a well fit for the university
that he has been actively having seminars with faculty
members. Thus, faculty members in four key major
departments (Finance, Management, Economic, and
English department) are very much looking forward
to participating his 4 different seminars every week.
In addition, graduate students in Sagaing as well as
in Thanlyin campus are expecting his special lectures.
Finally, he has initiated many new projects for the
university in collaboration with Korean universities
and foreign interested parties .

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15



Looking for Partner & Sponsor
, ...
1950~60 .
2016, .
NEXT 20 YEARS, ...
, .
, , .
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MYANKORE, The Awakening Project,
MYANKORE / 099 6881 4850

- 61 -

Business & Life Style Magazine


What a beautiful and green environment....

Health safety mainly depends on the food we consume.

Im here in Eumseong.
to find out the solutions of how we can stay healthy while eating every day.

Over 90km away from Seoul, Eumseong county is also homes for farmers.
Perilla leaves and seeds are widely eaten in Asia.
- 62 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Korean perilla leaves are typically used in pickled side

dish, stir fry or as a wrap for barbeque.
A spoonful of perilla powder provide creamy, fresh nutty
flavor to your soup, stew or paste.
Perilla seeds are also widely used in Asia country,
especially in Korea,
as a source of oil for cooking,
due to its richness of omega-3 fatty acids more than any
commonly known vegetable oil.
Moreover, its strong aroma offers refreshing taste plus it
also makes your plate healthier.
The abundance of Omega-3 in perilla oil can help you in
reducing the cholesterol levels,
fighting in obesity and enhancing memory and

Perilla is relatively easier to plant than any other

agricultural products. It's really great for human because
it is abundant in OMEGA-3, which is the best for our
health. That's why a lot of people become interested in
planting it. As it doesn't need many labors, many people
are into this business. I think perilla plantation will soon
increase in larger number than expected.

Perilla is good for the people to eat for their health.

So for those who want to know about perilla, I recommend it because It is good for people's
health. Compared to last year, Ive planted and produced a lot more. The reason why I could
boast my sale is because of Mr. Chun Hoon Baek. He purchased more and more from us. It is
easy to plant and is good for the people to eat for their health.So, for those who want to know
about perilla, I recommend it to be good for peoples health.

Lets take a closer look how Korean people live active and healthy.
Of course, the secret of Perilla oil
Originated from Eastern Asia, including Korean Peninsula,
Perilla has been a Korean traditional crop since ancient times.
And it has been widely consumed in Korea and Japan.
Currently, over 50 perilla farmers joined together in the countys
perilla farming society.

Now I know why this place is recommended by the ministry

Lets find out the healthy tips of Korean people

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 63 -

I think our ancestors have discovered the usefulness of perilla since long ago.
That's why they planted and ate it. Probably we didn't appreciate its value
enough and didn't know about The Omega 3 richly contained in it.
Recently after discovering the richly containment of Omega 3 and its benefits,
The size of the perilla plantation becomes bigger and bigger in Korea.
10 years ago, the rate of perilla cultivation in Korea ranked No.5. Since last
year the rank has increased to No.2 among agricultural products grown
widely in Korea. Basically the amount of Omega 3 contained at both animal
fats and vegetable Fats are the same. But Omega 3 obtaining from vegetable
oil is much better and safer than the Omega 3 from the animals. You will be
more healthy if you consume Omega 3 daily. School children and young people
will become brilliant for taking perilla. What's more it'll give them healthy

Now there are 50 farmers joining this society of perilla. We are hoping to
boost it. Mr. Chung Hoon-Baek is one of the brilliant registered farmers
in Korea. He is also the leader of the Perilla Farmers Industry.
He is a person who can bring high hope for farmers in the future. We
hope this industry to grow bigger. Now there are 50 farmers joining this
society of Perilla. At the moment, the income it can provide isnt much
larger than other products.

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Business & Life Style Magazine

here is Because only Korean people plant and eat the perilla. But Korean perilla is the only
vegetables that contain higher amount of Omega 3 Among others.
My intention is to produce the best perilla oil that can make our consumer healthy. There are 1.5
acres of perilla plantation on the land that belongs to our ancestors.
About 160 acres of the farmland are used for cultivation in this region.
I am the first to produce perilla oil and export it to other countries.

After my father passed away, my mother started doing

oil production business just To fulfill the need of people.
The reason why we grow perilla as a family business

Was it difficult to grow it? Among the crops perilla is the easiest one to be grown.
It just takes 3 months to fully grow and doesn't need much water. The whole plant is useful.
You can pickle it, as well as you can eat it as a wrap for barbeque. Plus you can also extract oil
from the seeds. So it means we can use all of that. The whole plant is useful and insects, animals
and pigs don't enter the perilla plantation due to the pungent smell of the leaves.

After having learned the points of less interest by the people

on Perilla oil, Mr. Chung Hoon-Baek, CEO of Komega, started
a business to export raw Perilla oil for both domestic and
international market. In 2015, Ministry of Agriculture, Food
& Rural Affairs, presented him as an intelligent farmer

The purified oil is filled into the

bottles up to 180 milliliters.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 65 -

We have to fill the oil according to the standards of exporting countries, including
Japan, Taipei and others. To export to Japan, we put the oil according to the
standards. We do the same to export to Taipei.
Sarah: Are all labels the same? Are they different depending on the countries?
We use different labels for different countries. We stick respective labels for export
to Japan, Taipei, and Hong Kong. The labels are different between selling in local
and exporting to America.
Sarah: Has labeling finished here?
After labeling, packing and checking, we export oil to the respective countries.
We stick respective labels for exporting to Japan, Taipei, Hong Kong, US and
Singapore as well as domestic market.
After labeling, packing and checking follow. And then we export perilla oil to the
respective countries.

Komega owned by Mr. Chung Hoon-Baek, engage in

producing 100% Korean perilla oil using its Patented
Cold Pressed Method that yields premium oil by
pressing the Perilla seeds without roasting them.
Charmed by the benefits of perilla oil, Mr.Chung also
devoted his life to spreading knowledge
about the oil in Korea and oversea observers.

Perilla oil was consumed mostly by Korean in the world. Foreigners don't know
about its qualities. We had a very hard time when exporting to Japan.
Later we export perilla oil to Japan, Taiwan and Singapole to expand our markets.
As I want to improve the quality of our perilla oil produced in traditional method,
I always observe what kind of products what Japanese customers are looking for.

So far only Singapore and Japan tourists have come to observe perilla in Korea.
If I have a chance, I also would like to share our farming technologies With
Myanmar people in the future.

- 66 -

Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

- 67 -

A better way to get these healthy fatty

acids into your diet is through food.
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Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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2016 ASIA

2016 Asia: GOOD TO BAD

As 2017 begins and the lunar new year soon follows, we take one last look at who was up, and who was down in Asia in 2016.
Thailand say farewell to a revered monarch, India move against corruption via demonetization and U.S. President Elect Donald J.
Trump and Taiwan President Tsai-Ing Wen talk by phone.
We also looked further east, across the Pacific, to an outgoing U.S. president and a fading pivot and partnership. Korean President
Park Geun-hye has the U.S. leader to thank for saving her from the dubious distinction of leading as we review the year that was.

Worst year: The U.S. pivot to Asia

The winner of worst year in Asia goes to U.S. President Barack
Obama for a U.S. pivot to Asia that was increasingly seen as
more rhetoric than reality, even before Novembers elections.
A central Obama foreign policy initiative, the pivot was
described as a strategic rebalance, shifting U.S. diplomatic
and military resources to the worlds most dynamic economic
region. At its economic heart would be an ambitious trade deal,

a Trans-Pacific Partnership linking 12 Pacific Rim nations

accounting for 40 percent of world trade. The U.S., not China,
would help write the rules, Obama declared, through this
gold standard of trade deals.
All that was not to be. First, one-time TPP proponent Hillary
Clinton turned her back on the deal. And then, Trumps election
drove a stake into it. The President-elect has said among his
first actions in office will be to withdraw the United States from
the TPP in favor of fair bilateral trade deals.

Bad year: South Korean President Park Geun-hye

In South Korea, it has been a bad year for embattled President
Park, who was impeached over a still-unfolding scandal that
could well have been penned by a Hollywood screenwriter.
Allegations of corruption and slush funds mix with tales of
cult-like rituals and influence linked to a mysterious, close
friend now on trial, Choi Soon-sil, a daughter of a deceased
religious figure. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets
calling for the presidents resignation.
Park barely beats out another contender from South Korea
for bad year in Asia Samsung Electronics for its
now discontinued Galaxy Note7. The smartphone was
seen as a worthy challenger to Apples iPhone. Any such
aspirations in 2016, literally and figuratively, went down
in flames. Battery problems causing some Galaxy Note 7s
to spontaneously combust put the must have phone on a
permanent no fly and then dont buy list.

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Business & Life Style Magazine

A mixed year: Asias netizens

When their smartphones did work, increasing mobile

adoption and internet penetration in 2016 gave Asias
netizens the tools to connect and share information and
opinions as never before. Unfortunately, for many in
Asia, if an increase in freedom of on-line expression is
the metric, the year was mixed at best.
The 2016 Freedom on the Net report by U.S. nongovernmental organization Freedom House rates only
two of 15 Asian countries Japan and the Philippines
as having an internet that is assessed as free.
Netizens were partly free in South Korea, Cambodia,
India, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and
Bangladesh, and not free in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Pakistan.
From outright censorship or arrest in China or blocked access to social media platforms and communication apps such
as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, to the murder of bloggers in Bangladesh, for Asias internet users the power of
technology also brought new risks in 2016.

Good year: Asias digital disruptors

Amazons Jeff Bezos may well be a household name in

America, but how about Wei Cheng, co-founder and CEO of
Didi Chuxing (formerly Didi Kuai), the multi-billion dollar
Chinese ride-sharing app that beat Uber Technologies at its
own game in China. In September, Uber surrendered in its
costly battle for riders in China and swapped its operations
there for a minority stake in Didi Chuxing.
Cheng is an example of Asias Digital Disruptors who came
into their own in 2016. Like Jack Ma of Alibaba Group, these
new titans are embracing disruptive business models and
leveraging local knowledge and connections to win customers
and investments. For them, 2016 was most definitely a good
year, even if some are still struggling, as are their Silicon
Valley role models, to turn a profit.

Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma of India is one more digital disruptor. His and others e-commerce and digital wallet
offerings are likely to benefit from India Prime Minister Narendra Modis efforts to demonetize and digitalize
India. With Forrester research projecting the Asia-Pacific e-commerce market to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, these and
other digital disruptors are likely to see many more good years ahead.
Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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New China Silk Road

Has Myanmar still got a role?
Increased diplomatic activity between the two countries ( the
Lady visited China before the USA and Europe),
Key negotiations to resolve the Myitsone Dam project issue
with important infrastructure concessions being contemplated
that secure the Yunnan Province / Kyauk Phyu transport
Chinas role as peace maker in the Northern States regional
conflict zone.

Myanmar will play a pivotal and key strategic role in Chinas

One Belt One Road strategy. There have been a number
of commentators claiming that recent activities suggest that
Myanmar no longer holds this position. Let us first look at some
of these activities and then assess whether the Country does still
hold this role. Also focusing on the maritime routes, particularly
the impact on energy security for China as demonstrated in
the map below. This will look at the land routes and back up
infrastructure to support the changes in maritime thinking.

Geo-Political Issues:
With the recent lifting of sanctions by the USA, there has
been a warming of business relations and trade with the US. It
has been suggested that this has cooled the Myanmar / China
relationship creating the conditions for China to rethink its
strategic investment in infrastructure. However this does not
appear to be borne out by what is occurring on the ground.
These actions would suggest that the soft diplomacy by China
still sees Myanmar as being an important piece in the Asia
supply chain puzzle. Examples include:

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The Wests response to what is happening in Rakhine State

is playing into the hands of China. Rather than pass political
comment, China has stuck to its approach of not interfering in
the affairs of another countries political issues. The difference
in approach has been highlighted by an increase in western
condemnation of the NLD governments handling of the
Rakhine State, with The Lady recently making a very public
call on the West to help with resolving the problem rather than
adding to it. In a sense China has inserted itself as part of the
solution rather than part of the problem, winning the culture

Supply Chain and Economic Considerations

Myanmars economy is expected to grow around the 8% mark
in the coming year. According to reports out of the ADB and
others, China will account for 40% of trade. Furthermore, in
order to facilitate and secure this trade, China has granted highly
concessionary terms to finance construction and infrastructure
projects. These loans have been given on the basis of projects
being allowed to be run by Chinese firms, much to the annoyance
of the local population. There are suggestions that this approach
has been part of the Myitsone project negotiations with a
softening of stance by China in order to secure the Yunnan /
Kyauk Phyu corridor.
Further developments has seen the signing of the BCIM
(Bangladesh / China / India / Myanmar) economic co-operation
agreement. The outcome of this agreement is to create a link
between Kolkata - Dhaka Mandalay Kunming with a focus
on building a transport, energy and telecom corridor. If you

Business & Life Style Magazine

superimpose the earlier map with the one reproduced below, you
soon realize the central hub status played by Mandalay. There
are however some practical issues that need to be resolved,
including rail gauge and the creation of special economic zones
to facilitate transshipment. Furthermore we can see the various
transport corridors connecting the West to the East, highlighting
the potential risk to Singapores hub status as China looks to
secure trade and energy routes without the need to use the
Malacca Straits.

mix will translate into savings along the supply chain. One need
consider the amount of time/money tied up in L/Cs and Value of
Goods whist in transit on lengthy Sea Voyage Journeys. Shippers
may well respond by pushing and or developing super ports /
break bulk hubs to improve transit times and reduce the cost per
mile per shipped container, but these concerns have been taken
into the strategy with key ports and canals under consideration.
All these elements will help reduce the LC exposure period as
well as improve shipping times.

Myanmar, together with what is happening elsewhere in Europe

and places such as Baku, is about to totally change the logistics
balance that has dominated the East-West trade for the past 40
Years. It will allow manufacturers in once isolated, low cost
producer areas, to consider costs associated with using rail
or vessels. An ADB study has shown that rail is considerably
cheaper than ship. However the study does have drawbacks in
that the modelling was based Double Stack Trains and does
not take account of rail gauge issues as well as cross border
bureaucracy issues mentioned earlier, and to some extent,
resolved by the BCIM cooperation agreement.

With the shipping and rail complementing each other as
evidenced by the transport maps above, Myanmar still has an
important role in the One Belt One Road strategy. If the country
takes lessons learned from Dubai, we will vessels diverting
from the main trade routes on the basis of huge container loads
that can be offloaded onto rail. Dubai has built its logistics
strength on this model and Myanmars location lends itself to
carve a niche within the China One Belt One Road roll out.
What it needs to ensure is that they have deep water ports with
large break bulk areas developed within SEZs to make this
niche a reality..

Additionally, rail carriers travel at up to triple the speed of a

vessel, and the potential financial savings from this new transport


Myanmar's Digital right about

expression and privacy
The Digital Rights Forum being held in Yangon has urged the government to reveal details of its personal freedom and security
bill, fearing it will breach human rights. The forum discussed digital rights and said the bill, which is currently being discussed by
the Lower House, featured prominently. The forum said the bill had technological weaknesses and would undermine the right to
expression and privacy.
Public discussions for the bill should be allowed, the forum's statement said. Htike Htike Aung, the director of Myanmar ICT for
Development Organization, said: The bill was tabled in the second week of September but few details have been released. The
public is not being consulted. When we read and analyzed it, we found that there are controversial things for people's rights. It also
includes clauses like Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law.
"It does not define how the security of citizens will be protected and which department will take responsibility for violations. Having
so many weaknesses, we demand the Parliament not to enact it in a rush, the director said.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Land of Ruby




Every week, Aye Min Htun prays he will find the ruby that
changes his life, one of thousands of people scratching a living
in Myanmars mines, set to gain little from the end of U.S.
sanctions on the military-dominated industry. For centuries,
emperors, kings and warlords have vied for control over the
valley of Mogok, north of Mandalay, once known as the land
of rubies for its extraordinary treasure trove of jewels.

blasting shafts hundreds of feet into the hillside. Production

in Mogok has surged since the mid-90s when the former junta
first allowed in private companies, bringing with them heavy
machinery and more intensive mining methods.
In 2003, the U.S. imposed its first round of sanctions barring
imports of gems from Myanmar in a bid to starve the military
government of funds. Today, the Mogok valley is pockmarked
with mines, but locals see little of the profits. The industry is
overseen by the Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE), a stateowned enterprise run by former military men that was taken off
the U.S. sanctions list in May.

A strong hand

Its unique pigeon-blood stones are the most expensive

coloured gems in the world last year the so-called Sunrise
Ruby sold for a record $30.3 million, over $1 million a carat.
Myanmar produces more than 80 per cent of the worlds rubies,
yet decades of isolation under the former military junta means
the industry remains cloaked in mystery. But the focus on it is
In October, the U.S. lifted sanctions barring imports of the rubies
in recognition of the countrys shift towards democracy under
the new government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Experts fear any
boom will end up lining the pockets of military men and their
friends who control much of the gem trade. Aye Min Htun earns
less than $200 a month working in a small, open-cast mine on
the valley floor, but if he found a valuable ruby, his commission
could set him up for life. My dream is to set up a business if
I am successful in mining, the 19-year-old said. I believe in
spirits... I pray they will give me a big, good-quality stone.
Behind him, a dozen men use high-pressure hoses to dislodge
earth from the side of the crater, which is then sorted on wooden
tables by barefoot workers. It is dangerous work landslides
are a frequent hazard. Im always reminding the mine workers
to be careful... They are just kids, said manager Pauksi.
Every few minutes, deep rumbles rise from the belly of the
earth. They come from dynamite detonated in the next mine,

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MGE both holds investments in mines and regulates them,

giving it a strong hand over a lucrative sector. But experts
believe much of the real power lies with the Myanmar Economic
Corporation (MEC), a sprawling military holding company
until recently also blacklisted by Washington. A study by the
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reported the MEC
has joint-ventures in almost 100 mines in Mogok and another
ruby region in Shan state.
Another resources watchdog, the NRGI, says "military-affiliated
companies such as MEC actually dominate the gems market"
and are instrumental in allowing "access by private companies".
MGE did not reply to repeated requests for comment and the
MEC could not be reached.
Many private companies in Mogok are also believed to be
operated by Thais and Chinese, who use shell companies to
bypass laws barring any foreigners from running Myanmar's

The highest-quality stones are smuggled across the country's
porous eastern borders to Bangkok or Hong Kong, where they
are polished and made into jewellery. "Red (rubies) and blue
(sapphires) mostly went to the black market in Thailand," said

Business & Life Style Magazine

In a bid to put the brakes on unfettered exploitation of Myanmar's

jade and gemstones, the government imposed a moratorium
in July on new mining licenses. Companies must now meet
stricter environmental regulations to get permits but exactly
how they are allocated is unclear. Ko Ko Aung, office manager
of Myanmar San Taw Win Gems which has around 10 plots in
Mogok, said "most mines are losing money right now" as largescale excavation has been stopped.

Tun Hla Aung, from industry body the Myanmar Gems &
Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.
In the tourist hub of Mandalay, dealers are hopeful the end of
US sanctions will bring a surge in American visitors looking
to buy their wares. "The (ruby) price will go up in the next
three or six months," Khine Khine Oo speculated at her stall
in the city's gems market, where customers sift through small
piles of unpolished stones on trestle tables. "We estimate about
a 50 per cent increase... [or] at least a third," she said grinning,
adding that dealers were stockpiling the best rubies. For their
part, US companies are already sniffing around. Weeks after
the end of sanctions were announced, the American Gem Trade
Association sent a delegation to visit Mogok and hold talks with
the industry. "US dealers will be returning to do business," said
chief executive Douglas Hucker. All will "work with licensed
dealers" and "seek to determine that the gemstones they are
buying are sourced responsibly," he said, without giving further
details of how.

But according to Michael Gibb of advocacy group Global

Witness, US buyers must follow stricter international rules to
make sure the mines enforce decent working conditions and
environmental standards. They must also ensure profits do not
fuel Myanmar's myriad borderland conflicts. "The onus is on
American companies to investigate the risks... knowing that in
a country like Myanmar, there obviously are risks," he said.

Myanmar STORY

Looking for Myanmars lost stories

Myanmar is full of untold stories. Theres one about a Naga tattoo artist. Another about a Kayan womens
organization. Yet another about the surviving witnesses of the historic 1947 Panglong Conference.
These are just a few examples of stories now being told at the
Unsung exhibit that is currently showing at Myanmar Deitta.
The exhibition was organised by The Kite Tales Project an
initiative established by journalists Ma Thin Lei Win and Kelly
Macnamara earlier this year.

remote territories in Kayah, Shan, Chin, Tanintharyi, Kayin

State among other locations. They said the real difficulty
was deciding on which stories were going to feature in the
When you travel and speak to these people, you realise that
they all have amazing stories, Macnamara said. One poignant
moment on their travels was when the two women went to
interview the mayor of Taungyi U Kham, only to find out he
had just passed away. That reinforced to us to need to capture
these stories urgently, Ma Thin Lei Win said.

The Kite Tales Project acts like a digital archive which records
the lives of everyday Myanmar people. In June 2016, Ma Thin
Lei Win and Kelly Macnamara took leave from their jobs as
journalists and travelled the country to capture stories that had
been silenced for decades.
You can find so many different perspectives, said Macnamara,
who worked with AFPs Myanmar bureau. By sharing peoples
recollections, we want to celebrate the countrys extraordinary
diversity, said Ma Thin Lei Win, who helped launch The Kite
Tales after eight years working as a journalist with the Thomson
Reuters Foundation. We wanted to make it more than an
exhibition with pretty pictures. We wanted to actually bring
people to these places.

The pair also recalled travelling to Taunggyi to meet with 92year-old U San Aung one of the only surviving journalists who
reported on the 1947 Panglong Conference. He was happy to
see us. He told us that he was hoping someone could come and
ask him about his history, Ma Thin Lei Win said. There are so
many Myanmar ethnic people with so many stories.
One of the guests, Pyone Thet Thet Kyaw, was surprised by
the range of topics portrayed in the exhibit. We only learnt
about them from textbooks and speeches from the government.
However, in this exhibition we can know more about them as
For more information visit

The exhibition displays photos, video and audio recordings that

were gathered across the county. The two women travelled to

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Myanmar launches the newest type of helicopter to enter service

The Myanmar Air Defence Force (Tatmadaw Lay)
commissioned four Airbus Helicopters H120 (formerly
designated EC120 B) Colibri helicopters and four Beechcraft
1900D utility transport aircraft in a ceremony to mark
the service's 69th anniversary at Meiktila Air Base on 15
America-Myanmar Military Ties, Next?
Despite the historic thawing of U.S.-Myanmar relations that
has occurred under the Obama administration during its two
terms in office, movement on defense ties has been quite slow.
This is despite the reality that engaging Myanmars military,
or Tatmadaw still by far the most powerful institution in
the country is central to ensuring that it plays a constructive
role in the evolution of democracy and human rights, rule of
law, and civil-military relations in the country and that it has
more opportunities to engage Western countries instead of
remaining overdependent on existing partners like China. This
is something that officials in Myanmar, including Suu Kyi
herself, have grown to accept.
Current efforts have focused on things like exchanges, outreach,
professionalization, and supporting participation in multilateral
engagements, with key developments including visits by senior
officials, involvement by military and civilian officials in
workshops on areas like human rights, and the integration of
Myanmar as an observer in Cobra Gold, Asias largest annual
multinational military exercise, held in Thailand. But there is
still a long way to go just to get ties back to where they were
before the freezing of U.S. military assistance in 1988 after the
military violently suppressed civilian protests in Myanmar. In
years prior, Myanmar has been part of U.S. military education
and training programs and there was bilateral cooperation
between the two militaries in areas such as counter-narcotics.
Aung Lynn, Myanmars envoy to the United States, focused
on two things. The first was Myanmars restoration to the
International Military Education and Training (IMET) program,
a key tool for Washington to help engage and educate foreign
militaries in areas like professionalism, civil-military relations,
and democracy. This is the program we wish to see more, he
There are lingering, legitimate concerns about even restoring
previous programs like IMET, some of them tied to broader
concerns on the militarys role in human rights violations and
others focused more specifically on IMET itself, including
its effectiveness as a policy instrument in a cash-strapped
- 76 -

environment. But it is also true that within a broader, calibrated

strategy of engaging Myanmars military, IMET is low-hanging
fruit ripe for the picking.
The second area Aung Lynn emphasized was Myanmars
growing involvement in U.S. defense workshops. As an
example, he noted the case of the just-concluded fourday annual workshop on humanitarian and disaster relief
organized by U.S. Army Pacific. The engagement, called the
Lower Mekong Initiative and Disaster Response Exercise and
Exchange (DREE), kicked off on December 6 in Myanmar and
is meant to promote integrated regional cooperation between
mainland Southeast Asian states that fall under the U.S.-led
Lower Mekong Initiative.Maybe this is a good beginning we
can do more of in the future, he said.
Facilitating Naypyitaws involvement in such engagements is
important for U.S. policy because it facilitates its integration
into what U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter calls the principled
and inclusive security network in the Asia-Pacific And besides
being good for the United States and Myanmar, this is also a
positive for the region more generally since it would lead to the
country playing a more active and constructive role in shared
challenges in areas like HADR.
To be sure, there is much more that both the United States
and Myanmar can do in the defense realm, from integrating
Naypyitaw into U.S. exercises to boosting collaboration in
areas like maritime security. Much of this will depend on how
things evolve in the U.S. side, including where Myanmar fits
in the hierarchy of the Trump administrations Asia priorities,
the relationship between the executive branch, Congress,
and other influential civil society and democracy groups,
and developments on key areas of U.S. concern, such as the
Rohingya issue. But as these trends play themselves out, the
next steps for U.S.-Myanmar defense cooperation remain clear
to those who wish to see more of it.
Business & Life Style Magazine

Myanmar girls learn martial art

for self-defense


For all the girls, we teach them how to protect themselves when
someone tries to sexually assault them and how to fight back,
instructor Hkun Naw said. Basically teaching the girls to make
themselves safe. We wanted to make sure all the internally
displaced children have the right to do something that gives
them joy, and to be confident.
More than 100,000 people in Kachin state, in Myanmars
north, have been forced from their homes by fighting between
government troops and ethnic Kachin rebels who have sought
greater autonomy for decades. A 17-year-long cease-fire
ended in 2011. A community-based organization operating
under the Kachin Independence Organization has held karate
classes in Kachin-controlled areas since the year the cease-fire
ended, seeking to teach girls and boys self-defense and selfconfidence. They (the military) rape women and thats why I
was interested, and decided to learn karate to protect myself at
least, Hkawn Ra said.

Every afternoon, dozens of teenage girls at the school for

displaced children line up on the grounds, dressed in white
uniforms with belts of various colors: yellow, blue, white.
They kick high and jump with glee before settling into their
exercises, shouting in Japanese as they punch into the air. The
reason many of these girls are in this class is sobering: They
want protection from their own countrys military.

With little confidence that soldiers will be held to account for

misdeeds, the girls in the karate class hope to at least deter them
from committing any to begin with. They compete with each
other, and some have dreams of fighting professionally. Our
instructor said we can go abroad to learn more skills, and I want
to go overseas and be a professional fighter, said 14-year-old
Nu Ja. When they know how to defend themselves, said Hkun
Naw, the instructor, they will be able to protect their families,
their people and their country.

Mostly between 13 and 16, they have lost their homes, and
in some cases their families, to the long-running civil war
in Myanmars Kachin state a war in which soldiers have
been repeatedly accused of raping girls and women, but rarely
prosecuted. This karate class offers some small sense of power
to the vulnerable.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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managed to stay out of jails, their jarring sound and brooding
political lyrics were publicly silenced.
Metal is not the type of music that goes on about how much
I love you and how much I miss you, guitar instructor Myo
Min Thu said in his teaching room, plastered with posters of
US bands like Iron Cross and Metallica. We could not criticize
Christianity or be anti-Buddhist. Politics was the worst at that
time and we faced a lot of difficulties about lyrics.
Myanmar officially abolished censorship in 2012, the year after
the junta handed power to a quasi-civilian regime. Freedom
of expression blossomed and many musicians came out in
support of Suu Kyis NLD party as it campaigned for last years
election, the first free vote in a generation. Today Myanmars
heavy metal bands are still too coy to touch on topics like sex
and death considered taboo in conservative Myanmar in stark
contrast to their peers in the West.

Moshing and sweating, the crowd of headbangers scream their

angst into the sultry Yangon night, a rare glimpse of a defiant
musical subculture now crashing into the open though sex,
drugs and religion remain off the song sheet.
Half a century of repressive military rule virtually silenced
Myanmars heavy metal scene and today its musicians are
still shunned by most people in the conservative Buddhist
country. But a growing coterie of die-hard metal-heads say the
aggressive, rasping music gives them a unique release in a nation
still struggling to come to terms with its own dark history.

Instead, they are using their new-found freedom to push for

social and political change. In our new album, we mostly write
about politics and the situation in the country, said Last Days
of Beethoven guitarist Phoe Zaw. We write against... violence
against Muslim people and Buddhist people in Rakhine state,
violence against ethnic people in other states.

Listening to metal is the best feeling. It is like freedom, its

good for the soul, 21-year-old mobile phone repairman Thaw
Di Yoo said at a recent gig. Its different from other music,
thats why I am only a fan of metal, he said, showing a tattoo
depicting the logo of his local heroes Nightmare Metal Band
on his arm.
For years metal bands were muzzled by strict censorship
laws and dissident musicians were jailed and often tortured
for supporting the opposition. Banned music was smuggled
in on tapes and CDs and an underground scene of punks and
headbangers began to grow up out of sight of Myanmars
notorious police in the 90s.
Today the arts are flourishing, but metal music is still sidelined
in a country where most prefer sickly sweet pop, crooning
love songs or Burmese covers of Western hip hop tracks. Like
repressive socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia,
Myanmars junta feared the anarchist energy of heavy metal
music. Censors banned anything they thought could prove a
spark for revolution from too much red or black in artworks to
the mention of roses in songs, seen as a reference to democracy
icon Aung San Suu Kyi. While underground metal musicians

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Still, hardcore metal remains a niche genre. While the number

of bands has grown since the end of junta rule, there are still
only a few dozen in Yangon and a handful in the rest of the
country of more than 50 million. Not many venues will put on
metal gigs and bands struggle to find sponsors who will pay for
the high-level sound systems they need, while few shops stock
the rare albums that make it onto labels. Very few organizers
want to hold underground shows, metal shows.
But bands say the explosion of social media over the past few
years has helped to bring them into the limelight. Now they
post their music online instead of handing out CDs in teashops
and on the street, and fans can share songs without having to
wait for them to be formally released. For musicians who have
struggled for years to be heard, the online revolution is offering
a new hope. I think metal music is becoming more popular in
Myanmar now, said Aung Myo Linn, from Nightmare Metal
Band. Technology and the Internet is helping as we can share
songs through social media like Facebook, YouTube and others,
even if we cannot produce albums.

Business & Life Style Magazine

Italys unique soft power approach

to Myanmar

Italys emphasis on culture goes beyond hosting concerts

and showcases for its own heritage, though, as it brings its
considerable expertise in helping to preserve Myanmars culture
and history. Aliberti drew comparisons between Myanmars
pagodas and Italys churches when talking about the need to
protect and restore historical sites, pointing out that Italy has
the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites
in the world.
The designation of the Pyu Ancient Cities site in 2014 as the
first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Myanmar came
about through Italys funding and support of the Capacity
Building to Safeguard Cultural Heritage in Myanmar program.
The program was a collaborative effort between Italy and the
Myanmar Ministry of Culture, and it demonstrates the kind of
relationship Italy is aiming for between the two countries.

The Italian embassys night of opera, held at Yangons Strand

Hotel, was a key part of their unique soft power approach to
building good relations with Myanmar, the Italian ambassador
said. Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Italys top diplomat in Myanmar
since June 2015, emphasized the importance of creating a
cultural connection between the two countries, saying Culture
is a bridge for us, and the cultural aspect is very important.

We dont want to come here to tell them what to do. We take

a peaceful, cooperative approach, said DAlonzo. Highprofile visits by Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian Minister of Foreign
Affairs, soon after the installation of the new government, and
delegations from Italian parliament this year demonstrated
Italys commitment to Myanmar, he added.
On the commercial side of things, Italy is well positioned to
invest in Myanmars increasingly open markets. DAlonzo listed
construction, infrastructure, electricity, hydro, development,
and sustainable tourism in particular as industries that play
into Italys strengths. However, he said that Italy is committed
to working with the Myanmar government in determining
investment priorities. The Italian approach is all about one
word respect, he said.

Italy, a member of the G7 and the 8th largest economy in the

world by nominal GDP, is poised to increase investment and
trade in Myanmars liberalizing market. However, as of 2015,
it ranked 14th among Myanmars trade partners, and total
trade between the two countries actually decreased from 2014,
according to the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry website. One
of the ways Italy hopes to expand its economic and political ties
with Myanmar is through culture.

After the event, Aye Kaong Zaw, an audience member, said that
the performances were quite amazing, adding, It was something
like classic Burmese music, deep down in our culture. Min
Nay Thway Aung, another guest, said that, while he couldnt
understand the lyrics, he could feel what the music was about.
They both agreed that the event was unique and different, and
they appreciate+d it because it is hard for them to get to know
Italian opera.

The event held on December 10, titled I Love Opera: Second

Edition, was part of the embassys Italy in Myanmar 2016
initiative, which organized several cultural events in Yangon
throughout the year to increase Myanmars exposure to Italys
rich heritage. These include film screenings, cooking classes, a
fashion show, concerts, and Saturday evenings opera event.
Tenor Roberto Cresca and pianist Gianfranco Pappalardo
Fiumara treated the assembled guests to a 90-minute set,
performing pieces by Leoncavallo, Puccini, and Schubert.
Opera is traditional Italian music - it is the music of language
and love, said Matteo DAlonzo, the Deputy Head of Mission at
the Italian embassy. He added that music is universal, allowing
the people of Myanmar to see our common ground.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

Responses like these are music to the Italians ears, showing the
potential for the future of Italy-Myanmar relations. DAlonzo,
however, was quick to point out Italys positive relationship
with Myanmar in the past. We never left, he said, explaining
that the Italian embassy has always remained open, even as
other countries embassies closed their doors. He added, We
have always believed in Myanmar.
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From dealing with censors to coping with rising costs, how are Myanmars artists faring as the
country opens up to the world? Let's look at the challenges the artists face.
The successful, and some say historic, public screening
of The Road To Mandalay was in contrast to how he
made his first feature film back in 2011. Swept up by
the optimism of Myanmars general elections the year
before, he had decided to return to his hometown of
Lashio to shoot the film Return To Burma. But back
then, he had to do it in secret.
Things have changed. We dont need any more
permission to shoot. You can use your camera to shoot
what you want, he said.
Myanmar artist Nyein Chan Su's The Brother And The Sister

For filmmaker Midi Z, it was a night to remember. The 33-year-old

Myanmar-born Taiwanese director was already known for critically
acclaimed movies such as Return to Burma and Ice Poison. But he had
not been able to show any of his films in his home country. So when
his latest effort, The Road To Mandalay, was screened at the Memory!
International Heritage Film Festival in Yangon on Nov 7 last year, Midi
Z, who had left the country at the age of 16 to study in Taiwan, was very

As Myanmar continues to open up to the world, the

past few years have seen its artists adjusting to the
countrys relatively more liberal environment. It
hasnt been completely smooth-sailing, though, as
they face challenges and issues ranging from freedom
of expression to coping with economic hurdles.
When it comes to the former, however, artists and
observers that things are changing for the better.
Compared to the past few decades, it is much
freer today to make any form of artistic expression.
Censorship has been lifted and it has improved

I was there and I felt quite nervous but excited, because I really cared
about the reactions of people from my home country, recalled the
The Golden Horse-nominated film about two illegal immigrants from
Myanmar who sneak into Thailand to work in a factory struck a chord
among the audience, he told During the Q&A, two journalists were
crying, because 30 years ago, one of them reported about the same issue
discussed in the film, and was put in jail for five years, he said.
They werent crying because the film was good or touching but because
they realized things are changing. Although the film expressed a darker
side of the country, it was allowed to be shown.
A still from Midi Z's The Road To Mandalay
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Business & Life Style Magazine

conditions to a certain extent, reckoned Maung Day, a poetwriter and one-time performance artist, who was recently
in town for the Singapore Writers Festival. Its an opinion
echoed by contemporary artist Htein Lin, who was a political
prisoner under the military regime from 1998 to 2004. There
is more freedom of expression, more opportunity to do political
commentary and less formal censorship, he said.
One of his works that looks back to those years can be seen at
the Singapore Biennale - an installation featuring hundreds of
soap blocks in the shape of Myanmar, which alludes to the time
he had carved a figure within a block of soap while in jail.
The changes can also be seen in the subtlest ways, said MariePierre Mol, the co-founder of Intersections, a Singapore-based
gallery that specializes in Myanmar art. An avid follower of
contemporary Myanmar art, she has done 10 shows and visited
the country 15 times. For the past few years, she noted, there
has been an explosion of paintings that normally wouldnt have
been seen years ago, because these featured elements that were
previously frowned upon by military authorities.

Return To Burma was shot in secret in his hometown

of Lashio.
the screening of Road to Mandalay, the final scene, which showed
blood splattering on a Buddha image, was crudely covered - by
hand. They used a hand over the projection; it was quite funny,
he laughed. But the hand was shaking so we still saw something. I
was fine with that as it was the final, five-second shot, and I thought
the audience already understood it.

Among these are the presence of images from the pro-democracy

protests in 1988, as well as the use of the color red.
Even color was political back then, she said, pointing out that
using red could have got artists in deep trouble.

Such instances may seem relatively amusing, but there are also
occasional reports of films being pulled out from festivals.The
film 'Twilight Over Burma', which tells the story of an Austrian
woman who married a Shan prince, was removed from the lineup
of a human rights festival for supposedly endangering national
reconciliation and the image of the army. There are still constraints
and red lines, like criticizing the army or even criticizing Aung
San Suu Kyi, admitted Htein Lin. Although the democraticallyelected government has got rid of some repressive laws, there are
new ones like the 2013 Telecommunications Act, which is used to
prevent freedom of expression.


Officially speaking, censorship is now considered history. But
it hasn't completely disappeared.Midi Z recalled how, during

The act, more popularly known in Myanmar as 66D, covers

defamatory statements made online and can result in imprisonment.
One of its more recent cases involved a poet who spent six months
in jail after posting a poem that supposedly mentioned having a
tattoo of the president on his penis. There also seems to be a concern
among some artists that there is an element of self-censorship
emerging - particularly when it comes to tackling sensitive issues
such as religion, politics and the plight of ethnic minorities.
One thing largely missing in the art and literary scene are discussions
on ethnic issues, said Maung Day, who cited such conflicts in
the countrys fringes that involve the Kachin, the Karen, and the
Shan. As for the situation regarding the Rohingya, he described it
as complicated, very divisive and confusing. I feel writers are
holding back what they want to say or they just dont have a clue
what is going on, he said. But we still have to acknowledge the
sufferings of these people.

Htein Lin's installation Soap Blocked

at the Singapore Biennale.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Years of regimented rules regarding what is and what is not allowed

is something artists continue to grapple with today, even with the
new freedoms being allowed them, said artist-couple Tun Win
Aung and Wah Nu. The two have recently finished a show at Chan
Hampe Galleries and, like Htein Lin, have an installation currently
up at the Singapore Biennale, which looks at the forgotten heroes
of pre-colonial Myanmar. Frankly speaking, the imaginations of
our artists are stuck on those familiar regulations and restrictions
we lived with for over the past half-century."
But while the issue of creative freedom has somewhat monopolized
discussions about Myanmars art scene, artists point to other
important matters they deal with.
These include the lack of funding and institutional infrastructure,
weak local support, and a lack of art scholarships. Funding is
an issue, said Htein Lin. There is no meaningful state funding
or arts council. And if there were, these would probably be very
traditional and risk averse. Even international organizations who
have previously supported many cultural activities and projects
have cut down on their support, said Maung Day. Many have
changed their agenda in this new political setting, which kind of
undermines the importance and role arts play in the socio-political
landscape of the country.
The swift changes in Myanmar have brought many positives for the
artistic community, but there are also somewhat more basic issues
to deal with. They now have more exposure; more foreigners are
visiting the country, there are more curators, tourists, businessmen,
which are good. More artists are now invited abroad by museums,
institutions, galleries, which are wonderful, said Mol. But at the
same time, prices are now getting higher - its become complicated
to get good materials, canvas, paint, its all becoming expensive.

Nyein Chan Su's Near Sule Square, which was done in 2014,
featured elementsthat would have been a no-no during the
military regime, such as the use of the colour red and images
of a pro-democracy rally

Rising costs is one of the problems that Midi Z currently faces. A

few years ago, the director decided to open a production studio
in Yangon to help develop the film and documentary industry
there. But he is now wondering how to sustain it. Its very,
very expensive. Our studio, which has three editing rooms, one
office and one kitchen, costs US$5,000 a month to rent! We
cant afford it anymore so Im planning to move to a smaller
place. Its quite strange in Yangon - some of the hotels are even
more expensive than in Singapore.
As contemporary artists grapple with direct bread-and-butter
issues, they are also slowly coming to terms with their place
in society.
While many of them are hailed abroad, it seems theres still
much work to be done to establish themselves at home.
Artist-couple Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu, for instance, are
critically acclaimed artists overseas. But in a country with such
a rich history of traditional forms, they bemoan the level of
appreciation for - or even understanding of - contemporary art
in Myanmar, by the government and the public.
Their recently concluded show at Chan Hampe Galleries featured
a suite of photographs comprising mock-ups of exhibitions that
they couldnt hold in Myanmar for one reason or another. In
a way, its a record of their struggles as contemporary artists
in their country - many galleries back home had resisted this

Soe Soe's In The Rain 7 captures the uncertainty of life in

Myanmar's next chapter as a nation.
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Business & Life Style Magazine

conceptual way of working and they had no way to show their

exhibitions except as photographs.Most of the galleries were
not ready for our new works. We also could not afford to exhibit
them on our own, too, they said.
Maung Day also remembers the challenges it took to set up
a performance art festival. In 2008, he co-founded Beyond
Pressure, which aimed to introduce the relatively new art form
to the public. We wanted to offer easy and open access for the
general public, so we decided to let the censors come and artists
pitched their ideas to them, he recalled.
It was really interesting; the censors didnt know what
performance art was and didnt know how to censor it so they
ended up saying remove red balloons from your performance
or dont shout during the performance. But we thought it was
important to engage the censors in the festival. It was all part of
challenging the status quo. Their plan worked. The festival was
a success, and it was followed by a few more editions before it
went on a temporary hiatus.

make a difference by making films that focused on education

and childrens issues.


Beyond Pressure is one of many art events that are part of a
new wave of artistic activities by artists energized by the
possibilities in the new era. Without a doubt, for many of the
established artists that were directly affected by traumatic events
of the recent past, it has been a time to continue investigating
Myanmars history. Htein Lin, for instance, has been working
on a project called A Show Of Hands, where he has been
documenting the lives of fellow former political prisoners. But
at the same time, he is also busy working on projects that look
at the present and the future, such as curating My Yangon My
Home, an arts and heritage festival that celebrates the city, and a
few more that document the countrys rapid modernization.
Many artists, too, are looking to the future.
Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu have an ongoing
series they call Museum Projects, where
they work with emerging artists. Theyre
intended for those who are not familiar with
art, and at the same time, for very young
artists to have the opportunity to brainstorm
their ideas, they said.
Indeed, space has been opening up for newer
faces in the scene. One of these is filmmaker
Sein Lyan Tun. Like Midi Z, he had also
left the country as a young man and worked
overseas in Cyprus and Singapore. But in
2013, he decided to come back to try and
Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu's Blurring The Boundaries #9 is

part of a series of photographs of unrealized exhibitions.

To date, he has done four documentaries and two short films

that have either won at festivals or shown on international
television. His latest work-in-progress is about a Buddhist nun
who wants to become a doctor. For him, its a chance to build
the future through his art. Wed been fighting for democracy
and now that we get it, the younger generation has to make its
future. We have to make our own history.
And as newer faces emerge, the next chapter of Myanmars art
scene will be an interesting one to watch, said Mol. Theyll
grow up and develop their practice without censorship, they
can go abroad and discover all the different
practices and subject matters. I think there will
be a huge, huge change, even if its a little bit
early to have an opinion about which direction
it will go. Added Maung Day: Like the
country itself, the art scene is in a transition
period in some sort of reinvention stage.
We will see what comes out.

From Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu's

The Name, an installation that looks at
Myanmar's forgotten pre-colonial heroes,
which is up at the Singapore Biennale.

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The essence of the paintings here is colour not just the

primary ones, red, green, blue, but also black and white.
Planet of Color works to delve far beyond interesting
combinations of color; in fact, it verges on social commentary
about representations of women in the arts.
Three artists Min Zay Yar Oo, Yan Naing Tun, and Zaw Min
Thein challenge artistic conventions and portray the nude
body through street photography and modelled figure drawings
of women.
This is my first time drawing nudes, said Zaw Min Thein,
who learned to draw in 1996 but became a professional artist
only in 2011.
Ive always liked to draw nudes but it is difficult to find models,
especially here.

days outdoors drawing inspiration from the people who populate

his neighborhood in Dagon Seikkan township.
I became friends with the children who are playing in street.
They take baths completely naked in the drain. Seeing them,
I had the idea to draw natural and innocent forms like them,
he said.In his photographs, the children appear with their arms
outstretched on the shoulders of another, showing for Min Zay
Yar Oo the unity and peacefulness of the uncorrupted child
mind. This photo set later inspired a painting entitled Peace to
The New World 2, which was awarded best painting of 2016
in the Tun Foundations painting competition.
Yan Naing Tun, who has been painting for 15 years also explored
nudity in his ongoing series depicting female nudes. He said,
I would like to show the textures and feelings as the women
control their shyness and fear of other women in my simple
paintings. I used a gold colour for skin to show their value.

Thirty-year-old artist Min Zay Yar Oo told that he spends his

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Business & Life Style Magazine

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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- 86 Myanmar Sole

Business & Life Style Magazine

Contact: 099 6881 4850 , 097 7061

7640 , 099 7022 1281
- 87 Address: No.1005,10F, Yuzana Tower, ShweGonDanig, Bahan Township, Yangon.

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

INTERVIEW with Aye Myat Myat Thu

Could you please tell us more about yourself?
My name is Aye Myat Myat Thu and Im the CEO of Myanmar
Hand in Hand Marketing Services Co.,Ltd. My parents were the
government staffs back in the days and they really cared about
my education. But during my 9thstandard and 10th standard
in school, we unfortunately faced the 8888 Uprising period
of Myanmar and our schools got delayed for around 2 years. It
was like a nightmare for everyone during that time. After those
devastating moments, I finished my 10th standard and that
was when my parents retired from being government workers.
Since the lack of finance from my family, I attended in one of
the charity language centers around a monastery near North
Oakala Monk Road. At the same time, Universities are reopened
while I was attending thesecourses. So, I applied for GTI. After
years passed and during my second year in University, there was
another uprising period occurred in 1996 so all the schools and
universities were closed down. But during that time I decided
to start working for my family because I wanted to help them.
After years of experiencing different jobs throughout my life, i
learnt many lessons that made me who I am today.

Where did you graduate and tell us more about

your experience when you first started working?
I was first graduated at University of Yangon in 2002. Later
on when I started my own business, I studied as well and
graduated from Yangon Institute of Economics, in 2010.
During my years of attending University of Yangon, another
unfortunate interaction with the uprising period back in 1996
delayed my school years once again. But that time I decided to
help and work for my family then I started searching for jobs.
Not long after, the first job I found was being a promoter at
a beer company. It didnt go well because of my age, parents
and our culture. But it didnt stop me and I had a chance for an
interview to work in a hotel. It was in Yangon City Hotel Royal
and I wanted a Front Office job but it was only permitted for
graduates. I had to work as a cleaner and there were many
tough times. Even once, I shed tear thinking about my parents
and how it was easy for me to stay at home without doing
anything while my mom did most of the things. I worked at that

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Business & Life Style Magazine

hotel for around two years and later on moved to a better one
which I also thought I could learn something new. After that I
moved to Sales & Marketing Company and attended Diploma
in Business Management including LCCI level 3. When I worked
at the company as the marketing staff, I attended university by
distance education. My major had to attend on weekends as
well and I did not get the permission on Saturdays so I decided
to go work and school at the same time. It wasnt easy at all for
me but my friends and teachers also helped me out. Of course
there were students who prioritized their work and quit school
but I endured the difficulties and finally graduated.

How and when did you manage to start your own

business and how did you get the ideas to do this
kind of business?
My first intention to start my own business was based on my
actual life. Like I said before, my father was a government officer.
So, as soon as he retires, there was nothing got as earningsand
we faced difficulties to survive. That was the reason I wanted
to start my own business since then. Of course I had to learn
from my seniors like remembering their top management
level and even if I get scolded for my mistakes, I dont think
as the negative and learn back from my mistakes. My motto
was to always think from where others are standing from, so
that you can learn more about others as well as having good
relationship with each other. As soon as I finished my MBA,
I worked at NGO (Non-Government Organization). The main
difference between the marketing and this organization is the
amount of time you have to input into work. For commercials,
I had to do all day and there was no resting time but for NGO it

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

was relaxing and not a very tiring job. Its closed on weekends
as wellso I had a lot of time to think about starting my business.
My passion, age, experience and mind was telling me to decide
wisely about the business and thats where it all began. I had a
partner which he was also a worker like me so we didnt really
have any investment of making huge companies. He works in
sales department and I had my experience in Marketing so we
decided of making an agency for marketing sector. So we started
small and rapid as we only focused on the customer needs and
their satisfaction because during that time, there were only a
few agencies who thought about the customers. We thought
about giving good services and being close to the customers
will make us know the need of the customers. Since then we
started below the line marketing. We started our business on
the 8th of June, 2010. I rented an office room from a manager
and as soon as we got our projects, I thought of the strategies
and planning. The manager did for execution and gave report
to me. We usually got the feedbacks and directed the manager
what she should do. After one year passed by, the market
started growing rapidly. Many foreign and local companies
started to migrate here so we were worried of having conflict
in our business. She also had her work and I was still working in
NGO, so I decided whether she quits her job and focus more in
this business or I quit my job. She couldnt and I did quit my job
and started my business professionally around 2011.

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How do you manage and control your staffs?

about the trends and plans. For example, Myanmar Young

Entrepreneurship Association has their business training
courses focusing on Business planning and Business Ideas
and they even let the students meet the investors. They will
judge your ideas and will invest money into your project if it is
good enough. So there are many chances for young people in
Myanmar and I dont really think that a certain person cannot
start their business without assets.

This is also one of the most difficult parts of having your own
business. But my main thinking, till now, is that all my workers
should be happy at work. I think carefully choosing their roles
in the business that were doing and staying as colleague rather
than a boss is a better way of working together. A certain
business can only achieve success with passion, interest and
fun. I even invested my own money on their training courses
and their exam fees.It is not as easy as the old days to keep
a staff for a long period of time because in
todays time, huge salary is not the only
option to keep a worker in your business for a
long time. It is how much you can guarantee
a workers future in your business. Since
the living expense in Myanmar just keep
increasing, increasing their salary or making
a workplace more lively and fun or finding
a place for them to live. Sometimes it even
takes me around 6 months trying to get closer
with my staffs. It also benefits me as well as
them at the same time.

Out of all the things you couldve done in business,

why did you choose marketing
service and what are the
advantages of it?

Most people today argue that a

certain person cannot start their
own business without a sufficient
Amount of money to begin. So could
you give us ideas upon that topic?
If you compare today with 6 or 7 years ago,
everything is different. Back in my time, you
really need huge investments to start your own business.
But in todays time, I dont really believe in that topic. Since
my work is mainly about services, you will only need human
resources, talent and ability. Before worrying about money,
you must first start to believe in yourself. And if you start to
trust yourself more, people will start believing in you. And just
then youll get sufficient amount of money and things will just
keep going constantly. If you ask me whether i have enough
money, the answer will be no because we all need more even
if our business is improving day by day. Every businessman will
understand because money is just going in and out every day.
Unlike the old days, there are a lot of investors now comparing
back then. There are a lot of business training courses teaching

- 90 -

The main reason will be services. It only

needs a little investment and there are
only a few who is actually interested in
services. The more services you do, the
more you get tiring because you have
to always communicate with different
kinds of people from all around the
world. So your products will be your
customers and since its the people
who you must be managing all the time,
people management is the hardest
management. There are workers who
had experienced 4 or 5 years in service
working but they all usually change the
companies from one place to another.
Firstly, I like people. Its just like a hobby
to communicate and help others. Even
there were times with no investors, the only investments we
hadwas human resources. I have an aim of creating my own
brand one day because I worked in many places such as Banking
Sector, Hospitality Industry and NGO. So after all those years of
working experiences, I found brand management. Creating a
brand and taking care of it is very similar to as a baby. From the
first time youll name it and to take care of it as it grows up day
by day. The important thing is to know how to make the brand
succeed. Of course everybody have a dream of becoming who
they want to be one day. If I have to recall, I didnt really had
any investments as well as my main strength was in sale &
marketing. So with all the experience I had, that was my final
decision. Even though its the same sale & marketing, the

Business & Life Style Magazine

creativity of each person is different. For example working for

commercials, advertising or promotions as each section differs
from one another. Like speaking in marketing terms, it is either
above the line or below the line. I chose below the line by
knowing that its really tiring. Since I chose below the line, I
had to go a lot of field marketing and had to work activities
with more people concerning with sale promoters or PR. Yes
each section differs but I chose this section because I admire
of what Im doing.

Please, tell us more about your current business

situation and your future plans for your company.
My profession is sales and marketing and I dont want to come out
of this field. I want to hold new product for my service business.
For the time being, I also do event management business. Also
I intend to do research business because of demand from my
clients. In this field of marketing communications business,
foreign agencies entered into the Myanmar market in 2012
and 2013 but they can do nothing without local partners. After
2014, new agencies including small agencies appeared in the
market. Compared with some other agencies, we have some
lack of theories as well as practice in doing our services. But,
I want my own company to exist in international level. There
is no agency in Myanmar that can compare with international
agencies. So, I plan to grow my company that can compare
with the international level within 5 years.

needed to make survey upon this. In Myanmar, people use

the products from Thailand and China and rarely use made-inMyanmar products. So, Myanmar business men should try to
manufacture quality products made in Myanmar. Government
is just still trying to do this. There is so less of income flowing
to Myanmar from abroad. This makes inflation. But, I believe
made-in-Myanmar products with good quality can be
manufactured in one day. I want to develop manufacturing
sector of Myanmar more and more in near future.

Are there any advices that you can give to the youth
of Myanmar?
The current generation of people is very lucky compare to our
days. The culture is too different and people have become
more open-minded. Unlike the old times, woman rights are
everywhere around the world and everybody will have the
same opportunity. Even if youre a woman, you dont have
to feel mistreated anymore at this age. That is why all of you
people have to choose the right decisions. Currently we have
many supports for all the young women who are looking for
new ways and opportunities in life. Even I have many problems
that I dont dare to risk it but I always try to motivate myself
more to become a stronger person day by day. Even our
national leader itself is a woman and she shows us that its not
about the gender, its all about the mindset. It could be politics,
business or even the countrys leader is all within our reach. So
unlike the old days, we all have similar chances and we all need
to think carefully of our decisions in life. With that way, we all
will be united together and everyone will be treated the same
as one another.

How do you hope the business trend of Myanmar

and which sector do you think to develop in a few
For the country, manufacturing is needed in first priority, I think.
For the economic growth of Myanmar, made-in-Myanmar
products are needed. But people in Myanmar dont know what
kind of product should be manufactured. When the sanctions
were lifted in America, we dont know how to export what
kinds of products. We also dont have experience in exporting
made-in-Myanmar products, too.
There are hundreds of products needed in Myanmar market.
FMCG and F & B products can be making more money. In
our Professional Marketers Association, we discuss about
what kinds of products should be manufactured and it is also

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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David Aung


Charlotte Barjou is a fashion designer and a very determined person. She came all the way from France and wants to
introduce her unique fashion all across Myanmar. Fighting all her way through the difficulties to create her own label and
is a perfect role model for all of us who are willing to achieve our dreams and goals. Shes one of those few people who
proved that anything is within our reach but it hasnt been also easy for her. She shared her past experiences and the
journey about her becoming who she is today. And she is finally about to achieve what her 12 years old self has dreamt
of till now. All about Charlotte herself and the grand opening ceremony of Charlotte Barjou on 18th December will all be
introduced. So you can learn all about Charlotte Barjou together with us in MYANKORE.
Q. When did you arrive Myanmar and
what makes you want to move here?
I first arrived in Myanmar about 3 years ago on March 2014 as a
visitor while touring around Asia. And i fell in love with the country
more and more and decided to stay here.At the beginning, we were
staying and working in France together with my boyfriend which
is now my husband and we decided to go abroad to be more open
minded and learn about new cultures. The main reason i chose
Myanmar out of all the countries is mainly about the people here.
Everyone here is so kind and always willing to help and i love the
weather too. Sunny days with only blue sky above makes my mood
so lively and active all the time.
Q. When did you start doing fashion and
how did it make you more interested in the subject?
I started fashion when i was 12 years old nothing but out of passion
in the beginning and i had my first teacher who was teaching me
how to sew and she was making costumes at the opera. She mainly
makes ballerina costumes so although she was teaching me how
to sew and others, basically was sharing me her passion especially
things about ballerina. So technically i was very familiar with
the ballerina environment since when i was young. I had other
personal teachers permanently teaching me 20 to 22 hours every
week learning about making patterns which are very technical. So i
learned till the age of 18 and till that time i havent lost any passion
about fashion .

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Q. What are the main differences between

France and Myanmar?

Q. Where were you graduated and

does it concerned anything about fashion?

The first thing will be the people because i find people in

Myanmar very friendly and kind. I remember one time when
we first arrived here, it was during the rainy season and a huge
rain suddenly started. We were shocked
and we had no umbrellas so we were
starting to get wet then suddenly
one man appeared and just handed
over us his umbrella, we were so
surprised and after he left. Where
can you find this from all around
the world? And secondly will the
architecture, the buildings are starting
to be more developed and the antique
ones are still left but everything is
starting to get in shape so its amazing. The
main fact i like about Myanmar is about
the trees and everything is so green, i
wish it will stay on like this forever.

I was graduated in Paris.My parents forced me to go marketing,

although i was so passionate about fashion that time, but i didnt
regret going for marketing because it gained lots of experience.
After that I have been working at Christian Dior at marketing
in cosmetics. I had two jobs. The first job was at Christian Dior
and at the same time I created my own website called Saturday
creations . The idea was to create one dress every week and i
was posting it online and also they all had one week to buy. And
every after week, there will be a new design. At first my idea
was that im working at a company everyday and i also want
to develop my brand so at that time i thought about internet is
the best choice because its an easier and a cheaper way to start
comparing to the store. Even when i started to arrive here, i still
did some work about the website because i had clients back
then but i stopped it.
Q. When you first arrive Myanmar,
what were your thoughts on our fashion?

Q. Since the weather is usually

hot throughout the whole year
in Yangon, how do you come up
the concept of your fashion?

My first impression was that mostly everyone is wearing the

traditional clothes and it appeals so elegant and beautiful towards
me.I love the way how everyone is wearing lounge which is so
elegant and magnificent. It has all these combination and all
the colours and one thing i hope it will stay this way always
because it is so special. I know because im travelling all around
the world and it makes it unique and has its own specific style.
All i can say is that i love it. The long traditional dresses such
as the ones with long volumes like antique princess style are my
personal favourites because i myself make wedding dresses.

Its a bit easier in a sense because

we dont have to do a lot of coats.
But mostly it depends on the fabric
and i am a huge fan of fabric. The
design is of course important but
the fabric is most important
thing. So its suitable with
the weather as well here.
I usually get the fabric in
Myit Kyinar and we do
all the clothing and the
designs in our shop. We
talk with the customer
more trying to get to know
their ideas and making
it a better way for them
to be more comfortable.
My idea was not to make
ready to wear but make
to measure, what i like

Q. So have you travelled anywhere in Myanmar?

Yes, Ive been to Myit Kyinar first looking for the fabric and i
remember seeing women there carrying on the work beautifully
on the silk. And ive also been to Bagan, 5 times, and that place
is special for me because it is where my husband proposed.
Bagan is like magic to me, its really fantastic and it was all
worth it. Ive also been to Kalau, Inlay, Mandalay, Bahan and
the beaches. I especially love the garden work in Baho which
is really beautiful. But Bagan is by far the most beautiful city
for me.

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about that is we need to be very communicative with our customers and we
share our ideas and get a better outcome of the dress. It is a better way of
dealing with a customer which will satisfy both us and them.
Q. What are your future plans and
goals for Charlotte Barjou?
My wish for Charlotte Barjou is to be like a big label one day, mainly Haute
Cotour but maybe it will take like at least 50 years and ill still try my best.
And of course i think about expanding my label to nation wide but ill firstly
focus on the current situation in Yangon. Maybe i will open like a showroom
in Mandalay to let the people know more about us. One day i will also aim
for overseas but that is a long way to go and i only want to focus the present
and make it better.
Q. Do you have any inspirational person in your life
and what are your favourite labels?
If i have to choose, my favourite brands will be CHANEL, Christian Dior
and YSL. They were made at least 5 decades years ago so i look up to them.
My favourite designer is someone who used to work for Christian Dior,
Givenchy and his own label John Galliano. John Gallianos techniques and
collections amazed me every time.
Q. Why do you name your brand Charlotte Barjou
and what are your fashion and your price raanges?
The reason i chose Charlotte Barjou is because it is my name. It is easier to
recognise as it also proves my identity and of course i wish my brand will
go on at least 100 years. My fashion is basically elegant, feminine, model,
exclusive, unique fabric, unique designs and mostly dresses. There are wide
ranges of prices starting from 250,000Kyats for short dresses, long dresses
starts from around 750,000Kyats and wedding dresses have different ranges
of prices usually above 1,000,000Kyats depending on the customer. I always
discuss the ideas with customer first, meeting around 3 or more times, to
make a perfect clothing which will satisfy the customer.
Q. What is your relationship with Vestige?
Vestige and us collaborated my first ready-to-wear collection here in
Myanmar. We together creates unique mixtures items and dresses within
us and make new designs together for the ready-to-wear collection. Vestige
started as a souvenir and they also have a cafe which is really amazing.
Q. How is running business in Myanmar and
how did you achieve it so far?
Doing business in Myanmar is very different from France. In France there
are majority of ready-to-wear clothing but not a lot of make to measures.

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Myanmar is more of make-to-measure clothing so i finds it

amusing and i love it because i myself is a big fan of Haute
Coutur. Since im not doing the traditional clothes because they
are many taylor who are taking in charge of that part so ill
be introducing new fashion and design in Myanmar. Although
i was so passionate about fashion since young age, i couldnt
achieve till now and im not sad about that at all. My thinking
improved base on my experience because i can tell that i was
fighting for something i want. I want it because i dont have it
and at the sane time i cant have it as well that time, so since
i love my passion i fight for it. As i fight for many years and
years i became stronger and finally be able to start my own label
makes me so proud of myself. Its more than a dream come true
because im doing something i admire since i was twelve and
this doing this gives me a lot of satisfaction. Every morning
when i wake up, i feel so lucky that im doing something that i
dreamed of but its not so easy to achieve it.
Q. How do you advertise your brand here?
One thing good about here is that people love fashion shows.
When someone wants to do an opening ceremony, they just

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decide to do a fashion show. I did a lot of fashion shows here

in Myanmar. That also helps me advertise my brand. Unlike
fashion weeks in France because there only four fashion shows
throughout the whole year. But i prefer the way they do here,
you can do your fashion shows whenever you want. Compare to
what ive done in France, ive done a lot of fashion week here
and it is amazing.
Q. How do you train your staffs here
and where do see yourself in next 10 years?
I have this teacher in France and i asked her to come here to train
the people working here since i have a lot here who are willing
to learn. Her designs are marvellous so we all want to learn
from her. Shes older than me so shes more experienced than
me, shes 62 years old and she worked for CHANEL at Haute
Coutur so she knows all the details and the perfections and the
main thing is she knows how to be a teacher. She can make other
people understand better than me so we will all learn from her.
In next years, i see myself here in Yangon Myanmar. Maybe in
terms of fashion and design, i might go back to France also and
start a workshop there since i know a lot of people already in
France. But ill still be focusing on my business here.

Restaurant Review

David Aung
With the reunion of old childhood friends, this one delicious
restaurant is now finally open in West Shwegondaing Ward near
Yuzuna Hotel. Long wishes of the old friends having the same
thought of making business together were finally achieved.
The name 101 hot pot & sushi was named for the customers to
memorize it easily and it is also connected to Taiwan because most
of the owners among the childhood friends also came back from
Taiwan. And 101 Taipei tower in Taiwan was once the worlds
tallest building.
The chefs are basically the professionals from Taiwan and they
themselves manage the staffs and the food recipe. Instead of focusing
on the appearances and the designs for the restaurant, they basically
focus on the healthy food and the cleanliness of the surrounding
when one customer is enjoying a certain meal. They also make sure
that all staffs are in good health to serve the customers.
Even though the name of our restaurant is 101 hot pot & sushi,
it doesnt only consist of hot pot & sushi. There are other side
meals you can enjoy with plain rice and also various kinds of fried
rice depending on which country is also available there!Seafood,
Japanese food or Chinese food is anything within your range to
enjoy and feast yourself up.
Hot pot is a meal where commonly enjoyed by families or groups of
friends. So they also have set menus of different sizes for different
number of people who will be dining at their restaurant. It can go
up to ten people or even two is fine. This is the place where you can
relax with your family, co-workers or friends.

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Business & Life Style Magazine

01 hot pot & sushi basically has a unique fact which makes
them stands out from other hot pot restaurants.
When you hear a hot pot restaurant, youll imagine
choosing your favorite kinds of meat and picking up your
ideal vegetables for the hot pot. But this shop is pretty
different from other restaurants which arethat you can
order any kinds of meat youd prefer and you can order
in two options, fried or with hot pot. For the fried option,
for example Fried Shrimps in Hot Spicy Sauce which you
can eat the shrimps first handedly then later you can enjoy
the remaining meals from the fried shrimps dish like a hot pot.
They will also add more vegetables and any kind of meat youd
prefer for the hot pot as well. Its made up of 18 different kinds of
ingredients to have a rich flavored curry.
Fried Shrimps in Hot Spicy Sauce

nother special dish is for all the fish lovers out there.
This hot pot is one of the most popular among
our customers. There is no need to add any more
ingredients to this hot pot because it is readily made and
the taste is so delicious. The combination of fish filets in
Hot Chili Oil and Boiled Fish Filets with Pickled Cabbage.
Both the spicy fish filets and the pickled cabbage fish
filets have their own unique taste. And it is not all about
fish fillets, you can choose either chicken, shrimps, beef
or pork. And in the pork category as well, there is a dish
which is very famous among the foreigners from all around
the world. It is a Doubled Boiled Pork Bone and Ribs
Soup which is traditionally made by the ancient Chinese

f you are a big fan of Japanese food and is willing to try out new things, you wont be going to the wrong place.
They have a special sushi known as the Volcano Roll. Instead of serving raw meat like the Japanese sushi, they
made a twist which they boiled and fried and it is also popular among foreigners. After every heavy meal, you
need any kinds to dessert for satisfaction. And this Fried Sesame Cake wont let you down. This is one of the most
favorable among the customers.

They also have

PROMOTIONS in February
by giving discount to one
kind of meal every week for
the whole month. There are
further promotions in this
year as well!

Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Looking for a room to do your specific work...

But can't find the right place?
Want a special place to just chill and hang out with
your friends?
We know as well as you how hard it is to find a place
in the center of Yangon
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So here at GMC, we provide you with not only with
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but you can get access to our multi-purpose room for
you to spend your leisure time.
Train your new dance moves to be the next star.
Study with your friends for a better grade.
Perform special lectures.
Have a conference meeting.
You can even watch your favorite movie marathon
with your friends.
Our multi-purpose room is at your disposal and is
customizable to your needs.
You have come to the right place to release your
Give us a call
Come on down to GMC; we've got you all covered.

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Jan / 2017 / Vol 15

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Distribution Map
in Naypyitaw
Government, Hluttaw
Office , Library & More...

Distribution in Korea
TV (
110 / 010-3737-7437


(Myanmar,, )
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