Welcome to the final edition of our Myanmar update for 2018. We have distilled the top news items from November and December into this summary 'speed read'.

1. Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations

On 19 November, Myanmar's Union Parliament approved the formation of a new ministry named Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. The creation of the new ministry was proposed to Parliament by President U Win Myint. Myanmar Investment Commission Chairman U Thaung Tun will lead as the new Minister. In Parliament it was explained that the aim of the new ministry was to promote sustainable, accountable and responsible investment on behalf of the state and its citizens. It would also manage economic assistance from the United Nations and international organisations.

The new ministry will be formed from the existing Foreign Economic Relations Department ("FERD") and Directorate of Investment and Company Administration ("DICA") of Ministry of Planning and Finance and will not require additional staff, building or budget.

2. New Yangon Development Company (NYDC) Update

It was reported in the local media that New Yangon Development Company ("NYDC") has reached the final stage in its negotiations with China Communications Construction Company ("CCCC") for preparing pre-project documents ("PPD").

Once the PPD is finalised then NYDC will run a Swiss challenge. An outline of the NYDC Challenge.

The next steps are as follows:

  • The PPD will be made public to allow any qualified party to challenge the agreement with better terms on the basis that it strictly adheres to the terms and conditions of the tender assessment criteria.
  • Should a second party challenge with a lower bid, the first party will be allowed to match the offer or forego their bid, in which case the second party will be awarded with the contract. However, the second party must pay back to the first party all costs incurred in connection with preparing and submitting the PPD. Those costs shall be agreed between NYDC and the first party prior to the initiation of the tender process.

3. Yangon Elevated Ring-road

On 5 December 2018, the Ministry of Construction announced a shortlist of ten pre-qualified companies for Phase 1 of the project to construct an elevated expressway in Yangon.

The express way is to connect downtown Yangon, Yangon Port, Yangon International Airport, Mingaladon Industrial Zone and the Yangon-Mandalay Highway. Phase 1 of the Project involves connecting Dawbon Bridge in Pazundaung Township, Mingaladon Industrial Zone and Yangon International Airport.

A total of 12 local and international companies submitted prequalification applications for Phase 1 of the project.  Please refer to the Myanmar Times report for the ten pre-qualified bidders. 

4. Human Resources Guide

The French Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry ("FMCCI") published its Human Resources Guide to Myanmar. The guide provides a summary of the legislation in Myanmar as well as examples and tips.

5. Kyauk Phyu SEZ Deep-sea Port Project

On 8 November 2018, Myanmar government and China's CITIC Group signed a framework agreement on the Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone ("SEZ") Deep-sea Port Project.

The framework agreement was signed by U Set Aung (Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance and Chairperson of the Management Committee of the Kyaukphyu SEZ) and Mr Chang Zhenming (President of CITIC Group). The framework agreement covers the implementation the first phase of deep sea port with an expected investment of US$1.3billion.

CITIC Group originally won the tender in 2015 to build the port based on an 85:15 ratio. However the current government renegotiated the ownership ratio and the Chinese consortium’s stake in the port will now be 70%. The remaining 30% will be held by the Myanmar government and local public firms.

There are currently three Special Economic Zones in Myanmar (Thilawa, Dawei and Kyauk Phyu) and the Special Economic Zone Law was enacted in January 2014.

Further information on Kyauk Phyu SEZ