WILLIAM BOOT / THE IRRAWADDY - The Irrawaddy Magazine

Labor rights improve in Burma but worsen in Thailand; tourism numbers pose service problems; gas export revenues increase; and EU gives funding boost to Burma.

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Optical cable connects Yunnan to Bay of Bengal; foreign investors face crackdown; and Singapore firm buys Rangoon office tower share.

Offshore Contracts Signed, But Delays Abound

An industry report has said it may be years by the time any oil or gas is produced from 20 licensed offshore exploration areas.

Crashing oil prices force rethink on offshore projects; business visa on arrival numbers surge; and Serbia seeks energy contracts in Naypyidaw.

Burma investment is an “extreme risk”; Chinese oil giant will aid domestic industry; Japanese lender partners with local bank; and stalling reforms endanger the economy.

UK MPs Group Urges Return of Burma Sanctions if Abuses Don’t Stop

A British parliamentary committee advises a re-imposition of European economic sanctions on Burma if there is no improvement in the country’s human rights situation.

Neighborhood Rivalry ‘Puts Burma’s Oil and Gas Sector at Risk’

Burma will struggle to attract new investment in the sector because of a global industry slump and new competition from neighboring countries, a report says.

Plans to “revitalize” with an economic corridor; Bagan’s heritage bid will take time; Boeing inks deal with Air Mandalay; and China trade at Muse rises.

President Obama’s visit will do little to boost US investment, Burma joins China-led regional bank, and Asian firms strongly interested in investing in Burma.

Kyaukphyu SEZ: Economic Reality or Pipedream?

Winners of special economic zone contracts could decide fate of grand project

Doubts raised over long-term viability of Hantawaddy Airport deal; petrochemical industry needs know-how, investment; coal to play a big role in fueling Burma’s electricity growth.

FDI, Aid ‘Will Dry Up’ If Burma’s 2015 Elections Are Postponed

Burma’s economic and social development will grind to a halt if rising military interference in politics delays the 2015 national elections, a business analysis warns.

Colgate buys a Burmese toothpaste brand; hotel redevelopment slated for a Rangoon courthouse; millions of motorbikes are smuggled; and changing Burma offers a fast-food frenzy.

Thai Power Firm’s Business Tactics ‘Use Burma’s Weak Laws’

Restricted at home, a Thai state-owned electricity firm wants to use Burma as a proxy supplier of electricity via environmentally damaging dams, an NGO says.

Tin industry surges; England to aid banking sector; MOGE will tender more energy blocks; Thai firm inks solar agreement; and US companies fund women’s initiatives.

Thailand pushes for Dawei LNG terminal, Burma’s economy grows faster than expected and jade mining resumes in Kachin State’s troubled Hpakant.

Powerhouse Laos Offers Burma a Fix to Electricity Woes

Burma’s chronic lack of electricity to power its economic development could be solved from an unlikely source underdeveloped neighboring Laos.

Thailand ignores UN migrant rights request; luxury trains planned for tourists; Japan banks win big; Rangoon port pollution worries; and economic reforms prioritized, group claims.

El Nino Threatens Export Plans as Burma’s Rice Industry Revs Up

Annual rice exports in Burma are unlikely to meet the industry’s target, as monsoonal rainfall needed to boost crops is expected to be below average.

Dams under scrutiny; Myawaddy border trade soars; neighboring garment sectors taken to task; visa on arrival scheme muddled; and the president takes on hunger.

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