WILLIAM BOOT / THE IRRAWADDY - The Irrawaddy

Poor marks for transparency; Britain promotes oil in Burma; Indonesian smelter plans revived; barrier-free tourism sought; and Thailand urged to do more on migrant labor.

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Gas Projects in Doubt as Bangkok Frets about Over-Reliance on Burma

Investment in Burmese natural gas development might be curtailed because of the Thai government’s concerns about relying on supplies from its neighbour.

Calls for further financial reform; health spending expected to soar by 2020; and rights groups call for end to Burmese labor abuses in Thailand.

Falling oil prices hit local gas project; Japan ‘ignoring land rights issues’; and miners line up for Chin State projects.

Prospects and Problems for Burma’s Economic Growth

Political uncertainty, collapsing global oil prices and entrenched infrastructure problems are likely to hamper the country’s prospects for business development in the year ahead.

Chinese investment likely to be threatened by Letpadaung death; Burmese stock exchange plans October debut; and Rangoon’s lack of a deep-water port threatens economic growth.

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.

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.

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