December 8, 2021


Myanmar, Thailand sign agreement to facilitate overland trade

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Overland cross-border trade between Myanmar and Thailand will officially commence at the end of July following an agreement to allow vehicles from both sides across the border to facilitate the transportation of goods between the two countries. The agreement, which followed discussions that started a year ago, will see the governments of both countries issue licenses to logistics companies to transport goods overland through the Yangon (Thilawa)-Myawaddy-Mae Sot-Bangkok (Laem Chabang) route.

Under the agreement, 100 vehicles from each country will be granted temporary one-year passes to transport goods across the border along the route. Thilawa would be where all Thai vehicles will have to stop for customs inspections while Thailand will carry out customs inspections for Myanmar vehicles in Mae Sot.

According to U Win Hlaing, deputy director for the Road Administration Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communication, Myanmar has already issued international cross border operator (ICBO) licenses for 40 trucks. It will issue another 21 licenses in the initial phase. So far, three logistics companies from the Myanmar side – MK Transportation, Hercules Logistic and Resource Group Logistic – have been granted permission to transport goods overland through the border.

Source: Myanmar Times 




Indian agribusiness granted IFC loan to expand Myanmar facilities

The Yangon subsidiary of an Indian agri­-logistics group has secured a US$3 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank.

Delhi-based Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM) will use the capital to expand its warehousing and logistics services in Myanmar. The terms of the loan were however not disclosed.

The company handles cotton, black pepper, rice, wheat, pulses, maize, sugar and spices in Myanmar, for both imports/exports and domestic consumption, according to SCLM assistant manager Diksha Arora. The Myanmar unit has managed 3.24 million square feet of commodity storage space in 127 industrial zones and handled 10.14 million tonnes of commodities.

Agriculture is the backbone of Myanmar’s economy, while more than half of the national population live in rural areas. But the infrastructure and technology necessary for farmers and traders is severely underdeveloped. Many local warehouses are completely lacking in operational equipment and technology, such as CCTVs, dock levellers or a stable power supply.

Farmers in Myanmar are often forced to store harvested products to sell at a later time. The poor warehouse conditions mean the storage leads to substantial losses, which the IFC estimated to be at around 20 percent.

The biggest hurdle is for the agri-logistics industry to understand the business model, Ms Arora added. Another obstacle is the limited understanding by Myanmar financial institutions on how to evaluate and manage agri collateral.

“Agriculture like e-commerce has gone through an immense change in the past few years. Infrastructure used to be a challenge in the past. Now, cutting-edge technology makes it possible to manage and handle agri commodities despite location, infrastructure, weather pattern or crop.”

In particular, SCLM has reduced post-harvest losses to 0.5pc in Myanmar, said CEO Sandeep Sabharwal. The IFC loan will further help farmers store higher volumes and reduce post-harvest losses caused by infestation, excess humidity and inadequate storage.

Myanmar’s agriculture provides employment to 53pc of the labour force, IFC manager for Myanmar Vikram Kumar highlighted, and is key to alleviating the country’s poverty. “A World Bank research has shown that progress in the agricultural sector was directly responsible for at least 46pc of the reduction in poverty between 2005 and 2015.”

Since 2013, the Washington-based lender has invested over $1.3 billion in the country. Last month it announced a $20 million loan to the Myanmar subsidiary of German retail group Metro AG.

Source: Myanmar Times

New general cargo and container wharf at Thilawa Port to expand

A new general cargo and container wharf, built by overseas development assistance (ODA) loan from Japan, at Thilawa Port will be expanded, according to Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“The ministry will expand the new wharf. More ships can dock in May,” said an official from Myanma Port Authority (MPA).

Thant Zin Maung, Minister for Transport and Communications received Hiroto Izumi, special advisor for Japanese Prime Minister on March 21.

Both sides discussed about the upgrading process of Yangon-Mandalay railroad and Yangon circular railroad, construction of a new wharf in Thilawa Port and Hanthawaddy International Airport, cyber security affairs and matters related with the future cooperation.

The construction work of about US$200 million worth cargo and container wharf was finished on December 14.

The wharf has not handled the cargo yet and the operation of the wharf will be started after it is handover to the company which will handle the cargo.

The MPA developed 37 (200*750 meters) land plots in Thilawa port and invited local and foreign investors to implement the development of the port.

Source: Daily Eleven

Burmese trucking logistics company Kargo receives over US$130K from Yoma Bank

Burmese online truck shipment service Kargo has announced that it has inked an SME financing agreement with Yoma Bank, Myanmar’s commercial bank.

The partnership will see Kargo receive an initial loan of approximately US$130,000. Through the bank’s Unsecured SME Financing, Kargo plans to facilitate same-day payments to its truck drivers, boost its ability to grow its customer base, and manage all invoices.

Up until March 2019, the company has connected almost 2,000 truck drivers in Myanmar.

“When we first envisioned Kargo, we were starting out in an extremely fragmented market that had a very opaque pricing system. Now, our virtual fleet has become the largest one in Myanmar and completing over 5,000 deliveries to date,” said Alex Wicks, the Founder and CEO of Kargo.

Prior to this agreement, Kargo has raised a seed round from Singapore-based SEED Myanmar in 2017 as well as a six-figure grant in February 2018.

Kargo was the ‘Best Logistics and Supply Chain Startup’ at the Echelon Top 100 Start-up Competition, Kargo received US$50,000 prize from the Singapore government.


State Counsellor and Prime Minister of Thailand attend the opening ceremony of a new bridge

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand attended the opening ceremony of No.2 Friendship Bridge on March 19.

The new bridge will link between Greater Mekong sub-region and east and west economic corridor.

The State Counsellor and Thailand Prime Minister delivered opening speeches at the ceremony. Transport Minister from Thailand explained about the bridge.

The State Counsellor and Thailand Prime Minister opened the inscription to mark the successful building of the new bridge.

“We can see both countries gave special consideration about the bridge. It will be an example of cooperation between governments and their people. It will be a success for Myanmar and Thailand which established diplomatic relation on August 14, 1948,” said the State Counsellor.

It is connecting between Myawady and Mae Sot.

Both officials start discussed to build the bridge in 2013 and built by the Department of Highways from Thailand on August 30, 2015.

The four-lane bridge is 21 meters in length and cost Baht 4.253 billion.

Commercial transaction activities will be smooth and it is expected to be beneficial not only for both countries but also for Greater Mekong region.

Source: Daily Eleven

Korean company conducts survey to build a dry port in Monywa

A Korean company is conducting a survey to build a dry port in Monywa, Sagaing Region to transport containers using railroad.

At the present, the ministry is built a dry port each in Ywarthagyi in Yangon Region and Myitnge in Mandalay Region and seven places are proposed to build dry ports, said an official from Myanma Railways (MR).

Seven places proposed to build dry ports are Yangon, Mandalay, Tamu, Muse, Mawlamyaing, Bago and Monywa.

The places where dry ports are planned to be built are intended to become cities for regions and states, to locate close to Asia Railroad and expressway, to produce goods and to place next to industrial zones.

Source: Daily Eleven

Myit Nge Dry Port Opening Ceremony in Mandalay

After Yangon’s Ywarthargyi dry port, another dry port in Mandalay was successfully launched in the last week of January, 2019. It was located in Myit Nge, Mandalay and connected via Yangon-Mandalay rail route serving the container cargo transportation to Ywar Thar Gyi dry port in Yangon. The developments of dry ports are intended to reduce the commodity prices in local by combining different transportation modes including trucks, rail and vessels. The container freight trains will operate twenty-four hours and one-stop service will be offered at the ports.

Source: Daily Eleven

Hong Kong firms eye investments in country’s infrastructure, logistics

Image result for myanmar country infrastructureHong Kong companies are looking for investment opportunities in Myanmar, especially in infrastructure and logistics support, according to Stephen Liang, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

According to the council, Myanmar is Hong Kong’s eighth-largest export market and import source among ASEAN countries. It exported US$290 million (K452.4 billion) in merchandise to Myanmar and imported $89.9 million worth of Myanmar goods in 2017.

Hong Kong is the fourth biggest foreign investor in Myanmar, after China, Singapore and Thailand.

Source: Myanmar Times

Ministry announces ten short-listed companies for Yangon Elevated Expressway Project

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The Ministry of Construction has announced a shortlist of pre-qualified companies as contenders for the contract to build an elevated expressway in Yangon, which is aimed at alleviating the city’s traffic woes.

A total of 12 local and international companies submitted prequalification applications for Phase 1 of the project. Out of these, 10 companies were named prequalified bidders.

The shortlisted companies include a Chinese-Myanmar consortium, a Thai-Japanese-Myanmar consortium, a Thai-Chinese consortium, four companies from China and one each from France, Korea, and Japan.

The planned four-lane ring road will connect downtown Yangon, Yangon Port, Yangon International Airport, Mingaladon Industrial Zone and the Yangon-Mandalay Highway.

Source: The Irrawaddy

Less supply flow affecting freight transport

Starting from last week, freight transport has been slow 30 per cent of highway trucks have halted their transportation service, according to Myanmar Highway Freight Transportation Service Association (MHFTSA). Freight charges for high way trucks from Yangon to Mandalay, Muse, Magway, Ayeyawady, Pyay and other areas have significantly dropped as volume of shipment is down. Following suspension of truck service, we are discussing with freight forwarders to scale up 5 to 10 per cent of freight cost, said U Ko Ko Naing, chair of MHFTSA.
At present, China has suspended purchase of goods through border trade channels. Therefore, freight shipment volume has declined. Freight cost has decreased from 81,000 to Ks 68,000 per ton for Yangon-Muse route and from Ks 38,000 to Ks 31,000 per ton for Yangon-Mandalay route. Similarly, 30 per cent of transportation service in Magway, Pyay, Ayeyawady and other places are being suspended. Freight cost of highway trucks depends on volume of shipment.

There are two freight services in highway transportation sector, service for general goods and charter truck service for particular single item. The trucks running for various goods are currently suspended. There are 14 main routes for highway freight service, with 70,000 heavy trucks and nearly 200,000 light trucks.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar




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Thae Oo Myintzu
MMRD Insight—Editor
[email protected]