Monthly Archives: February 2017

KBZ Bank opens settlement account in US

pics-7-72-1024x684Dignitaries pose for a photo at the ceremony to announce USD settlement account between KBZ Bank and SMBC New York. Photo: Thura Lwin (Eco)

Kanbawza Bank (KBZ Bank) Limited, part of the KBZ Group of companies, announced yesterday that it has opened a USD settlement account with international bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s New York branch (SMBC New York), to offer streamlined remittance services that enable faster, more convenient trade financing and transactions between Myanmar and the United States, it was announced yesterday at a news conference.
Mr. Nobuyasu Akagi, General Manager of SMBC Yangon and U Win Lwin, Managing Director of the International Banking Division of KBZ Bank, delivered opening addresses and replied to questions raised by the media.
The arrangement allows KBZ Bank to centralise its USD clearing services through SMBC New York, which also improves the management of fees for transactions as a result of having to process transfers via different banks with varying respective costs.
“We would like to congratulate our partner, KBZ Bank, on this momentous development. As KBZ Bank is the biggest private bank in Myanmar, we believe that supporting them with our best effort in many ways, means we are strongly participating in the development of the Myanmar economy and financial market. The opening of a USD account as a Myanmar private bank is a good example of how Myanmar financial institutions are committed to join the international community,” said Mr. Nobuyasu Akagi, the General Manager of SMBC Yangon, at the news conference held at Strand Square in Yangon yesterday.
This development will spur business growth between both countries, with KBZ Bank customers now able to utilise SMBC New York’s 24-hour USD clearing service, which eliminates cutoff times for transfers.
The press conference was also attended by diplomats from the US Embassy in Yangon, responsible personnel of the SMBC, U Than Cho, Vice-Chairman-2 of KBZ Bank, U Maung Maung, Vice-Chairman-3, responsible personnel of the KBZ Bank Ltd and members of the media.—Thura Lwin (Eco)

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Myanma Railways to decrease freight rates as of 1 March

train72-1024x678The circular train is crowded with passengers at Yangon Central Railways Station. Photo: Phoe Khwar

AS PART OF its plans to offer extensive passenger and freight transportation services to commuters, the state-run Myanma Railways will decrease the freight rate on some goods starting 1 March, according to the railway.
Under the new policy, passengers can carry portable electronic devices for their personal use without paying any fees, including VCD, DVD and EVD players, video cameras, still cameras and laptops, which were included in the list of 69 kinds of cargo with a fixed freight rate.
The MR will also reduce rail freight prices for televisions measuring between 14 and 26 inches from Ks3,000 to Ks2,700; for televisions between 29 and 32 inches from Ks7,000 to Ks6,300; for big refrigerators from Ks10,000 to Ks9,750; for small-sized water pump from Ks2,000 to Ks1,800; for motorcycles from Ks7,000 to Ks6,300 and for air conditioners from Ks5,000 to Ks4,500. —Soe Win (MLA)

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Himalaya Airlines launches commercial flights to Yangon

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Himalaya Airlines has re-established direct links between Myanmar and Nepali on Mondays and Fridays.

Himalaya Airlines on Friday launched scheduled commercial flights to Yangon, Myanmar, its fourth destination since the operations started last year.
The airline said the flight to Myanmar is part of their initiative to strengthen direct connections with around 300,000 people of Nepali origin residing there.
The flight took off from Tribhuvan International Airport at 10:55 (local time) and touched down at Yangon International Airport, Yangon, at 14:15 (local time).
With the launch of twice weekly (Mondays and Fridays) flights, Himalaya Airlines has re-established direct links with Myanmar after a long gap. Previously, Union of Burma Airways used to operate flights between Yangon and Kathmandu.
Myanmar’s Ambassador to Nepal Lwin Oo, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya and Himalaya Airlines Vice President – Administration Vijay Shrestha were also onboard among passengers of the first flight.—GNLM

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Chaung Tha Beach

Palace of Hsenwi Sawbwa to be restored

The palace of Hsenwi Sawbwa seen at Hsenwi town, northern Shan State.

The palace of Hsenwi Sawbwa and culture heritage will be restored in Hsenwi town, northern Shan state to boost the number of tourists, it is learnt.

“If we can restore such culture heritage, most of the tourists will come and visit there. Our region can earn the revenue from the tourists. Our local people who are selling the traditional food and handicrafts will get the job opportunities. We will restore Shan palace and culture heritage with the aim of developing our region,” said Daw Nan Khin Htar Yee, Shan state Hluttaw MP from Constituency 1 in Hsenwi township.

“I just know that Hsenwi has many culture heritages. I am proud to be a resident of. I want to invite all of you to visit our town,” said Ma Nan Yin Kyawt, a local resident from Hsenwi town.

There is a well the water of which does not run out of the whole year in the compound of five-tier monastery. Moreover, there are many traditional foods of Hsenwi town, Shan palace and graveyard and, waterfall.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Chief Minister: Yangon bus line will meet international standards by 2018

Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said the Yangon Bus Service system will be upgraded to an international standard by the beginning of next year.

“The regional government is working on upgrading the system after a new city bus system was changed. We will have a system similar to what is being practiced internationally by January 2018,” he said at a press conference yesterday in the Yangon Region Government Office.
As a part of the upgrade, old city buses were replaced with modern vehicles, with GPS systems to be installed that will be operated by the Control Centre. Also, a prepaid card payment system will be practiced. All the buses will also be installed with CCTV.
The government is now bidding a tender to upgrade bus stops, according to the Yangon Region Bus Supervisory Authority.
“We are behind when compared to other countries. We see it as an opportunity to change the city bus system by getting the latest technology. In the card payment system, one card can be used in buses, trains, water transport and purchasing,” said U Phyo Min Thein.
The government is now assessing the YBS system for three months and will change to a public bus service in 2017.
“We all know how we will benefit from the bus service, as the demand is so high. I warn the bus owners who breach the rules, they could be terminated,” he warned.
Today, some city travellers still experience inconvenience in taking the bus, although the government introduced the new bus system on 16 January to reduce the heavy congestion in Yangon.
“The night buses are travelling half of the route because they need more gasoline. I have difficulties when the buses rarely go to my destination,’ said Ma Nu Nu Lwin, who lives in Shwe Pyi Thar Township on the outskirts of Yangon and regularly takes No. 65 bus.
There are currently 79 bus lines operated by 3,500 buses in Yangon to transport 2.5 million people daily. After changing to a new bus system, the government received 286 complaint letters in February, mostly about the No. 6 bus line, No. 36 lines and No. 65 bus line. Two-hundred thirty-four complaint letters were received, mostly about the No. 7 bus line, No. 40 bus line and No. 41 bus line.

Ko Moe

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

New Nyaung Chaung Thar beach open

File photo shows the sunset over the Ayeyawady river.

New Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach, which does not allow the beach-goers to stay overnight, was opened in Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawaday region on Wednesday, it is learnt.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach, which was opened in 2012, was moved to a place near Bo Myat Tun and Ayeyawady (Nyaungdon) bridges because there was a high risk of death from drowning,” said a Hluttaw representative form Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawady region.
“The old Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach is very deep. It is dangerous for the visitors. We have chosen the sand flat where the visitors can bathe in the water safely and where visitors from Yangon and Pathein can make a day’s trip,” said Daw Ni Ni Moe, Ayeyawady region Hluttaw representative.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach is open from 5 January to 31 May. We have allowed 60 shops to open around the beach,” said an employee from Nyaungdon township development affairs department.
“The new Nyaung Chaugn Thar Beach is under the control of the Nyaungdon township development affairs department.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

New Nyaung Chaung Thar beach open

File photo shows the sunset over the Ayeyawady river.

New Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach, which does not allow the beach-goers to stay overnight, was opened in Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawaday region on Wednesday, it is learnt.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach, which was opened in 2012, was moved to a place near Bo Myat Tun and Ayeyawady (Nyaungdon) bridges because there was a high risk of death from drowning,” said a Hluttaw representative form Nyaungdon township, Ayeyawady region.
“The old Nyaung Chaung Thar Beach is very deep. It is dangerous for the visitors. We have chosen the sand flat where the visitors can bathe in the water safely and where visitors from Yangon and Pathein can make a day’s trip,” said Daw Ni Ni Moe, Ayeyawady region Hluttaw representative.
“Nyaung Chuang Thar Beach is open from 5 January to 31 May. We have allowed 60 shops to open around the beach,” said an employee from Nyaungdon township development affairs department.
“The new Nyaung Chaugn Thar Beach is under the control of the Nyaungdon township development affairs department.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife designated as third Ramsar

Designation of the Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary as the third Ramsar site was announced at a ceremony on World Wetlands Day, which was held at the Moeyungyi Inn Wildlife Sanctuary yesterday, organized by the Forestry Department, the Norway Environmental Agency (NEA) and Shwe Pyi Aye Company.

Myanmar wetland areas protect coastal ecosystems including mangroves, mudflats and turtle nesting beaches. It is also important for development of the country and stability of weather conditions. Attempts were made in the past to maintain the wetlands sanctuary, the standard of the sanctuary declined in part because of inadequacy of environmental safety arrangements.

Mr. Frank Momberg, director of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Myanmar programme, said the forestry department with the assistance of FFI designated a Ramsar site which covers the mangroves on Meinmahla Island and the surrounding estuary, which provides important feeding and nursing grounds for fisheries and protects coastal communities form storms. The site also includes mudflats of global conservation importance, particularly for threatened shore birds. Despite the severe threats, Meinmahla Kyun hosts the world’s largest population of the critically endangered mangrove plant species, threatened migratory bird species and more than 20 species of threatened fauna.

Indawgyi lake is Myanmar’s second Ramsar site, which is located in Mohnyin township in the Kachin state in 2015. The country’s first Ramsar site was Moeyungyi Wetland in Bago region, designated in 2004. There are now three listed Ramsar sites in Myanmar, accomplished with the assistance of Switzerland. Additionally, there are 14 places in Thailand, four places in Cambodia, eight places in Viet Nam and two places in Laos.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Plans to make Bagan UNESCO World Heritage site under study

UNESCO will conduct a site inspection of Bagan throughout 2018. Photo: Staff

A draft plan including three out of six criteria needed to propose Bagan as one of the World Heritage sites will be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in September, said U Thein Lwin, deputy director general of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library.

“We are now drafting a proposal to attain the World Heritage status, which we will try to submit to UNESCO this September. We will have a response from them by January 2018 notifying us of what further data needs to be submitted. After providing the necessary data we can then proceed to a final nomination,” he said.

The draft proposal is now being drawn by two teams based on various suggestions. UNESCO will carry out a site inspection of Bagan throughout 2018, and the decision to list it as a World Heritage site will be made in 2019, he added.

“After putting up the proposal, we will meet with residents in Bagan and try to explain to them how it would be beneficial for them if Bagan becomes a World Heritage site. We have to make them understand the prestige gained by being listed as World Heritage status. We also have to explain to them the rules and regulations that all of us should abide by,” said U Thein Lwin.

Although Bagan was nominated to be listed as a World Heritage in 1996, the first attempt was not successful due to mismanagement and the fact that Bagan was not recognised as an ancient cultural zone at that time.

After earthquake, Bagan knuckles down on restoration, heritage bid

“If Bagan gets enlisted as a World Heritage status, there would be more foreign visitors resulting in an increase in foreign earnings. But we need to ensure proper preparations are being made. We are seeking to attain a World Heritage status, but before doing it we need to make a thorough assessment. Or else we would be just wasting our time, if the submission is incomplete. I think it’s too early to put up a proposal,” said U Soe Lin, a resident from Nyaung-U.

The ancient city of Pyu became the first World Heritage site in Myanmar after UNESCO recognised it as one in 2014.

Among the six criteria required to become a UNESCO World Heritage status are whether residents in the area value the site or not, whether the site is famous worldwide, and whether the area is beneficial for the present and future generations.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe

Source : Myanmar Times