Myanmar nationals are flocking to the Chinese border – risking scams, exploitation and arrest in search of jobs – but limited border crossings and fierce competition mean many leave empty-handed and deeper in poverty.
Hungry for cash and unable to collect tax in resistance strongholds in Sagaing, the regime has taken the unusual step of revoking sought-after liquor licences in the region and transferring them to compliant businesses in Yangon.
Despite struggling to keep the lights on, the military regime has unveiled plans to electrify the nation’s transport system, with many of the initial import permits going to companies close to the generals.
A Chinese state-owned company and the military regime are quietly pushing forward with a railway line that would run through active conflict zones, after lengthy delays due to Myanmar’s wariness, COVID-19 and then the coup.
More than two months after they were introduced, residents and officials in Yangon are increasingly ignoring stay-at-home orders, yet the government insists infection rates need to fall before they can be rolled back.
Existing free trade agreements and longstanding non-trade barriers could limit the RCEP’s impact for Myanmar, but the country may benefit from increased investment due to improved access to global value chains.
Snap rule changes and snails-pace processing mean truck drivers have at times been forced to wait for days at checkpoints on Myanmar’s major trucking routes during the country’s “second wave” of COVID-19.
The government is planning to purchase paddy at a floor price set to ensure farmers get a decent return and some rice traders are also pushing for another round of rice-buying to maintain the country’s reserve stocks.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.