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Myanmar ecommerce

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Myanmar ECommerce Trends, Technological Update and Market Opportunities

Posted on 27 August 2015 by Myanmar Guardian

Myanmar ecommerceMyanmar ecommerce update: Myanmar is finally dancing the e- commerce waltz. Over the course of few years, the international world did not only witness Myanmar emerge on the world map as a sovereign state but also as frontier market with burgeoning potential. With the injection of investment friendly government policies and effective political, economic and social reforms, the country is the focal point of international investors and offers room for vigorous economic development. The infliction of numerous tax relief and tax laws, foreign investment laws and flexible visa policies by the government surely serves as a stamp of approval for potential foreign investor.

The country’s transition from a military rule to a nominally civilian one in 2011 opened gates of opportunities for an open economy fostering economic development by leaps and bounds. Following the footsteps of other developing countries in the region namely, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and China, technology- led start-ups are keeping a close eye on Myanmar as it’s extremely nascent tech world serves as a firm ground to launch successful small-medium enterprises in the country.

Technological opportunities in Myanmar

Despite the lack of a sustainable digital development infrastructure in Myanmar, numerous tech companies are betting to bootstrap in this country as its economy is predicted to showcase exponential growth in the coming years. The internet and mobile penetration in Myanmar is growing at a slow and steady pace as compared to other South Asian countries but is likely to rise to 80% by the end of 2016. That itself could be considered as a huge development from the penetration rate of merely 10 % in 2012-2013. Inconsideration to the above mentioned stats and figures it would not be wrong to conclude that Myanmar’s technological markets will be the technological blank slate for forward thinking entrepreneurs and future investors.

The scope of E-Commerce in Myanmar

With the launch of Myanmar’s first domestic online payment network in February, 2015, Myanmar ecommerce industry is likely to witness a rapid increase in the coming times. An online payment gateway expands the outreach of buyers and sellers across the country and fosters cheaper ways of carrying out businesses. Though cash being the most commonly used mode of transaction, the advent of online payment network will prove to be of pivotal importance in re-revamping the ecommerce industry in the country. The consuming class is estimated to witness an explosive growth due to the induction of online payment gateways and many other financial modernizing steps.

The growth of the telecommunication industry in Myanmar in 2014 has also paved the way for e commerce growth in the country. This faster mode of communication at affordable price has driven a significant number of population towards online shopping and could prove to be a game changer in the emerging economy of the country. Currently, a few E- Commerce companies such as KaymuYangononlinestore, Myanmar store and Mobilekingmyanmar, are offering the online shopping opportunities in Myanmar and in the Myanmar ecommerce sphere. These companies have laid the foundation of E commerce in the country and are determined to change the future of online shopping. With the development in maintaining a digital infrastructure and through globally integrated financial institutions, not only Myanmar will be a home to numerous innovative business ventures but will also attract futuristic entrepreneurs from all across the globe.

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Myanmar telecom industry showing growing interest in foreign investment

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Myanmar Telecom Industry, Asian Telecommunications Companies Showing Growing Interest in Myanmar Telecom

Posted on 09 September 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar: The Myanmar Post News Journal reported that companies from Asia Telecommunication Industry are interested in investing in Myanmar’s telecommunication market and expecting to get a share of this growing market. Telecom giants and investors in telecommunication industry are starting to get aggressive in this market particularly when it comes to SIM cards, mobile phones and infrastructure developments.  Even though there’s increased investment interest in Myanmar telecommunication industry, these companies or private investors do have some setbacks when it comes to the laws and regulations of Myanmar government, The Myanmar Post News Journal reported.

As Myanmar opens its doors to foreign investment, it is said that, the government would be more open to foreigner investors to invest in Myanmar telecommunication. A senior researcher, U Tin Maung Than explains that, “People that had money, bought mobile SIM cards on the black market.  It happened in the last 10 years.  Now, those SIM cards which did cost about $3,050 US dollars are now being sold for $610 US dollars.  That is why if a private company sells a SIM card for $100 US dollars, there’s a definite profit to be made still”.

Currently,Myanmar telecommunication is monopolized by Myanma Post and Telecommunication (MPT) which is under government control and no other private company can invest in telecommunication industry.  Mr. Bertrand Bidaud, vice chairman of Gartner Research said that, Myanmar can be a big market for the company like SingTel, a large player in the telecom market in Singapore. Myanmar is one of the close neighboring countries in ASEAN and it can be a big hit for Singaporean telecom company looking at investing in Myanmar telecommunication industry.  Gartner Research also said that local investors are also capable of investing in telecommunication industry of their own country but it is still risky to invest in a country like Myanmar for the moment.

Steve Durose, a senior executive from TMT (Asia Pacific) told that “Only one thing; to invest in a new market, especially if the investment is large, the laws and regulations need to be trusted”.  The main drawn back therefore remains at the legal stage and rests within the government ability to form clear laws and regulation with regard to the telecom investment inMyanmar. If these laws are determined and are in favor for both the Burmese people and foreign investment, the market may present a lot of opportunities.

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Myanmar mobile phones

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Quality Telecommunication System for the 27th Sea Games, Myanmar

Posted on 18 March 2012 by Myanmar Guardian

Yangon, Myanmar: Before hosting and celebrating the 27th Sea Game in 2013, the Myanmar government will upgrade current telecommunication system to fit the needs and to be with the same standard as the ASEAN countries, told by U Thein Htun, minister of Ministry of Post and Telecommunication on February 28th. National workshop on ICT for Inclusive Socio-Economic Development and Poverty Reduction was held on February 27th and 28th in Myanmar Convention Centre; Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital of Myanmar.

The above statement was declared by the minister of Ministry of Post and telecommunication on the closing ceremony of ICT workshop. “The main problem we are currently facing is the needs of infrastructures.  We need to build more basic buildings, but if we get more participation from private sectors, IT sectors, and other sectors, we can reach our goal in near future.” told by U Thein Htun, the minister.

During the 27th Sea Games, to update news, scores from international sports journalists and media, Myanmar is currently in demand of high speed internet connection such as Wimax, Wifi etc. Plus, much more reliable mobile telecommunication network and infrastructure are also needed for the athletes who will participate in the Sea Games. Because of the athletes and representatives from various countries, International Roaming System is also needed for the current telecommunication system.

Second Vice President, Dr. Sai Mauk Kham, also a chairman of 27th Sea Game preparation committee discussed in third preparation meeting that training grounds and “Sports Village”, where hostels and lodging houses will be located, need fast internet connections.  He discussed about how the committee should implement the infrastructure for high speed internet connection in training grounds and Sports Village. He also asked the officials to make sure all the athletes and media to be able to use the convenient telecommunication system, such as Internet, Email and mobile networks in 27th Sea Games.

With regards to “30 million mobile phones” project set by ruling government, 4 million mobile phone SIM card will roll out in this month as the first year project plan. There are some rumors spreading that ruling government will sell new mobile SIM cards with lower price, about 300,000 Kyats (about 365 US dollars), which was previously sold with 500,000 Kyats (about 610 US dollars).

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myanmar low cost sim card

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Myanmar Low Cost SIM Card Offer Still Examined

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Rob

The heat is on with Low Cost SIM card again.  Last week, The Myanmar Times News Journal English Version, the only English language News Journal in Myanmar, put a debate about low cost SIM card at the front page.  And now, another well known news journal, The Voice Weekly, reported that there will be a statement about low cost GSM SIM card in Hlutaw (parliament), but strangely, this time the statement will be submitted by Union Solidarity and Development Party. The Voice Weekly reported that it was made known to the public by Chairman of State Development Council, U Aung Thein Linn, former mayor ofYangon, who is also a delegate of Union Solidarity and Development Party during previous election.

In a report from The Voice Weekly, U Aung Thein Linn said “It will be done for the development of our country.  All citizens will get benefits from the low cost SIM cards.  That is why we are planning to put a statement concerning with low cost SIM card in Hlutaw (parliament).”  The Voice Weekly also reported that Union Solidarity and Development Party is now discussing with technicians and getting suggestions for the statement.

It can be interesting news for the people, but the comments from the citizens are much more interesting than the news itself.  One of the people favorite among online comments is, “U Aung Thein Linn, please don’t produce only half-useful SIM cards.”  People got much delight with that comment as during previous election, Union Solidarity and Development Party in leadership of U Aung Thein Linn, reformed most of the streets in suburb of Yangon with concrete but they only paved one lane instead of the full two-lane street structure.  It was done by a deal that they would reform the remaining lane if the residences who live in the street vote for their party in election.  It is no wonder why people are so much delighted on the above mentioned comment.

Another comment was written as following, “Union Solidarity and Development Party got a new way to get people’s vote.  This time, not with concrete street, but with a SIM Card.”  Another one wrote that “whatever it is, it is good for the citizens, but it is not good if ruling government approve the statement just because the party is a big name and had a really good relationship with ex-government.”

The Voice Weekly Journal also reported that even though there were some news about government producing lower cost SIM card which is estimated to cost 200,000 Kyats (about 244 US dollar)  in first week of March, there are some rumours that the price is still not confirm yet.

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Myanmar SIM card and mobile phones

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Lower Cost GSM Mobile SIM Card In Myanmar Available This March

Posted on 20 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: In co-operation with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and 23 private companies, low cost GMS mobile SIM cards will be produced in the first week of March. It is the first step of 40 million GSM SIM Card project which is expected to produce 1.5 million in the first week of March according to a statement made by Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT). News Watch News Journal reported that the project will be launched in March and the price of a SIM card will be set at 200,000 Kyats (about 243USDollar). Myanma Posts and Telecommunications will sell 150,000 SIM cards inYangonand 1.5 million nationwide.

A shop manager, Ko Min Min, from Mr. Fone mobile shop said, “We have heard that it will be launched in first week of March but we haven’t got any confirmation yet.  If it is true, we will introduce an instalment plan for 200,000 Kyats mobile SIM cards.  Previously, we had a partnership with a private bank, but we will do it on our own this time.”

“I have heard that the launch will be on 27th of March (which is Armed Forces Day, a public holiday, inMyanmar) but I have heard various rumours on expected prices.  Actually, it should be 5,000 Kyats mobile SIM card, but I think 5,000 Kyats SIM card is still not possible yet though 200,000 Kyats is not that bad. It’s much better than current 500,000 Kyats SIM Card.” told by a resident who lives in Shwe Gon Dine township.

Even though SIM card market inMyanmarhas shown a downward pricing trend from 1,500,000 Kyats until early 2010 and then offered for 500,000 Kyats until now; most of the feedbacks from young people is clear that they are still not satisfied with the new SIM prices.  About a month ago, one private company, Shwe Pyi Ta Gon, stated that they can sell GSM SIM card inMyanmarwith 5,000 Kyats but their proposal was rejected by Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).  Since then most of the young people inMyanmarare disappointed and they are supporting Shwe Pyi Ta Gon in various ways like providing leaflets or sticker campaigns.

Lastly, one of the Facebook users commented that they will persuade citizens not to buy this upcoming 200,000 Kyats SIM cards to show they need a lower cost SIM card which the majority of population can afford in Myanmar.

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low cost mobile sim cards in Myanmar

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Low Cost Mobile SIM Card Offer in Myanmar

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Rob

The competition is heating up in the Myanmar mobile space especially when it comes to low cost SIM cards. In Myanmar, one GSM SIM card costs 500,000 Kyats, which is about 613 US Dollars, making it the world’s most expensive SIM card. But the people still have to pay 500,000 Kyats to be able to use a mobile. Until January 2010, the cost was even higher at 1,500,000 Kyats per SIM card, which translates into $1,840 US dollars.

Now, after years of high prices, the cost of mobiles seems to be plunging as a private company, Shwe Pyi Ta Gung, is trying its best to sell a SIM card for 5000 Kyats, which is about6.13 in US dollars.  “It is possible.” a spokesperson from Shwe Pyi Ta Gung said.  “Currently, it is only about 6% of population that can use a mobile phone in Myanmar”. We are going to take care of the remaining 94%.” He added.  But until now this mobile telecommunication is under control of “Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT)” and private companies cannot take part in the business.  And worse, “Myanmar Post and Telecommunication” rejected the proposal of Shwe Pyi Ta Gung, stating “it is not possible”. This was the only reason of the rejection.

On the other hand, Shwe Pyi Ta Gung said they are ready and they have all the required resources.  They only need permission from the ruling government and Myanmar Post and Telecommunication.  As the government is still staying silent with this matter Shwe Pyi Ta Gung is going to submit the people’s desire and votes to the president, U Thein Sein and all the chairmen of parliament very soon.

Shwe Pyi Ta Gung started to collect the people’s vote since 20th January.  One of the social workers from Non Government Organization reported that Shwe Pyi Ta Gung is analyzing tens of thousands of votes to prepare a statement for President U Thein Sein and government.  “We take care of people.  We want everybody to be able to use a mobile phone.  While it is not a luxury product around the world, mobile phones have been the products only the rich can buy inMyanmar. To stop this trend, we will fight our best to get a permission to produce low cost SIM cards.” said by a spokesperson of Shwe Pyi Ta Gung in its media conference.

One of the leading journals, Weekly Eleven, reported that Myanmar Post and Telecommunication is going to lower the cost of a mobile SIM card in March this year. Concerning with the rumour, the new price will be 150,000 Kyats  (184USDollar), Myanmar Post and Telecommunication said that rumour is not true.  “We are going to lower the price, but it will not be lower than 200,000 Kyats for a SIM card.  It can be 250,000 Kyats (306USDollar) or may be 280,000 Kyats  (343USDollar).” told by the spokesperson of Myanmar Post and Telecommunication.

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barcamp yangon, myanmar

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IT in Myanmar: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Speech at Barcamp Yangon 2012

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Rob

Yangon, Myanmar: Barcamp Yangon 2012 was celebrated on 11th and 12th February.  On the first day at the opening ceremony, the invited special guest, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a speech to the young people of Myanmar concerning the Information Technology (IT) sector in Myanmar.

She said, “Every profession has its good end and bad side.  Currently, young people from our country, Myanmar, are using technology in a very good way in my opinion.  To make our world a better place, to bring our fellow citizens to a more developed status, I would like to suggest thinking how you could apply this technology in an effective and good way.”

“I like this name, Barcamp, a lot.  Because the basic elements of this word are sharings, public participations, open talk, etc.  Among them I love the idea about sharing in Barcamp.  If someone withholds his or her knowledge without sharing any, it won’t be beneficial for all people.  It is not a good habit.  In Barcamp, people are sharing everything they know to everyone.  This, in my opinion, is the best thing of Barcamp.  As you all know, there is a saying in eastern culture; when a lighted candle share its light to other candles, it will become brighter without the firstly lighted candle loosing its brightness.  Sharing makes our world a brighter place.”  She added.

She also admonished to the young people that “Profession or, wisdom is a light.  But if you use it in wrong way, it will be in total darkness.  If Information Technology is used as a light, in a proper
way, it will bring more benefits to our country, and our life.   Currently our country is far left behind compared to our neighbouring countries.  Information Technology is one of the keys in pushing
our country forward.  Only then, we can become a more developed country in a shorter time. We need more young people from the IT industry for our country.  We are now having the opportunities in information technology which we previously did not even dream of. That’s why I would like to urge you to use it wisely and value it.

“At the same time, while you all are busy with the latest technologies do not forget the past, do not forget the history.  You can walk on the right path only if you know the history of our country.” She added. It has been three times since Barcamp is being held inYangon and this time it is scheduled on 11th and 12th of February.  Among the topics of first day, the discussion about slow internet connection inMyanmar and ways to solve it was the hottest topic, stated in official Barcamp facebook fan page.

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