Since Myanmar opened in 2011, a relaxation of vehicle import rules has resulted in an extra 300,000 vehicles on the country's roads. The influx of cars and trucks, mainly second-hand vehicles from Japan, has created congestion on Yangon's streets and challenges for traffic management. Mizzima Business Weekly’s Hans Hulst spoke to Police Lieutenant-Colonel Lin Htut, who as Superintendent of the No 2 Traffic Police Force unit is responsible for road rule enforcement in Yangon, about a rise in road accidents, driver education and the challenges facing traffic police in Myanmar's biggest city.
24 Aug What China wants
‘We have more opportunity for cooperation. This momentum will not change’
Chinese ambassador Yang Houlan
|Ambassador Yang says the progress Myanmar has achieved since the transition began has generally been positive. Photo: Lwin Maung Maung|
China and Myanmar have shared a close relationship for decades. Despite a drop in Chinese investment since President U Thein Sein's reformist government came to power in early 2011, China continues to be Myanmar's top investor in extractive industries and in such sectors as technology and agriculture. Ambassador Yang Houlan spoke to Mizzima Business Weekly's Portia Larlee in a wide-ranging interview that included the importance of bilateral relations, Myanmar’s transition and the suspension of major infrastructure projects.
17 Aug Art on the waterfront
Nathalie Johnston is the gallery director of contemporary art gallery ts1 (also known as Transit Shed 1), which opened in April, realising a vision by entrepreneur Ivan Pun and his PUN+PROJECTS team. Ms Johnston has a longstanding interest in Myanmar contemporary art and wrote a thesis on the country's performance art while studying at Sothebys Institute of Art in Singapore. She spoke to Mizzima Business Weekly's Jessica Mudditt about the gallery’s potential and her passion for Myanmar contemporary art.
Joern Kristensen is executive director of the Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development, a non-profit research and development organisation he founded in January. MIID's focus is on economic development, natural resources management, heritage preservation, governance and social protection and it works mainly in upland regions with large ethnic minority communities, many of which have suffered decades of civil conflict linked to the production and trafficking of narcotics. These communities are dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods but have been affected by climate change, environmental degradation, food insecurity and a lack of social protection. Mr Kristensen, who has worked in humanitarian and development programs for more than 30 years, spoke to Mizzima Business Weekly's Jessica Mudditt about his passion for improving the lives of some of Myanmar’s most vulnerable people.
16 Aug Changing the rules
Edwin Vanderbruggen: ‘The new regulations strengthen the grip of the Central Bank on foreign loans’
|Edwin Vanderbruggen, partner at law firm VDB Loi Main Photo: BM Ward|
The Central Bank of Myanmar last month issued new rules for the way domestic banks and their clients handle foreign loans. The CBM said the change was to remove ambiguities. Mizzima Business Weekly’s Hans Hulst spoke with Edwin Vnderbruggen, a partner at law firm VDB loi, who said the new rules amount to a tightening of the CMB’s grip over foreign loans.
11 Aug Defence on the fringes
Interview with KNDO chairperson Saw Ner Dah Mya
Saw Ner Dah Mya, 48, the chairperson of the Karen National Defence Organisation, was born at Manerplaw, a karen National Union stronghold until 1995 when it was captured by the tatmadaw. Saw Ner day Mya’s father, the late Saw Bo Mya, chaired the KNU from 1976 to 2000. Saw Ner dah Mya attended secondary school in Bangkok and later travelled to the United States, where he studied for a degree at Pacific Union College, a Seventh day adventist university in angwin, California. After his studies he returned to the border areas of kayin State to work for the Karen National Union before becoming chairperson of the KNDO in 2013. He has never visited Yangon. Mizzima Business Weekly’s Portia larlee met Saw Ner dah Mya in the Thai border town of Mae Sot to discuss the KNDO, its defence strategies and the negotiations in Myanmar for a national ceasefire.