The Promotion of Trade and Economic Cooperation between Russia and Myanmar
In order to promote Russia-Myanmar trade and economic cooperation, Mr. Grigoriev Evgeny Dmitrievich, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the St Petersburg Government of the Russian Federation, and his fellow members visited the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) office to meet Myanmar businessmen from the rice and pulses, aquatic products, furniture and garments sectors. The meeting was mainly to discuss the possible difficulties in exporting to Russia, arrangements regarding the payment system for direct exports to Russia and the requirements for Russian garment factories to move to and invest in Myanmar. Myanmar galleries will have the advantage of exhibiting at the annual St Petersburg Forum of the Russian Federation for free and exploring trade opportunities at the event. Additionally, the Day of Myanmar is also set to be held in St Petersburg.
The issuance of over 400 Form E Certificates by the Ministry of Commerce to Exporters at Muse Trade Zone
Between 1 and 15 October 2023, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued a total of 414 Form E (ASEAN – China Free Trade Certificate of Origin) tax relief certificates in accordance with the rules and regulations. The Form E tax relief can be applied via the Tradenet 2.0 platform or at border posts for the export of certain produce, including frozen crab, crab, eel, cotton, rice, broken rice, dried plum, black sesame and gum karaya. At the moment, traders primarily use the Chinese Yuan and US dollar as the official currency for border transactions for Sino-Myanmar trade. Subject to the directives of the Central Bank of Myanmar (Notification No. 27/2022), exporters shall deposit their export earnings to their foreign currency accounts within a maximum of 3 months of the date of shipment of the goods. According to the MOC, between 1 and 15 October 2023, the total trade value amounted to US$ 31.706 million, with exports amounting to US$ 14.317 million and imports amounting to US$ 17.389 million. The above figures and the fact that more than 100 trucks pass through the Muse boarder daily indicates that trade in Myanmar is flowing consistently.
Public Announcement by the Department of Trade to take actions against the companies that do not comply with Notification No. 27/2022 issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar
The Department of Trade (DOT) released a public announcement on 6 October 2023 to warn and take action against companies that fail to deposit export earnings in accordance with Notification No. 27/2022 of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM). As required by Notification No. 27/2022, all export companies shall deposit earnings from exporting goods to Asian countries into foreign currency accounts within 45 days from the exporting date; and deposit earnings from exporting to other countries into foreign currency accounts within 90 days from the exporting date. Pursuant to the Foreign Exchange Management Law, companies in default of the above requirements will be subjected to the following enforcement measures
- (a) the CBM will send the list of companies that do not deposit export earnings within the specified period to the Ministry of Commerce as well as the authorized dealer banks;
- (b) the DOT will further submit the list of non-compliant companies to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) to deposit the export earnings;
- (c) the DOT will first notify the companies of their non-compliance, if the company still fails to deposit their earnings within two weeks, their exporter/importer registration certificates will be suspended;
- (d) the DOT will resume the suspended exporter/importer registration certificates only after the CBM confirms that the companies in question have re-complied with the export earnings deposit requirements.
Amendment to the Minimum Wage in Myanmar
The National Committee for the Minimum Wage issued Notification No. 2/2023 on 9 October 2023 regarding amendments to the minimum wage in Myanmar. In Notification No. 2/2023, employees of government departments and organizations shall be entitled to an increased daily wage of 5,800 Kyats for an 8-hour day. The increased minimum wage comprises of 1000 Kyats in addition to the previous minimum wage of 4,800 Kyats stated in Notification No. 2/2018 published by the National Committee. However, the minimum wage amendment does not apply to employees of private-sector businesses with less than ten workers. Such amendment has taken effect on 1 October 2023.
Enforcement of Myanmar intellectual properties laws
On 18 October 2023, the Chairman of the State Administration Council of Myanmar issued Notification No.217/2023 and Notification No.218/2023, setting the enforcement date of the Industrial Design Law and Copyright Law as 31 October 2023. The Industrial Design Rules, published by the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce under Notification No. 67/2023 on 29 September 2023, outlines the steps and regulations for registering industrial designs with the Intellectual Property Department in accordance with the Industrial Design Law. Given that three IP related laws, namely Trademark Law, Copyright Law and Industrial Design Law have already been enforced, issuing Notifications to enforce the enacted Patent Law is crucial to provide further protection to the rights of patent owners in Myanmar.