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Jun 02. 2016
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By Asia News Network

Myanmar should tap dams for electricity:Yangon chief minister

 Dams can provide an affordable means for electricity production and water storage, Yangon region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein said at an event to inform the public about the state of electricity distribution at the Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation headquarters on Tuesday.

“I believe good river management is required to make the most of the country’s fresh water.

“Dams can store water as well as provide an affordable way to produce electricity. We should consider this an alternative for electricity production in the long term,” he said.

The chief minister also said he understood people’s fear of dams, such as Myitsone Dam, since they can harm water sources.

 If they are done the right way, these risks can be overcome, he said.

Yangon region accounts for more than half of the country’s power consumption.

Myanmar’s commercial city has faced a shortage of electricity since infrastructure projects and low-cost housing have been under construction.

Electricity-production partnerships with private companies have ended in vain because the companies are profit-oriented.

“The projects were unsuccessful because the companies seek to profit from the government. There will be losses at first. They are inevitable in electricity distribution.

“If the companies can put up with |that stage and keep the electricity |production systematic, it could be a promising business,” Phyo Min Thein said. |– Eleven Media Group

 HSBC funds setup of Ophir Energy’s HQ in Thailand

  HSBC’s international network and cross-border business-banking expertise has played a pivotal role in helping British oil company Ophir Energy complete a major strategic move to Thailand.

The move leveraged HSBC’s global cash-management capabilities and banking network to give Ophir Energy the support needed to set up a regional business presence under the terms of the Thai government’s international headquarters (IHQ) programme.

Krisda Phatcharoen, head of commercial banking at HSBC Thailand, said Ophir Energy was one of the bank’s showcases among multinational companies seeking to set up IHQs in Thailand.

“Foreign conglomerates are increasingly looking to Thailand as a base for Asian headquarters operations because of its strategic location and high potential [for] growth. It’s a trend we expect to continue.”

Ophir Energy is a UK-based international oil and gas exploration and production company. Its affiliate Ophir Asia Services has been established to operate an IHQ business in Thailand serving Ophir Group’s other affiliates and subsidiaries.

Ophir has two producing assets in Thailand. It has a 100-per-cent-operated interest in the Bualuang oil field in the Gulf of Thailand and a 9.5-per-cent interest in the Sinphuhorm onshore gas field in the Northeast. –The Nation

 Vietnam exports surge to $67.7 bn in first five months

 Vietnam generated more than US$67.7 billion (Bt2.5 trillion) from exports in the first five months of this year, surging 6.6 per cent against the same period last year, according to its General Statistics Office.

Domestic enterprises contributed more than $19.44 billion, up 3.9 per cent year-on-year, while the remainder of more than $48.26 billion came from foreign-funded firms, up 7.7 per cent.

Key export products recording a strong increase were vegetables and fruit, growing 53.7 per cent to $1 billion; telephones and their components, increased 20.6 per cent to $14.4 billion; machines and equipment, up 16.2 per cent to $3.6 billion; and handbags, hats and umbrellas, up 12.1 per cent to $1.3 billion.

Other products with encouraging export growth were rice, up 8.4 per cent; electronics, computer and parts, up 5.4 per cent; footwear, up 6 per cent; and seafood, up 5.6 per cent.

But the first five months saw significant reductions in the turnover of some major export items, such as crude oil, slumping 49.2 per cent to $883 million; steel and iron, down 10.2 per cent to $649 million; and cassava, down 22.7 per cent. – Viet Nam News

 AirAsia introduces routes to Tehran and Mauritius

 AirAsia has just opened routes Iran and Mauritius and promises attractive fares.

Known as the island with the topaz shoreline and sitting in the Indian Ocean near the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius and its amazing beaches including Belle Mare Beach will soon be accessible via a direct AirAsia X flight from Kuala Lumpur, starting on October 4.

The flights will carry 377 passengers in economy class and 12 in premium class and are scheduled to depart three times a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The flights return on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The one-way flight takes about seven hours.

The airline is attracting travellers with promotional fares that must be booked by Sunday. The Malaysian carrier will also fly to Iran’s capital, Tehran, with its inaugural flight departing on June 21.

The route will connect Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to Tehran, and as with Mauritius, AirAsia will run the service three times per week. AirAsia is not a first-timer in Tehran, as the route was introduced in 2010. However, it was suspended in 2012 because of Iran’s challenging economic and business conditions as a result of sanctions applied by the US, according to Business Traveller.

Sanctions on Iran were lifted this year.

“The recent lifting of sanctions opens up exciting new prospects for Iran as a tourist destination,” said Benyamin Ismail, AirAsia X CEO. – The Jakarta Post


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