MYANMAR and Southeast Asia Globe (LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA)

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MYANMAR and Southeast Asia Globe (LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA) Southeast Asia Globe is a member-supported media website platform producing in-depth and independent journalism about Southeast Asia that inspire. https://southeastasiaglobe.com info@globemediaasia.com https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR
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  • 1. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 6/19
  • 2. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 7/19 Jan 18, 2019 • 7 min read EU Tariffs Cambodia and Myanmar’s rice farmers under pressure Cambodia and Myanmar will be forced to pay hefty tariffs to export rice to the European Union – and farmers fear that it will leave both nations’ rice industries in critical condition By Robin Spiess Aug 09, 2018 • 4 min read Chin tribes Myanmar’s tattooed women: an artist’s interpretation The indigenous Chin people have a unique tradition of tattooing the women’s faces. In 2012, Belgian artist Christian Develter travelled to meet these women, which served as an inspiration for his series Chin Urban & Tribal. He discusses his experience of living with the tribes, and his thoughts on the now-illegal tattooing practice By Thomas Brent
  • 3. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 8/19 Jun 29, 2018 • 2 min read Kachin conflict Myanmar’s ‘forgotten war’ The Kachin conflict in Myanmar has been largely eclipsed by the Rohingya crisis. With media attention centred on the plight of Muslim minorities to the west, the northern conflict over gold and other valuable resources rages on, displacing “thousands of villagers, without as much international condemnation”, says analyst Eugene Mark Min Hui By Tom O'Connell
  • 4. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 9/19 Jun 25, 2018 • 5 min read Overcoming the outages How to keep the lights on in Myanmar
  • 5. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 10/19 With more than four out of ten people in Myanmar without access to electricity, the nation's economic development relies on the government's willingness to pursue alternative energy sources By Jeremy Mullins May 08, 2018 • 3 min read Win Myint Myanmar’s ambitious new president pushing for changes to military-drafted constitution Who is he? Born on the Irrawaddy Delta just three years after his nation declared its independence from the British in 1948, Win Myint’s own foray into political life came in 1988 when the then-barrister was swept up in the nationwide prodemocracy protests against General Ne Win’s one-party rule. Joining… By Paul Millar
  • 6. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 11/19
  • 7. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 12/19 Oct 13, 2017 • 7 min read Whatever happened to Myanmar’s Tiger Girls? Touted as Myanmar’s answer to the Spice Girls and a potent symbol of change in the country, the Tiger Girls made a huge splash in international media around the turn of this decade. Four of the five are back and finally tasting local fame in a country now more equipped to deal with their spirited ways By Sean Gleeson Feb 06, 2017 • 7 min read On the road to Mandalay: a cycling tour through rural Myanmar From magnificent Buddhist monuments to glimpses of traditional rural life, saddling up for a cycling trip is the ideal way to experience Myanmar’s charms By Graeme Green
  • 8. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 13/19 Dec 29, 2016 • 7 min read Mogok Myanmar’s mysterious mining mecca Myanmar’s miners have been left with little more than scraps following years of military plunder By Feliz Solomon
  • 9. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 14/19 May 16, 2016 • 8 min read Female Empowerment The sex educators fighting gender inequality in Myanmar Women’s rights activists in Myanmar are sweeping aside cultural taboos for a frank discussion on sexuality that they hope will diminish gender inequality By Holly Robertson
  • 10. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 15/19 Apr 26, 2016 • 7 min read Myanmar’s economy opens doors to big brands From fast food giants to coffee chains, tobacco companies and garment makers, Myanmar’s emerging economy is opening up to the world’s biggest brands By Holly Robertson
  • 11. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 16/19 Apr 21, 2016 • 7 min read Luxury Strand Cruise gives fine taste of Myanmar’s culture The road to Mandalay was made famous by an ode in its honour, but the new five-star Strand Cruise along the riverine route to Myanmar’s cultural capital is a far more enticing way to travel By Holly Robertson
  • 12. 8/14/2019 You searched for MYANMAR - Southeast Asia Globe https://southeastasiaglobe.com/?s=MYANMAR 17/19 Apr 19, 2016 • 4 min read Better infrastructure critical for Myanmar’s economic success Martin Jancik and Joshua Brown, country managers for Myanmar and Singapore at Tractus Asia, a leading management consulting firm, give their insights into the future of Myanmar’s investment climate By Martin Janick and Joshua Brown 1 2 3 4 … 16 17 Next Last
  • 13. https://southeastasiaglobe.com/what-the-eus-new-tariffs-mean-for-cambodia-and-myanmars-rice- farmers/ EU TARIFFS Cambodia and Myanmar’s rice farmers under pressure Cambodia and Myanmar will be forced to pay hefty tariffs to export rice to the European Union – and farmers fear that it will leave both nations’ rice industries in critical condition ROBIN SPIESS JANUARY 18, 2019 Cambodian farmers carry rice bales through a field in Cambodia's Kampong Speu province, some 60 km south of Phnom Penh Photo: Tang Chhin Sothy /AFP Rice farmers across Cambodia and Myanmar have been left scrambling for new markets for their crop after the European Union announced on Wednesday that it will now be imposing hefty tariffs on long-grain Indica rice from both Southeast Asian nations for the next three years beginning today. The decision, announced by the European Commission this week, follows a month-long investigation that confirmed the increase in Indica imports from Cambodia and Myanmar has been damaging to EU rice producers.
  • 14. In December, the Commission held a vote on this issue among its 28 EU state members, but did not receive a majority in favour of imposing the tariff measures. In the absence of strong opposition to the proposal, the Commission made the final decision itself on 16 January. Representatives of European farming groups told Reuters that they are grateful for the Commission’s decision, as the cheap rice imported from Southeast Asia has been contributing to farmers’ abandonment of crops and exodus from rural areas. Farming group Copa-Cogeca said rice imports from the two Asian countries increased from 9,000 tonnes in 2012 to 360,000 tonnes in 2017, leading to a collapse in prices across the European continent. In 2018, approximately 30% of all EU rice imports originated from countries with duty-free status – with the bulk being shipped in from Cambodia and Myanmar. “This surge in low-price imports has caused serious difficulties for EU rice producers to the extent that their market share in the EU dropped substantially from 61% to 29%,” the Commission said in a recent statement. Rice is currently grown across eight southern European countries including Italy, whose government initially requested the launch of the Commission’s investigation in March 2018 in the name of “protecting the Italian and European rice industry”. Cambodia and Myanmar have enjoyed duty-free rice export to Europe since 2010, when the EU dropped its tariffs on the crop as a benefit of the Everything but Arms agreement, a policy which aims to promote European trade of goods with the world’s 50 least-developed countries. Other more developed countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Vietnam, have long been paying tariffs of around $200 per tonne for white rice exports to the EU.
  • 15. Impact on Cambodia’s and Myanmar’s Economies For countries that have long benefitted from free access to the European market, the new tariffs are a steep price to pay: for the first year, the two countries’ Indica rice exports will be charged a duty of approximately $200 per tonne of rice, with the duties gradually dropping to $171 and $142.50 per tonne, respectively, over the course of the following two years. For both Cambodia and Myanmar, rice is a major export – and Europe has become their most profitable market. The EU is currently Cambodia’s largest destination for exports, with nearly 43% of all exported rice – or approximately 270,000 tonnes’ worth – going straight to European markets. But while Cambodia’s exports to the EU have been on the rise in recent years, the country’s overall rice exports suffered slightly last year: the industry took a 1.5% dip in 2018 compared to 2017, with officials citing high production costs, international competition and a potential EU tariff as the cause. Just under a week before the Commission’s Wednesday announcement of its decision, Cambodia Rice Federation vice- president Vong Bun Heng told a local news outlet that the very threat of an EU tariff on Cambodia’s rice has already proven damaging to overall exports. “Some international buyers hesitate to place orders when they hear about implementation of the EU safeguard,” he said. “There is a need for our rice, but the choice of buyers is limited.” Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a research unit of the Cambodian Economic Association, told the Phnom Penh Post that the Kingdom could see its rice industry in critical condition in the face of the EU tariffs. In order to offset the additional duty costs, he said, local rice farmers will have to focus
  • 16. on cutting production costs, and may need to switch up their crops altogether. “The government should consider reducing the electricity cost and port fee to help our rice industry to remain or be more competitive,” he said. “I think [the impact of the tariff] will depend on the substitutability of the Cambodian rice in EU market outlets. If they like Cambodian rice, the supermarkets and consumers in Europe may not mind paying a bit more.” According to AMRU Rice Cambodia chairman and CEO Song Saran, Cambodian rice exporters should focus on expanding to new markets – but for now, it needs Europe. “We need the EU market and we cannot afford to lose it. So we will have to find a way to lower our operating costs to improve competitiveness,” he said. Myanmar is in much the same boat, as Europe has steadily grown to become one of the country’s major markets. Myanmar exported upwards of $320 million worth of rice in 2017, the same year it reached an all-time high of 293,000 tonnes of rice exported to Europe. At a World Economic Forum in September, Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi noted that Myanmar’s rice exports have been on the rise for years, achieving “pre-war” levels in 2017 thanks to access to foreign markets. “[Our rice export success] has not affected the rice exports of [neighbouring countries like] Vietnam or Thailand,” she said. “The fact that we have been gaining our position in the world rice market does not mean that other local markets have suffered.” But this could change now that the European market has set a high barrier for entry to the Indica rice market, forcing farmers to look closer to home as they seek out different buyers.
  • 17. Last week, general secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation Ye Min Aung spoke about the potential negative effects of the EU’s decision to impose duties on the country’s rice exports. “We have seen increased income as we are able to export quality rice to EU market,” he told a local news outlet. “Unless we have [duty free export] rights, we have to compete more with other countries. But to do so, we have much difficulty – we don’t have enough ports and warehouses.” However, others are for more optimistic about the potential effects of the new tariff, which some Burmese industry insiders – including Myanmar Rice Federation joint secretary Lu Maw Myint Maung alongside several local rice exporters – claim will only affect about 60,000 to 100,000 tonnes of Indica exports. Even if only 100,000 tonnes of Myanmar’s exports were to be affected, however, the new tariff would still result in a loss of approximately $20 million for the country, should Myanmar choose to send its rice to the EU in the upcoming year. According to Hla Maung Shwe, deputy chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, it could be worse – the EU could have chosen to target duty-free garment imports, which are the backbone of several developing Southeast Asian economies. “This decision will not affect us very much on rice exports to Europe, but if it were on our garment exports, it would hurt,” Hla Maung She told Radio Free Asia. In Cambodia, officials are looking at the new tariff as an opportunity, and a sign from the EU that the Kingdom no longer needs preferential treatment. Cambodia’s Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told RFA that the government is unconcerned by the tariff, though he admitted it would have an impact.
  • 18. “Imposing a tax on Cambodia is a positive development, which proves that Cambodia is able to pay duties like other countries,” he said. “We know that imposing the tax will affect us, but we must be ready to compete on a level playing field with other countries in trade.”
  • 19. https://southeastasiaglobe.com/myanmars-tattooed-women/ CHIN TRIBES Myanmar’s tattooed women: an artist’s interpretation The indigenous Chin people have a unique tradition of tattooing the women’s faces. In 2012, Belgian artist Christian Develter travelled to meet these women, which served as an inspiration for his series Chin Urban & Tribal. He discusses his experience of living with the tribes, and his thoughts on the now-illegal tattooing practice THOMAS BRENT AUGUST 9, 2018 Two examples of Christian Develter's artwork from his series Chin Urban & Tribal Originally the women of the Chin tribes were tattooed as a form of identification, so that they could not be stolen by kings or other chieftains. The practice has now evolved into something more aesthetic. Do you feel the tattoos give the woman a sense of empowerment and independence, or could it be seen as a misogynistic tradition? I think for many of these women the tattoos were a rite of passage. It marked an important moment or turning point in their
  • 20. lives, helped them find their place in the community. But maybe at the same time, they felt a sense of self – not only through these special markings on their faces, but the whole experience of getting through the fear and pain. I’m not a woman, but I think many women have something – social or cultural, [such as] makeup, clothing, jewellery – which helps them feel beautiful and empowered, but nevertheless answers to certain ideas or ideals of how they should look and be. I don’t think it’s necessarily ‘misogynistic’, but women, more than men, are judged by the way they look – both by men and by women. Christian Develter with one member of an indigenous Chin tribe What was it like spending time with the tribes? Did you learn anything from their way of life? Myanmar has been a fairly closed country until quite recently. And even as it opens up, it’s not always easy to travel everywhere: permits, access, and infrastructure [are all obstacles]. It’s easy to wax lyrical about the old way of life: the idyllic villages, the pace, the traditions; but young people are moving on as they become more connected and want to see more of the world. I saw people at the cusp of change and trying to make
  • 21. sense of the outside world – as they knew it – coming in. What I did learn was that the Chin were welcoming and non-judgmental of strangers, and have a amazing sense of humour seriously. It is possible that their traditions will soon disappear, as the tattooing is now illegal in Myanmar? Do you believe it is important to save these traditions? The older generation – women in their 70s, 80s – tell me that the tattoos will die with the last of them. Some of the younger women say they will hang on to them as this is their culture and community. Others are breaking away from the old life and ways. There is a real interest in learning more and documenting these traditions – I for one am here and inspired by them. But I think it is for the Chins to continue with their culture and traditions as they feel is best for them. It would be a shame if this became just another ‘tourist showcase’ without the opportunity for the culture to evolve with time – even if it meant the end of the tattoos. By painting them I feel I might contribute – in a small way – to preserve them for future generations. An elderly woman from a Chin tribe sporting the traditional, intricate face tattoos Why did you decide to mix contemporary with traditional in your series of paintings based on the Chin tribes of Myanmar?
  • 22. I think there’s something timeless about the tattoos – the way the lines and shapes frame and become part of the women’s faces. This series was just my way of bringing this to the canvas – as bold and sublime as the tattoos and the women who carried them. Why did you decide to mix contemporary with traditional in your series of paintings based on the Chin tribes of Myanmar? I think there’s something timeless about the tattoos – the way the lines and shapes frame and become part of the women’s faces. This series was just my way of bringing this to the canvas – as bold and sublime as the tattoos and the women who carried them. Do you have any future projects lined up? If so, what are they? I always felt there was little attention or nuance in the way women were portrayed biblically: often two-dimensional saints or victims waiting to be “saved”. My next project is a celebration of them: strengths and flaws as I plan to re-interpret depictions of Eve, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene. For this, I hope to travel to countries where these women are venerated – maybe to South America, where Christianity is infused with the lingering colours and scents of old pagan practices. And certainly also the Philippines! Christian Develter’s work is available at One Eleven Gallery in Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • 23. https://southeastasiaglobe.com/overcoming-the-outages-how-to-keep-the-lights-on-in-myanmar/ OVERCOMING THE OUTAGES How to keep the lights on in Myanmar With more than four out of ten people in Myanmar without access to electricity, the nation's economic development relies on the government's willingness to pursue alternative energy sources JEREMY MULLINS JUNE 25, 2018 A night-time view of Yangon, Myanmar's largest city Photo: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images Poor electricity access is incredibly disruptive and bad for business. Tales abound in Myanmar of surgeries completed using light from cell phones and cars crashing immediately after the lights go out. About 41% of Myanmar people are without access to electricity at all, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This equates to about 22 million people, or a third of Southeast Asia’s total of 65 million people who don’t have access to electricity.
  • 24. Many of those in Myanmar who do have electricity receive intermittent power from local generators or small solar home systems, rather than 24-hour grid access. The result is that even those who have electricity access make relatively little use of it, with data from the GMS Information Portal showing Myanmar used 256kWh (kilowatt hours) per capita in 2015, against 335kWh for Cambodi
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