ABOLISH Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) & Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings (UMEHL), two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military (through the Ministry of Defence)

ABOLISH Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) & Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings (UMEHL), two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military (through the Ministry of Defence)

It is not right soldiers sitting in the parliament occupying 25% of the seats, it is not right to spend defense expense budget representing 24 percent of all the ministries’ state expense and it is not right economic militarisation in Burma by "The Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) and The Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military (through the Ministry of Defence).

The Myanmar Economic Corporation

The Myanmar Economic Corporation (Burmese: မြန်မာ့စီးပွါးရေး ကော်ပိုရေးရှင်း; abbreviated MEC) is one of two major Burmese conglomerate and holding company operated by the Burmese military, the Tatmadaw. Founded in 1997 to establish profitable heavy industries to give the Burmese military access to supplies of important materials (e.g. cement and rubber), MEC’s operations are shrouded in secrecy.[1] In 2009, MEC had 21 factories, including 4 steel plants, a bank, a cement plant and an insurance monopoly.[2] Its headquarters are located on Shwedagon Pagoda Road in Yangon‘s Dagon Township.[3] MEC has remained on the United States’ list of sanctioned companies due to its affiliation to the Burmese military.[4] MEC also operates Innwa Bank, one of Burma’s few banking chains.[5]

MEC is operated under the Ministry of Defence‘s Directorate of Defence Procurement (DPP), with its private shares exclusively owned by active-duty military personnel.[6] The corporation’s capital was established through revenues generated from the public auctioning of state-owned enterprises throughout the 1990s.[7] Through joint ventures with foreign companies and mergers with smaller companies, MEC has positioned itself as one of Burma’s largest corporations.[7] In 2000, MEC launched Cybermec Information Technology Center, an IT venture.[8]

Along with Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings (UMEHL), MEC is widely observed to generate most of the Burmese military’s operating revenue, which are not held accountable to the Burmese parliament, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.[9] The former Vice-President of Burma, Tin Aung Myint Oo, is a former Myanmar Economic Corporation chairman.[10]

Myanmar Economic Corporation

Native name မြန်မာ့စီးပွါးရေး ကော်ပိုရေးရှင်း
Industry Conglomerate
Founded February 1997 (1997-02)
Founder(s) Ministry of Defence (Burma)
Headquarters Yangon, Myanmar
Subsidiaries Innwa Bank

References

  1. ^ "Myanmar: The Politics of Economic Reform". Asia Report N° 231 (International Crisis Group). 27 July 2012. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/231-myanmar-the-politics-of-economic-reform.pdf.
  2. ^ Steinberg, David I. (2009). Burma/Myanmar: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195390681.
  3. ^ "MYANMAR ECONOMIC CORPORATION". Excluded Parties List System. U.S. Government. https://www.epls.gov/epls/search.do?debar_recid=157127&status=current&vindex=0&xref=true. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  4. ^ Bruce, Victoria (16 July 2012). "Reporting rules for US firms revealed". Myanmar Times. http://www.mmtimes.com/2012/news/635/news63502.html. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Administration Eases Financial and Investment Sanctions on Burma". HumanRights.gov. United States Government. 11 July 2012. http://www.humanrights.gov/2012/07/11/burmaresponsibleinvestment/. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  6. ^ Singh, Ravi Shekhar Narain (2005). Asian Strategic And Military Perspective. Lancer Publishers. pp. 209. ISBN 9788170622451.
  7. ^ a b Min Zin (August 2003). "Waiting for an Industrial Revolution". Irrawaddy. http://www2.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=3049&page=3. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Generals invest in IT". Business (The Irrawaddy). August 2000. http://www2.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=706&page=2. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Junta stocking up on weapons for rainy day: observer". Mizzma. 24 December 2009. http://www.mizzima.com/business/3205-junta-stocking-up-on-weapons-for-rainy-day-observer.html. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  10. ^ Heather, Victoria (3 October 2012). "VP pushed out over corruption, resistance to reforms". Democratic Voice of Burma. http://www.dvb.no/news/vp-pushed-out-over-corruption-resistance-to-reforms/22135. Retrieved 3 October 2012.

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Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings

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Native name ပြည်ထောင်စု မြန်မာနိုင်ငံစီးပွားရေးဦး ပိုင်လီမိတက်
Industry Conglomerate
Founded February 1990 (1990-02)
Founder(s) Ministry of Defence (Burma)
Headquarters Yangon, Myanmar
Owner(s) Burmese military personnel (60%)
Directorate of Defence Procurement (40%)
Subsidiaries Myawaddy Bank
Myawaddy Tours & Travel
Myawaddy Enterprises Group

Pyininbin Industrial Park

The Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု မြန်မာနိုင်ငံစီးပွားရေးဦး ပိုင်လီမိတက် ; also called Myanma Economic Holding and abbreviated UMEHL or UMEH) is one of two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military (through the Ministry of Defence), the other being the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).[1] In May 2012, when the United States suspended sanctions against Burma (Myanmar), sanctions against UMEHL were kept in place, because of its affiliation to the Burmese Tatmadaw.[2] UMEHL also operates Myawaddy Bank and the Burmese military’s pension fund.[3] The headquarters are located on Mahabandoola Road in Yangon‘s Botataung Township.[4]

[edit] History

UMEHL was established in February 1990 under the Special Companies Act as the economic arm of the Burmese military, during a period of privatization and transition from a socialist command economy, with an initial capital of $1.6 billion USD.[5][6] UMEHL was established to generate profits from light industry and the trade of commercial goods.[7]

In the 2000s, several state-run enterprises including sugar factories were transferred under the control of UMEHL and MEH.[8]

The UMEHL conglomerate is jointly owned by two military departments; 40% of shares are owned by the Directorate of Defence Procurement while 60% of shares are owned by active and veteran defence personnel, including high-ranking military officials of the former ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and veterans organizations. UMEHL is exempt from commercial and profit taxes.[9]

In 2010, UMEHL opened Ruby Mart, a 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) 5-storey shopping complex in Yangon‘s Kyauktada Township, in a building that once housed the Ministry of Commerce‘s Myanmar Agricultural Produce Trading.[10]

UMEHL is one of 18 Burmese firms involved in the development of the 50,000 acres (20,000 ha) Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon.[11]

The conglomerate has also been involved in lucrative partnerships with drug lords.[12]

[edit] Economic interests

UMEHL has a monopoly on the country’s gems sector and also has a significant portfolio in various industries including banking, tourism, real estate, transportation, and metals.[13] With its affiliation to the Burmese military, which directly ruled the country for almost 50 years, UMEHL has exclusive access to secure preferential contracts with foreign firms.[8] Most FDI in Burma is done through joint ventures with UMEHL.[14]

Among its subsidiaries include:[9][10]

  • Bandoola Transportation
    • Parami Bus
  • Myawaddy Trading
  • Five Stars Ship Company
  • Myawaddy Bank
  • Myawaddy Tours & Travel
  • Myawaddy Enterprises Group
  • Pyininbin Industrial Park (in North Yangon’s suburbs)
    • UMEH Textile
  • Jade mines (in Kachin State)
  • Ruby and sapphire mines (in Shan State)

UMEHL has a 40% share in Myanmar Brewery Limited (MBL), which is owned and operated by Asia World.[15]

UMEHL has 45% of share of Myanmar Brewery Limited which is manufacturing Tiger Beer, Myanmar Beer, ABC stout and Anchor beer. In addition for Soft section 100plus has launched recently. Myanmar Brewery Limited was a joint venture between UMEHL and Fraser and Neave Ltd from Singapore.

[edit] References

  1. ^ McCartan, Brian (28 February 2012). "Myanmar military in the money". Asia Times. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/NB28Ae02.html. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  2. ^ Brady, Brendan (7 September 2012). "Boom Days In Burma". Newsweek. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/09/16/boom-days-in-burma.html. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  3. ^ Min Zin (August 2003). "Waiting for an Industrial Revolution". The Irrawaddy. http://www2.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=3049&page=3. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  4. ^ "UNION OF MYANMAR ECONOMIC HOLDINGS LIMITED". Excluded Parties List System. U.S. Government. https://www.epls.gov/epls/search.do?debar_recid=157119&status=current&vindex=0&xref=true. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  5. ^ Zin Linn (2 June 2012). "Burma and the international development aid and FDI". Asia Tribune. http://asiantribune.com/news/2012/06/01/burma-and-international-development-aid-and-fdi. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. ^ Myat Thein (2004). Economic Development of Myanmar. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789812302113.
  7. ^ "Myanmar: The Politics of Economic Reform". Asia Report N° 231 (International Crisis Group). 27 July 2012. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/231-myanmar-the-politics-of-economic-reform.pdf.
  8. ^ a b Fujita, Kōichi; Fumiharu Mieno, Ikuko Okamoto (2009). The Economic Transition in Myanmar After 1988: Market Economy Versus State Control. NUS Press. ISBN 9789971694616.
  9. ^ a b Singh, Ravi Shekhar Narain (2005). Asian Strategic And Military Perspective. Lancer Publishers. pp. 209. ISBN 9788170622451.
  10. ^ a b "Junta-controlled firm opens shopping centre in Rangoon". Mizzima. 11 October 2010. http://www.mizzima.com/business/4432-junta-controlled-firm-opens-shopping-centre-in-rangoon.html. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  11. ^ "500 foreign, local firms get land permits". Weekly Eleven. 30 September 2012. http://elevenmyanmar.com/business/822-500-foreign-local-firms-get-land-permits. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  12. ^ Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future. Brookings Institution Press. 1998. ISBN 9780815775812.
  13. ^ Callahan, Mary P. (2005). Making Enemies: War And State Building in Burma. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801472671.
  14. ^ Tin Maung Maung Than (2007). State Dominance in Myanmar: The Political Economy of Industrialization. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789812303714.
  15. ^ Houtman, Gustaaf (1999) (in houtman). Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics. ILCAA. ISBN 9784872977486.

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