You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Myanmar

  • Myanmar papers protest sentencing of reporters
    Several private newspapers in Myanmar printed black front pages on Friday to protest the recent arrests and sentencing of journalists, in the latest sign the country's media climate is worsening.
  • Myanmar clunkers scrapped in rush for 'new' cars
    Mike Shwe Hlaing has a lot full of used SUVs and a potentially huge market to sell them to if Myanmar manages to spread some of the affluence blooming in its biggest city to a poor and still mostly road-less countryside.
  • UN envoy raises alarm on abuses against Rohingya
    A U.N. human rights envoy says severe shortages of food, water and medical care for Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar are part of a long history of persecution against the religious minority that could amount to “crimes against
Advertisement

Ford to sell cars, pickups in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar – Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal to distribute vehicles in Myanmar, the head of Ford’s local partner said Thursday.

Khin Tun, the director of Capital Automotive, said Ford’s first showroom in Yangonwill sell cars and pickup trucks, and could open as early as May.

Ford spokesman Neal McCarthy said the company is “gearing up for market entry” and has a local distributor, but declined to discuss details.

PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, GE, Caterpillar and Danish brewer Carlsberg have all signed distribution deals in Myanmar, as rapid political and economic changes transform the country from pariah state to investor darling.

Lingering uncertainties about the stability of Myanmar’s transformation and fears the U.S. could reinstate sanctions have discouraged many Western companies from making large, long-term investments. But the deals show how Myanmar’s economic landscape is starting to change.

Much of the old economic order still prevails, but a few industries once monopolized by military and crony businesses are beginning to open to new players.

Business executives who have avoided the taint of Western sanctions are snapping up deals with foreign partners. And some of the old “cronies,” long disparaged for their links to the country’s repressive military leaders, are now trying to rebrand themselves to attract some of the rush of foreign capital.

Vehicle imports, for example, used to be so tightly controlled – and highly prized – that the government was able to cover much of the construction cost of its new capital city, Naypyitaw by paying “crony” businessmen with permits to import vehicles.

Myanmar loosened vehicle import restrictions in late 2011, transforming the streets of the country’s commercial capital, Yangon, from quiet lanes to gridlock. Old Japanese cars still dominate the streets here.

Advertisement