Governing development finance organisations: measuring development impact

Governance is important for both private and public sector organisations. For development finance organisations (such as IFC, CDC, Africa Development Bank and Asia Development Bank) which are publicly funded and invest in developing countries it is critical. A key part of governance is measuring the development impact that they have through setting goals and measuring the …

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Myanmar mobile banking and payment: where to start?

Myanmar is currently largely a cash economy.  In this post we consider the types of mobile banking and payments solutions we predict will first gain traction in the Myanmar market: remittance services and banking the unbanked. Outside Myanmar, the way people bank and pay has been revolutionised: from the introduction of credit cards, telephone banking and …

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Responsible investment in Myanmar

Myanmar is a country with tremendous opportunities, but also tremendous risks. I was fortunate enough to host and chair a seminar in Singapore yesterday on responsible investment into Myanmar. Introduction by Rt. Hon Hugo Swire MP The seminar started with an introduction and overview by the Rt. Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Hugo …

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Ooredoo and Telenor win Myanmar telecoms licences, Parliament debate telecoms law

Ooredoo (formerly known as QTel) and Telenor have won the process run by the executive branch of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for the award of two national telecoms licences. A consortium of Orange and Marubeni Corporation was named as the back-up applicant. The original field of twelve bidders was reduced to eleven following the …

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Myanmar announces 12 Pre-Qualified Applicants for telecoms licences

Following its evaluation of applications, the Government of Myanmar today announced 12 pre-qualified applicants for the two national telecoms licences being allocated by tender: Axiata Group Bharti Airtel China Mobile and Vodafone Group Digicel Group France Telecom / Orange KDDI Corp and Sumitomo Corp Millicom International Cellular MTN Dubai Ooreedo (aka Qatar Telecom) Singtel, KBZ …

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Myanmar to increase international investor protections

International arbitration to provide unbiased disputed resolution mechanism for international investors Myanmar’s long isolation from the international community has meant that it has lacked many of the protections available to international investors elsewhere. It is therefore very encouraging that on 7 March 2013 the Myanmar parliament agreed to sign the New York Convention on the …

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Why bring your own device (BYOD) is not just an IT issue

I was fortunate this week to be both a speaker and a panellist at Questex Asia’s ‘BYOD and Mobile Security conference held in Singapore. It turned out I was the only lawyer in a room of 200 plus IT people, which was an interesting experience. Having made my presentation (Olswang_Asia_BYOD_presentation) my conversations with delegates brought home …

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The importance of understanding ‘face’ for doing business in Asia

Whilst the focus of this blog is the intersection of telecoms and technology with law and regulation, it does occasionally stray into ‘softer’ topics. With the first anniversary of our Singapore office coming up after the lunar new year, I was reflecting on what I had learnt in my time here. Just after arrival I had blogged about the importance of …

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Myanmar invites applications for two telecoms licences

Myanmar today (15 January 2013) invited expressions of interest for two national telecommunications services licences. I have blogged about the prospects for telecoms in Myanmar before, and today’s announcement starts to clear some of the fog obscuring the road ahead. Policy framework In the short press release,  the Government recites that their policy framework is: “for the …

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ADB’s Asia growth forecast highlights importance of services sector

When I opened my (electronic) Financial Times this morning, the headline ‘China slowdown hits Asian growth hopes’ seemed rather gloomy. As an expat European, I was bracing myself for bad news to follow, so was rather cheered to read the actual growth forecast for the region of 6.1%. Whilst that is a downward revision from the 6.9% forecast earlier in …

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