ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Myanmar releases new investment rules
Clarification of the rules governing the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law in Myanmar was issued by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development on January 31.
Key features of the guidelines include a provision that allows shares in entities that have been formed under the FIL to be transferred from Myanmar citizens to foreigners and vice versa if approval is granted by the Myanmar Investment Commission.
At the same time, the rules no longer set a minimum capital requirement for investments, except in mining ventures. Another important clarification is the dropping of foreign ownership restrictions in joint ventures, except in restricted sectors, where they will be capped at 80 percent.
Other sectors, which have been deemed to not require foreign capital or knowledge, such as farming and fishing enterprises, as well as those that heavily pollute the environment, have been deemed off-limits to foreign investment.
The January 31 release also affirms the role of the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) in foreign investments. The body has been given more power to carry out its stated functions.
The role and discretionary powers of the Myanmar Investment Commission is also strengthened by the new rules.
And while the rules might appear to make the country more attractive to foreign companies, it also sets tighter requirements in terms of finishing proposed projects within specified deadlines. Failure to do so will result in the withdrawal of MIC approval.
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