The Myanmar Investment Commission will be transformed to function as an independent body after amalgamating the country’s two investment laws, the commission’s secretary U Aung Naing Oo told Mizzima on October 23.
The Myanmar Investment Commission or MIC is a government-appointed body set up under the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development in April 1994.
“The reason to transform is that there are already successful stories of independent government organizations, which can attract and manage foreign investment effectively in Indonesia, Thailand, and other developed countries,” said U Aung Naing Oo, who is also director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
Another reason for the transformation is that it is now hard to plan investment promotion activities in overseas countries to attract foreign investment because the central government has yet to allocate budget for the MIC to operate promotional activities, he said.
Currently, the MIC has to depend on a portion of the overall total budget of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, he said.
There will be certain duties and responsibilities of an independent MIC in the single Myanmar Investment law after amalgamating the new Foreign Investment Law, which was enacted on November, 2012, and the new Myanmar Citizens Investment Law, which was enacted on July, 2013, he said.
“After standing as an independent entity, MIC will be an efficient and strong body. There will also be a certain budget allocated for the MIC,” said U Aung Naing Oo.
Asked by Mizzima whether the MIC will become independent before the end of the tenure of the current government, he said that depended on the progress of amalgamation of the two investment laws. The final draft law of the amalgamation of the two investment laws will be submitted to the Hluttaw at the end of this year. It will depend on the agenda of the coming Hluttaw.
U Than Maung, a member of Pyithu Hluttaw Commission for Assessment of Legal Affairs and Special Issues told Mizzima on October 24: “Currently, the amalgamation of two investment laws is just in the draft phase. I think it’s impossible to transform it into an independent MIC within one year.”
“An independent MIC shouldn’t await orders from higher government officials anymore. It is crucial that the MIC must be empowered to oversee decisions and activities of all government ministries concerning foreign investments after becoming an independent body. It is also necessary to acquire competent and qualified staff for the body,” said U Than Maung, who is also the principal legal manager of Kelvin Chia Yangon Limited, an affiliate of Singapore-based Kelvin Chia law firm.
The MIC was chaired by President Office Minister U Soe Thein from 2010 to 2013. He was replaced with the Minister for Finance U Win Shein on 3 May, 2013. Since May 28, 2014, the 13-member Myanmar Investment Commission includes the Minister of Energy U Zayar Aung, as chairman,as well as Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Maung Maung Thein and Deputy Minister of National Planning and Economic Development Daw Lei Lei Thein.
Source: MIZZIMA MYANMAR