Investment laws re-considered

The government has begun accepting public feedback on a proposed amalgamation of two investment laws that it says will give equal opportunities to both domestic and foreign firms.

The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration launched the public consultation window yesterday and will accept feedback on the draft of Myanmar Investment Law until March 26.

The law combines the Foreign Investment law and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law into a single piece of legislation, and was prepared by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) based on guidelines set by the department.

DICA director general U Aung Naing Oo, who is also secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission, said the combined law would result in “many changes”. He said the government hoped to enact it before the end of its term in early 2016.

“In particular, the new law will express more clearly that there is no discrimination between citizens and foreign investors. We will definitely give equal opportunities,” he said.

The problem is mostly one of perception rather than actual discrimination, he said, adding that combining the laws would clear any doubts.

The modifications to the investment framework are also required under the ASEAN Common Agreement on Investment, said U Aung Naing Oo.

“ASEAN agreements are the framework for us and we have to obey them. All provisions of the ASEAN investment agreement will be included in the new law,” he said.

The draft is available only in English on the department’s website but a Myanmar-language version will be published online later this week, according to DICA.

DICA director Daw San San Myint said there were not yet any plans to conduct broader consultations on the draft.

“We launched the public consultation on the instructions of the Myanmar Investment Commission,” she said. “We will consider public feedback systematically.”

The Foreign Investment Law was enacted in 2012 and the Citizens Investment Law passed in 2013.
The draft Myanmar Investment Law has seven sections, including the Myanmar Investment Commission, admission of investment, treatment of investors, investment incentives, and also dispute prevention and resolution.

The introduction to the new law says it aims to attract responsible businesses, be consistent with regional best practices and support the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community.

According to the draft, the investment commission will include representative of the private sector and the chair will be appointed by the president. The English-language draft does not state how many members the new committee will have or how the private sector representative will be chosen.

MIC currently has 13 members and is chaired by Minister for Finance U Win Shein.

Public feedback can be sent by email to or submitted to DICA offices in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay, Taunggyi and Mawlamyine.

Source: Myanmar Times

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