MIC pledges more ministry cooperation after projects stopped

The Myanmar Investment Commission will strengthen inter-department collaboration in an effort to avoid situations like that which led to the cancelled projects near Shwedagon Pagoda, according to the commission’s secretary U Aung Naing Oo.

The government announced on July 7 that five projects near Shwedagon would be cancelled, following a months-long protest led partly by monks that the five property developments were too near to the famous pagoda.

The government and the affected companies are now discussing possible compensation.

At least one of the companies said it had received the proper approvals, including approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission, before the project was halted.

U Aung Naing Oo said the situation was somewhat unexpected, but has helped the organisation improve. “Such cases will not happen in the future because we have decided to focus on more departmental collaboration to consider [projects] from different points of view to grant them a permit,” he said.

The Myanmar Investment Commission had already been restructured in May in order to incorporate more departmental collaboration before granting approvals to projects. This means closer connections with the ministers for Energy, Hotels and Tourism, and Environmental Conservation and Forestry, as well as the deputy finance minister and the Attorney General.

The commission also seeks opinions from different economists and business entrepreneurs.

The decision to cancel the five developments near Shwedagon Pagoda has generated a mix response among businessperson.

One local entrepreneur said on the one hand it may be the right decision to preserve the landmark pagoda, but on the other hand it may be bad for the company’s reputation as a place that is welcoming of foreign investors.

“We should be thinking in advance before issues permits. This situation has created obstacles for future investors in Myanmar,” he said.

Separately, the Myanmar Investment Commission is also working to join the Foreign Investment Law and Myanmar Investment Law into one document.

Source: Myanmar Times

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