Myanmar Investment Commission to delegate power to state authorities

The laws will be changed to allow the Myanmar Investment Commission to delegate power to regional authorities, said Daw Le Le Thein, deputy minister for National Planning and Economic Development who put forward the bills.

“The intention is to share the mandate with regional governments,” she said, adding that if foreign investments can be approved locally it will speed up the approvals process and expedite regional economic development.

The Myanmar Citizen Investment Law will also be amended to allow regional governments to approve domestic investments, depending on the type of business, whether it will create job opportunities or help to develop the region.

U Win Oo from Ye-U constituency, Sagaing Region said he accepted the proposed changes in principle, but urged caution. “For foreign investments, we need to be very careful,” he said. “If we allow the regions and states to approve foreign business, it might lead to local concerns. In such cases, we will object, or will review how to control the situation.”

He pointed out that under the original Foreign Investment Law foreign companies are not permitted to invest within 10 miles (16 kilometres) from the country’s borders, to prevent security risks.

MIC secretary U Aung Naing Oo previously told The Myanmar Times that the commission planned to delegate power to approve “certain investments” to regional authorities. He said he hoped it would empower state and regional governments to develop their own economies.

MIC had originally hoped to pass two key pieces of legislation this session – the new Myanmar Investment Law which will combine the Foreign Investment Law and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law, and a revision of the Myanmar Companies Act.

However, U Aung Naing Oo said earlier this month that both would likely be delayed until 2016, as it has taken some time to incorporate suggestions from a wide range of stakeholders.

Source: Myanmar Times

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