The Magic Number Is 100 As Officials Release New Thresholds For Investment Projects

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Officials have re­leased the first tranche of rules and regulations for Myan­mar’s new investment law as they race have to have the finer details of the long-awaited legislation ready for the start of the next financial year.

Under the rules released earlier this month, major projects including those worth more than $100 million will have to apply for a permit.

One aim of the law is to liberalise the process of investing in Myanmar and remove the need to seek specific permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) for many projects.

A source familiar with the process of drafting the regulations told Myanmar Business Today an April 1st deadline for the law going into full effect is set in stone.

From then, projects val­ued beneath the new $100 million threshold will not require a permit from the MIC unless they fall into certain categories, such as an investment considered “strategic to the Union”.

For example any invest­ment project worth over $20 million in sectors in­cluding technology, agri­culture, media and energy infrastructure will require a government permit.

The clause also covers projects that will use 100 acres of land or more, or 1,000 acres if the invest­ment is agricultural.

Investments worth more than $10 million made in a border region or conflict area will also be considered “strategic” to the country under the rules.

The Commission is yet to release details of “re­stricted” investments, which will either be banned entirely or require some level of involvement by the Myanmar govern­ment or a Myanmar com­pany.

The new tranche of rules also adds detail to another section of the law that says projects likely to have “large impact on the environment and the local community” will re­quire a permit.

That covers proposals that would use land seized by the state that would also relocate more than 100 people or that would “ad­versely impact” the legal rights of 100 or more peo­ple to occupy the land.

The Myanmar Invest­ment Law was met with approval by the busi­ness community when it passed last October.

It is part of a series of measures that State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi hopes will give poten­tial investors confidence as she works to present Myanmar as open for business.

The first nine months of the National League for Democracy’s tenure saw foreign inflows slow as in­vestors adopted a wait and see approach to the new administration. A backlog at the Myanmar Invest­ment Commission is also believed to have contribut­ed to lower-than-expected FDI numbers.

But U Aung Naing Oo, MIC’s secretary, has struck an optimistic note in recent weeks and said Myanmar will subvert ex­pectations and exceed its FDI target of $6 billion dollars this fiscal year.

 

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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