Consultation on Investment Rules Highlights Land Issues

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A public consultation on the regulations that will accompany Myanmar’s new investment law threw the spotlight onto the country’s complicated land legislation once again. But although they acknowledge the barriers that land rules present to potential investors, officials in charge of the investment law regulations say there is little they can do.

The Myanmar Investment Law was passed in October last year, replacing two older pieces of legislation that laid out separate rules for foreign and local investors and providing the government with a new framework to vary investment incentives across different states and sectors.

Much of how the law will work in practice will be clarified through accompanying rules and regulations. The government has instructed the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) to have these rules drawn by the end of March, according to U Aung Naing Oo, MIC secretary and DICA director general.

U Aung Naing Oo was speaking at a January 24 workshop organised jointly by DICA, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the World Bank. The meeting was designed to give civil society groups and members of the business community a chance to raise issues they felt the rules and regulations should address, with several pointing to uncertainty about land use.

Daw Than Than Aye, Myanmar legal coordinator for EarthRights International said that the law was unclear over what role the MIC would play in approving the use of land for investment purposes.

“It’s important to make it clear whether the MIC has the authority to give [an investor] the right to use land or not,” she said.

The Myanmar Investment Law was passed in October last year, replacing two older pieces of legislation that laid out separate rules for foreign and local investors and providing the government with a new framework to vary investment incentives across different states and sectors.

Much of how the law will work in practice will be clarified through accompanying rules and regulations. The government has instructed the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) to have these rules drawn by the end of March, according to U Aung Naing Oo, MIC secretary and DICA director general.

U Aung Naing Oo was speaking at a January 24 workshop organised jointly by DICA, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the World Bank. The meeting was designed to give civil society groups and members of the business community a chance to raise issues they felt the rules and regulations should address, with several pointing to uncertainty about land use.

Daw Than Than Aye, Myanmar legal coordinator for EarthRights International said that the law was unclear over what role the MIC would play in approving the use of land for investment purposes.

“It’s important to make it clear whether the MIC has the authority to give [an investor] the right to use land or not,” she said.

 

Source: Myanmar Times

 

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