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Govt to demand more info from prospective investors


The government has announced it will require more detailed documentation for investment proposals from August 1 following an investigation by The Myanmar Times into repeated transparency failures under the investment body.

In a notification signed on July 18 but released on July 22, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations announced a series of changes to the proposal form (Form 2) and endorsement application forms to both the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) at the Union level (Form 4-a) and to regional and state investment commissions (Form 4-b).

The changes will allow the ministry to scrutinise business proposals more effectively and with more information, the notification says.

Under the new Investment Law which was enforced two years ago, regional or state commissions can approve proposals of up to US$5 million while any projects involving a higher amount will need a green light from the Union MIC.

The MIC is chaired by U Thaung Tun, who heads the ministry and who signed the notification.

From August 1, proposal forms will require a summary of the parent company’s services, how much it can invest in the business, technological experiences of the parent company and whether there will be benefits for the production chain for the proposed business and its related businesses.

For endorsement application forms, information necessary will include a summary of the parent company’s services, capital amount of the parent company, amount the parent company can invest in the business, technological experiences of the parent company, plan to transfer and bring in technologies and whether there will be benefits for the production chain for the proposed business and its related businesses.

A Myanmar Times investigation, published in early July, shows that multiple disclosure requirements for both the MIC and investors are not enforced. No materials are released prior to approving investment proposals, while key information is found to be missing in those published documents.

Experts say proposal forms should be available publicly before approval for stakeholders to raise any concerns and enquiries to the authorities. The forms should also be in electronic and searchable format, and cover environmental and social data, enabling the environment ministry to screen the submissions as well.

Source: Myanmar Times

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