Monday, April 18, 2016

Myanmar is committed to provide a secure, accessible and conducive environment for foreign investors.
The Foreign Investment Law, enacted in 2012, vastly simplified the process for investment application and offers a number of tax breaks, incentives and guarantees rights and protections for foreign business ventures.
Likewise, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) was restructured and its members are stakeholders from the government, the private sector and academe. The MIC approves new investment proposals and provides regular market updates.
Types of Investment
100% Investment Joint Venture (JV) Contract Other investment forms
Foreign investors may invest without any local partners in permitted sectors.   Joint ventures may be created with foreign, local and government entities.   Foreign investors may act under a mutually-agreed upon contract. These include build operate-transfer (BOT) and build-operate-own (BOO) investments.
For any of these investment types, the government guarantees:
  • No nationalization
  • No suspension of investment without sufficient cause
  • The right to transfer money in the foreign currency of the original investment
On the other side, investors have certain obligations, including incorporating and operating under existing laws of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Others concern land use, leasing and mortgaging, environment protections, sale or transfer of assets and other aspects of the process Click here to jump to the detailed list of investor rights and obligations at the end of this section.
How to Apply for a Foreign Investment Permit
First, an investor must submit a proposal to MIC according to predefined criteria. MIC will then:
  • Scrutinize the proposal and accept or reject it within 15 days
  • Once accepted, MIC will review the proposal and either refuse it or issue a permit within 90 days.
When an investor is granted a permit, it may begin operations after finalizing any necessary contracts with government entities, organizations or individuals. In some cases MIC can grant parties permission to amend the terms of their contractual agreements, in accordance with the Foreign Investment Law.
Click here for more information on the how to apply for a MIC permit with further details to application criteria and the application process.
Detailed list of investor rights and obligations
According to Section 17 and 18 (Chapter VIII) of the Foreign Investment Law, investors have the right to…
  • The legal sale, exchange or transfer of assets with MIC approval
  • Sell some or all of company shares
  • Expand the business or increase foreign capital with MIC approval 
  • Request a re-evaluation and amendment of the benefits provided to the investor in accordance with existing laws
  • Address and seek reparations for grievances in accordance with existing laws
  • Request additional benefits when investing and expanding operations to adopt new technology, enhance the quality of products, increase production volume and reduce harmful environmental impact
  • Apply for special tax exemptions and reliefs for investments that benefit the development of the nation in less developed and remote areas
Investors have a duty to…
  • Abide by the existing laws of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
  • Incorporate a company under the existing laws of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and abide by them in all dealings and operations
  • Abide by the provisions of the FIL and all terms and conditions contained in the rules, procedures, notifications, orders, directives and permits issued under FIL.
  • Use any land leased in accordance with all terms and conditions stipulated by MIC and contained in any business agreements
  • Sub-lease and mortgage land and/or structures only to businesses with investment permits from the Commission, and transfer shares to other businesses or individuals only with the approval of MIC
  • Not alter land in a significant way, such as to the topography and elevation, without the approval of MIC
  • Inform MIC immediately if they find valuable natural resources or archeological artifacts, either above or below the land, that are not related to permitted operations. If MIC determines that operations must temporarily halt because of such a discovery, the investor may select and submit an alternate site to MIC for approval.
  • Avoid pollution and other environmental impacts in accordance with existing laws
  • Forfeit the investment permit before completely or partially transferring the total shares of the company to another foreigner or citizen, and to seek prior approval from MIC  
  • Carry out the systematic transfer of high technology related to the business from the investor to relevant enterprises, departments or organizations according to the contract

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