Monday, August 14, 2017

Negotiations over an agreement on investment promotion and protection between Myanmar and Singapore have started, according to Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) Director General U Aung Naing Oo.
Myanmar and Singapore are negotiating an agreement to protect investors. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
“During the last 4 or 5 years, Singapore has been the top investor in Myanmar and thus it is a country with which we have a strong investment relationship. The objectives of the agreement are to fully protect bilateral investments, to avoid obstacles in doing business, to provide more investor rights and to ensure smooth operations. In addition, it aims to avoid damages as a result of the nations’ policies and programs. By signing such an agreement, investments between the two countries can be safely made.” U Aung Naing Oo said at a press conference held at DICA office in Yangon.

After an initial meeting between Myanmar and Singapore on August 7-8, the second meeting is scheduled to be held in early October, he said.

“We agreed with Singapore to finalise the discussions by the end of 2017,” he added.

Yearly permitted investments by Singapore in Myanmar are US$ 418 million in 2012-13, US$ 2.3 billion in 2013-14, US$ 4.3 billion in 2014-15, US$ 4.25 billion in 2015-16, US$ 1.83 billion in 2016-17 and US$ 1.05 billion in 2017-18 (up to July).

Meanwhile, similar agreements are under way between Myanmar and the EU as well as Hong Kong.

“Negotiations with EU have been completed. EU is now making internal discussions with the negotiated outcomes. It is also being discussed within the ministries on the Myanmar side,” U Aung Naing Oo said.

Subsequently, legal experts from each side will negotiate further to include legal opinions and compatibility with existing laws. Finally, we will submit to the Cabinet for approval. After finishing all the procedures in 2017, we expect to be able to sign the agreement with the EU in early 2018.” he said.

Currently, Myanmar has signed similar agreements with China, India, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Israel, Kuwait, Japan and South Korea.

A draft investment promotion and protection agreement has been shared with Bangladesh and Russia but negotiations are still at very early stages. Meanwhile, Myanmar has also signed a trade and investment promotion and incentive agreement with Indonesia.


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