Myanmar Govt Sets Out Criteria for Unsolicited Investment Proposals

By Nan Lwin 15 October 2020

YANGON—Amid efforts by the government to ease the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy, Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (MOPFI) has set out rules for investors looking to submit unsolicited project proposals worth more than 2 billion kyats (US$1.53 million).

The ministry said that as a preliminary procedure, companies submitting unsolicited proposals without an invitation from the government must provide documents including financial statements establishing their financial capability, a track record of their work experience, and related information to the relevant government departments.

The departments will review the completeness of the documents and information submitted, and whether the proposed projects are in line with the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) launched in 2018, which aims to align the country’s policies and institutions to achieve inclusive and transformational economic growth.

Under the new procedures, if a project proposal is found to have potential benefit to the country, and the company has strong corporate data and solid work experience, a “Swiss Challenge” tender process will be launched. Under the Swiss Challenge process, the initial development proposal put forward by a company will be made public to allow qualified firms to challenge it with better terms, on the basis that they strictly adhere to the terms and conditions of the tender assessment criteria.

Companies with good reputations and international experience in the proposed project area may qualify for an exemption from the tender process, in which case they will be able to negotiate directly with the relevant government department. However, such projects must obtain approval from Union government in accordance with official procedures.

Even if a project proposal is deemed beneficial to the state, if the bidding company has weak company information and work experience, the government will call for tenders, in line with its established procedures. The relevant government departments must obtain advice on such projects from the Center for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and approval from the Myanmar Project Bank.

Since the National League for Democracy took office, it has promoted the PPP as an instrument for implementing projects to promote private sector participation in national development as part of the MSDP. Launched in February, the Project Bank offers potential investors key data on proposed infrastructure projects such as descriptions, status, total estimated cost, financing plans and time lines. All projects listed in the bank are fully supported by the government and align with the MSDP.