New Investment Law Enacted

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 20 October 2016

RANGOON — The long-awaited Myanmar Investment Law was signed into being by President U Htin Kyaw on Tuesday after both houses approved the bill earlier this month

The local business community is now waiting for State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to reveal the government’s more detailed investment policies this coming Saturday. The release of vague policy outlines in late July had failed to satisfy investors and businessmen craving detail and substance.

The new law combines the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law and the Foreign Investment Law, and was made public on Wednesday. However, some rules and regulations still await approval, observers have said.

Rules and regulations including clear “dos and don’ts” for the business community are expected to be announced within a month of the new law, Dr Maung Maung Lay, vice chairman of the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMCCI), told the Irrawaddy.

“Before the rules and regulations are revealed, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Ministry of National Planning and Finance will make government policy clear,” he said.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver a speech on government investment policies and meet with local businessmen, ambassadors, government and private bankers, government officials and international and local non-governmental organizations on Saturday in Naypyidaw.

The newly enacted Myanmar Investment Law was tentatively welcomed by Dr Soe Tun, vice chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation. He claimed that the law gives equal rights for local and foreign investors and that he is waiting to see how the government manages foreign investment.

“If government policy places both foreign and local investors on an equal footing, it means local investors could struggle,” he said.

According to the agenda for Saturday’s meeting the National Planning and Finance Minister U Kyaw Win will deliver the government’s future plans for releasing economic policies as well as detailed investment policies and processes.

The meeting will be attended by the governor of Burma’s Central Bank U Kyaw Kyaw Maung, Singapore’s ambassador to Burma Robert Chu, president of the UMCCI U Win Aung, chairman of CB Bank U Khin Maung Aye, Ma Nang Lai Kham of the KBZ group of companies, Nick Cumpston of the Australian Embassy, and Nobuyasu Akagi of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.