New Companies Law Submitted to Parliament

By Htet Naing Zaw 21 July 2017

NAYPYITAW — The Myanmar government submitted a draft of the new Myanmar Companies Law to the Upper House on Thursday.

The draft law combines elements of the Myanmar Companies Act of 1914 and the Special Companies Act of 1950, reworked in hopes of attracting foreign investment, said Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win as he put forward the draft law to the Upper House.

The eight-part draft law includes 478 provisions in 32 sections, designed with input from the attorney general’s office, concerned ministries and economic partners, said the deputy minister.

The deputy said the Companies Act needed to be updated to be compliant with the new Myanmar Investment Law – which replaced the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law and the Foreign Investment Law – that was signed into effect by President U Htin Kyaw in October 2016.

Dr. Myat Nyana Soe, secretary of the Upper House Bill Committee, told reporters: “There are a lot of restrictions on business operations under the existing Companies Act, which is why the country has difficulty attracting foreign investment.

“The new law will be very different from the old one. It will easier to set up companies and it will be possible to register them electronically,” he added.

U Thein Naing, a Yangon-based businessman, told The Irrawaddy that the registration process used to be cumbersome but that he had heard that steps were being taken to improve it as of late.

The draft law is also expected to promote capital market in the country, and was designed with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.