Investment Opportunities ln Myanmar.
Foreign Investment Policy
The Government of the Union af Myanmar realises the need for capital to mobilise Myanmar’s great potential in its abundant natural and human resources to develop and revitalise the national economy and to improve the living standard of the people.
To stimulate capital formation and technological transfer that would lead to a healthy economy growth, the Government has made changes in its economic policy to include the liberalisation of trade and a market oriented economy. Wide ranging measures have been taken to encourage foreign ventures.
The Foreign Investment Policy seeks to promote and expand exports, to exploit natural resources (where heavy investment is required), to acquire high technology, to support capital intensive production and services, to create employment opportunities, to develop energy conserving measure and for regional development.
Foreign investment in Myanmar can be made in the form of either a wholly or partly owned business or of a joint-venture with a local partner that could be a private or public entity.
The Foreign Investment Law offers the foreign investor the right to enjoy appropriate economic benefits particularly in the form of tax incentives, as well as to repatriate profits and to withdraw the legitimate assets on withdraw up of the business. There is also a State guarantee against nationalisation and expropriation of any kind.
As it taps Myanmar’s abundant natural and human resources and restructures and revitalises the economy, the Government offers opportunities for investors. There is great potential in the textile, food and timber processing industries and ample scope for further exploration and exploitation of metallic and non-metallic natural resources. Tourism has an enormous potential for a country so rich in history, tradition and natural beauty. Indeed, Myanmar is in an excellent position to grow.
Eligible Economic Activities
Economic activities opened for foreign investment are:
Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery, Forestry, Mining, Industry (I"oodstuff, Textile, Personal Goods, Household Goods, Leather Products and the likes, Transport Equipment, Building Materials, Pulp and Paper, Chemicals, Chemical Products and Pharmaceuticals, Iron and Steel, Machinery and Plant), Construction, Transport and Communications and Trade.
The following twelve economic activities are restricted to be carried out solely by State-owned Economic Enterprises, but allowance can be made by the Government for the participation of any other persons or enterprises subject to conditions as prescribed in the procedures relating to the State-owned Economic Enterprises Law:
l. Extraction of teak and sale of the same in the country and abroad;
2. Cultivation and conservation of forest plantation with the exception of village-owned fire-wood plantations cultivated by the villagers for their personal use;
3. Exploration, extraction and sale of petroleum and natural gas and production and products of the same;
4. Exploration and extraction of pearls, jade and precious stones and export of the same;
5. Breeding and production of fish and prawns in fisheries which have been reserved for research by the Government;
6. Postal and Telecommunications service;
7. Air Transport service and Railway Transport service;
8. Banking service and Insurance service;
9. Broadcasting service and Television service;
10. Exploration and extraction of metals and export of the same;
11. Electricity generating services other than those permitted by law to private and co-operative electricity generating services;
12. Manufacturing of products relating to security and defence which the Government has, from time to time, prescribed by notification.
Note: If proposals for economic activities not specified in the above are submitted, they will be considered individually by the Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Commission.
Types of Business Organization
A foreign investor can organize his activity in Myanmar in the following manner.
1. Wholly-owned by foreign investor.
An individual foreign investor can establish as a sole proprietorship by bringing in 100 percent foreign capital. Similarly, a partnership firm or a limited company which is incorporated outside Myanmar can do business as a foreign branch by bringing in the total capital required by such a branch.
2. Establishing business in which citizens have interests.
A foreign investor can enter into a partnership with his local counterpart or set up a limited liability company with shares held by local investors. tle can also join with any individual, firm, company, co-operative or State- owned enterprise from Myanmar to establish a joint-venture either as a partnership firm or a limited company. In all such cases, under the Foreign Investment Law, the foreign capital to be brought in must be at a minimum 55 percent of the total equity capital. The minimum amount of foreign capital to be brought in is US$100,000.00 at present.
For detailed information on
Foreign Investment Procedure
Procedure for Export and Import and Customs Clearance
Tax Structures and Incentives
please refer to Guide to Foreign Investment In Myanmar - Part Two published by the Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Commission.
Highlights on Some Foreign Joint Ventures
Myanmar Singapore International Limited
This popular departmental store, right in the heart of downtown Yangon, is a joint venture business majoring in the latest electrical and electronic appliances. It also has a wide and varied range of other products, including an instant Kodak film developing studio.
Myanmar - NC Woodwork Company Pte. Limited
This factory which is a joint venture specialises in the production of solid teak doors, frames, parquet flooring and handrails for the export market.
Myanmar Ace Metal Industry Co. Limited
This joint venture focuses on ship breaking and the manufacturing of steel rods, steel sheets, barb wires, wire mesh, etc for the local market.
Myanmar Motors Limited
The business of this joint venture is in the sales of new and re-conditioned cars and passenger vans with after sales service.
This grand old hotel in Yangon, built in 1901, is presently renovated by Myanmar Hotels International which is a 50:50 joint venture between Myanmar Hotels and Tourism Services and Strand Hotel International of Hong Kong. On completion, Strand Hotel will take its place with the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and the Oriental Hotel in Thailand as a truly international five star hotel with historical richness.
Factories in Tanlhyin (one of Myanmar’s industrial estates) manufacture all types of shirts and sport shoes with internationally recognised brand names on consignment basis for the world’s market.