Myanmar Regions Able to Approve Direct Investments

Myanmar regions are now able to approve directly investments up to five million dollars, a move which will certainly favour tourism projects.

Early March, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) announced that the maximum amount of investments which can be directly approved by regional and state governments has now been set at US$5 million (K6 billion), according to an announcement from MIC chair U Kyaw Win.

“Some authorities are delegated to regions and states to facilitate investment processes. For restricted businesses, they will still need to seek the approval from Myanmar Investment Commission,” MIC secretary U Aung Naing Oo told the Myanmar Times.

According to the newly enacted Myanmar Investment Law, no business proposals will need permission from MIC, apart from some exceptions. Exceptions include strategic investments, capital intensive investments, investments with possible environmental impacts and those asked by Union Government for scrutiny will need to ask the MIC for approval.

However, facts and figures of businesses permitted by regions and states will have to be reported to the MIC, said U Aung Naing Oo.

“To report to the MIC on facts and figures about permitted businesses is meant for more accurate and comprehensive statistics. Afterwards, data on investment will be managed in a better way,” U Aung Naing Oo told the media.

MIC has also declared investment promotion zones where the government will provide its support. And according to zonal classification, businesses in the areas which fall within Zone 1 will get more tax reliefs compared to those in Zone 2.

The more liberal legislation will most probably favour tourism investments as projects are generally easier to implement as tourist activities request generally limited large infrastructure.

According to MIC, Myanmar drew 662.835 million U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment in the first half of the fiscal year 2016-2017.

The total foreign direct investment in the country amounted to 64.97 billion U.S. dollars as of September since late 1988. China is the largest single investor, accounting for 28.46 percent of the total investment. Myanmar’s new Investment Law was voted last year and is teffective since April 1.