Myanmar foreign investment law nears completion

Myanmar Business Guide News
Myanmar’s much awaited foreign investment law is currently in the final drafting stages and will be introduced to parliament when it sits next in July.

The main points the new law will contain, according to a government issued official draft are:

1. Foreigners can make investments in Myanmar, owning 100 % of businesses, without the need for a local partner

2. Joint ventures between foreigners and Burmese citizens or the government are permitted, but 35 % of the investment must be foreign capital

3. Foreign firms may be entitled to a tax holiday for the first five years upon start-up. Other forms of tax relief may be available depending on the investment and if deemed in the national interest

4. Foreign manufacturing companies may be entitled to tax relief of up to 50 % on profits made from exports

5. Foreigners can lease land for business purposes from the state, or from private citizens renting from the state who are authorized to lease that land

6. Foreigners will be entitled to lease land for an initial period of up to 30 years, then extend it for up to 15 years, then another 15 years upon expiry of the second contract

7. All unskilled workers in foreign firms must be Burmese. After five years, 25 % of the skilled workforce in foreign firms must be Burmese, increasing to 50 % after the next five years, then 75 % by 15 years

8. Hiring of workers must be made through state-run labour offices or local employment agencies. Firms must make arrangements to train and develop the skills of workers

9. Investments by foreigners can be private, or as a limited company

10.The draft states that the government guarantees no foreign business will be nationalized during the contract period. However, it also states that if that did occur, in the public interest, compensation would be provided based on the market price at that time.

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John Le Fevre

Contributing author at

John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia and previously held senior editorial staff positions with various Southeast Asia English language publications and international news agencies.

He has covered major world events including the 1991 pillage riots in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, the 2009 Songkran riots in Bangkok, and the 2010 ant-government Bangkok protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

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