Myanmar Issues Foreign Investment Law Implementing Regulations

Summary -

On January 31, 2013, the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development released the new Implementing Regulations for the Myanmar Foreign Investment Law No. 21 (FIL No. 21). President U Thein Sein signed FIL No. 21, which repeals the previous 1988 Law on Foreign Investment, on November 2, 2012. FIL No. 21 introduces certain improvements compared to the 1988 Law on Foreign Investment. For instance, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) can approve land leases for up to 50 years, with potential two 10-year long extensions. Foreign investors may be granted up to five years of tax holiday with possible extension for a reasonable period. Other forms of tax relief on machinery, tools, equipment and goods manufactured for export are also available. FIL No. 21 also assures that the MIC will not terminate a permit without due cause and establishes a clearer dispute resolution mechanism. However, FIL No. 21 did not provide details as to which sectors of the Myanmar economy would be open to foreign investment.

The Implementing Regulations serve to clarify the restricted investment activities and provide additional information and detail for foreign investors. They are divided into two parts: Notification 1/2013 and Notification 11/2013. Notification 1/2013 lists out the business activities allowed for foreigners and is divided into four schedules. Notification 11/2013, on the other hand, provides more specifics on the other aspects and procedures of FIL No. 21 as well as lists the economic activities that are only open to Myanmar nationals.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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