Myanmar introduces new companies law to attract foreign investment

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-14 13:49:01|Editor: Chengcheng
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By Feng Yingqiu

YANGON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar authorities will enforce a new Companies Law from Aug. 1 next year, aiming at attracting more foreign investment, according to local authorities.

Paving way for more foreign investment opportunities, the promulgation of bylaws and application of the law as well as working on the operating manual for online registration will be done by the last week of July next year, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) said in a press briefing Wednesday.

The new law will facilitate rapid registration for companies using the online registration system.

Members of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) and economic experts called for speedy enforcement of the law to improve foreign investment environment.

In accordance with the new law, foreign investors are allowed to take up to 35 percent in a local company, said Director-General of the DICA U Aung Naing Oo.

Previously, even a company with even 1 percent of its shares owned by a foreign investor was classified as a foreign company, instead of a local company.

He highlighted that under the new law, foreigners can legally own unmovable properties including condominium apartments which foreigners were not allowed to buy in the past.

The law's change of designation of the foreign capital signals the pouring in of increased foreign investment, said vice chair of the UMFCCI Maung Maung Lay.

The relaxation of doing businesses by foreigners in the legal aspect also contributes to the government's obtaining of monetary and technical assistance, economic experts said.

The new Myanmar Companies Act, approved by the parliament earlier this month, was enacted to replace Companies Act of 1914.

Being a developing country, attracting foreign investment is the best for development among other channels, Maung Maung Thein, legal consultant and executive chief from Zico Law Co. said on the Myanmar Investment and Development Forum held earlier this month.

Yangon Region Minister of Electricity and Transport Daw Nilar Kyaw also promised that the regional government will offer a fair land price for foreign investors and the availability of electricity.

According to statistics, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Myanmar totaled over 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in first half of the fiscal year 2017-2018, increasing by 3 billion U.S. dollars, compared to the same period of last fiscal year 2016-2017.

FDI usually enters into the country's agricultural, livestock and fisheries, manufacturing, power, transport and communication, hotel and tourist and real estate sectors.

In the last fiscal year 2016-2017, the country attracted over 6.8 billion U.S. dollars foreign investment with the transport and communication sector topping with 3.08 billion U.S. dollars.

The nation targets 6 billion U.S. dollars of FDI in the present fiscal year 2017-2018, aiming to reducing poverty and to promote economic development in the country.