Myanmar’s new investment law, expected in the next couple of months, will likely start to open the country to foreign engagement in Myanmar. It will replace the 1988 Foreign Investment Law, which some still regard as a worthy piece of legislation that suffered in its implementation: in the previous socialist regime even basic necessities such as soap needed approval from officials. This trend of micro involvement by the state has continued up to this day.
“Myanmar ticks most boxes for businesses in most sectors,” according to Tony Picon, Associate director of leading property consultancy Colliers International Thailand, adding: “It has a large population, strategic location, beautiful and abundant coastline and significant natural resources plus an affinity for its people.”
Procedures and bodies that will carry out the law may take time to be established, but there are concerns that rather than a one-stop shop allowing easy facilitation of FDI, ministers will still be involved in the approval process that creates unnecessary delays. With governments raising the bar on graft, such as in the UK with its new anti-bribery legislation, companies that operate in countries with poor reputations for corruption will come under closer scrutiny.
“Companies have a special role to play in the development of Myanmar in the future,” according to Picon.” Those wishing to invest should commit to the long-term development of the country.” This involves building capacity by training employees and supporting local business partners in best international practice in their industry. It also involves conducting business in an ethical manner.
“There are a lot of challenges to doing business in Myanmar but plenty of opportunities for those companies, big and small, to be part of the positive transformation of probably the last frontier in Asia,” said Picon.
For more information please contact:
PR Consultant Colliers International Thailand
Patteera Suksai (Taengmo)
Tel: 02 664 0888, 080 562 4719