New policies due at Myanmar Investment Commission
THE Myanmar Investment Commission is preparing to release new policies next month, according to the deputy director of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, which acts as a secretary to the investment approvals body.
U Than Aung Kyaw said yesterday that the commission discussed the new policies in detail at its most recent meeting on August 26. The MIC, which is largely made up of senior representatives from various ministries, meets several times a month to assess and approve new domestic and foreign projects.
At last week’s meeting, the commission also approved five proposals to build garment factories. Four of these are foreign-owned factories that will operate under the cut-make-pack model and one is a local investment. All five will be built in Yangon Region industrial zones.
“We have dedicated previous meetings to discussing investment permissions, but at the last meeting we mostly focused on future policies,” U Than Aung Kyaw said. “That is why we only gave permission to five businesses that could be assessed quickly.”
The MIC, which was reorganised in June, will continue its existing policy of approving investments in sectors that will help to develop the local economy, produce local goods and create job opportunities for local people, he added. He declined to give further details about the policy.
Secretary U Aung Naing Oo said the committee will continue to discuss the new policy and regulations in detail, including how best to build new industrial zones and upgrade old industrial zones to improve production and create jobs.
MIC member U Aye Lwin said the proposals discussed will be sent to the Ministry of Planning and Finance before they are made public.
Meanwhile, the MIC has invited feedback on a draft of a new Myanmar Investment Law, which will combine the existing Foreign Investment Law and the Myanmar Citizens Investment Law to create a more even playing field for local and foreign companies.
U Aung Naing Oo said last month that under the new law companies investing through the MIC would no longer automatically receive a fiveyear tax break, but will be granted exemptions based on the nature of the project and its geographical location.
In addition to the five new garment factories, the MIC has given permits to 31 local and foreign businesses since the government took office at the end of April, approving an estimated US$222.055 million and K111 billion in investment.
Of these figures, 17 foreign investors have pledged a total of $166.233 million and 14 local firms have together pledged $55.822 million and K111 billion.
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar
A woman works at the Shweyi Zabe garment factory in Shwe Pyi Thar industrial zone in Yangon on September 18, 2015.