Investment laws may be combined, says official

The Foreign Investment Department is considering combining the foreign and Myanmar citizens’ investment laws, its director in chief, U Aung Naing Oo, told Mizzima on December 4.

U Aung Naing Oo stressed that no consideration was being given to amending the Foreign Investment Law, which was promulgated on November 3, 2012.

“We are just thinking combining the Foreign Investment Law and the Myanmar Citizens’ Investment Law,” he said, adding that such a move would have a positive impact in terms of attracting foreign investment.

U Aung Naing Oo said other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had one investment law and other countries could regard Myanmar as discriminating between its citizens and foreigners if it retained the two laws.

“Our laws do not discriminate but foreigners might think we are showing discrimination [by having the two laws],” he said.

U Aung Naing Oo said the department was considering reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the two laws before combining them in line with international standards, adding that Myanmar was a member of the World Trade Organization as well as ASEAN.

A well-known economist, Dr Maung Maung Soe, said both strengths and weaknesses of the legislation should be taken into account in any review to consider combining the laws.

“People are divided into locals and foreigners and it’s my view that there should be two separate laws,” Dr Maung Maung Soe said.

“We need to all think about not only the profits and benefits but also the losses,” he said.

Asked for his reaction, Dr Aung Thura from financial consultancy Thura Swiss declined to comment on the grounds of a lack of information.

The Myanmar Citizens Investment Law was promulgated on July 31, 2013.

Source: Mizzima News Myanmar

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