Draft of amalgamated investment law nearing completion, says DICA

Draft legislation amalgamating Myanmar’s two investment laws is expected to be completed in November, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration director general U Aung Naing Oo has told Mizzima.

U Aung Naing Oo said the legislation will merge the Foreign Investment Law enacted in November 2012 and the July 2013 Myanmar Citizens Investment Law.

They replaced laws enacted in November 1988 and March 1994 respectively.

U Aung Naing Oo said the reasons for merging the laws included Myanmar being the only remaining member country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with two investment laws.

“Laos had two investment laws but they were combined in 2007,” he told Mizzima on September 27.

U Aung Naing Oo said another reason was that ASEAN and the World Trade Organisation wanted a level-playing field in Myanmar for domestic and foreign investors.

Consultations on the draft law were continuing with the business community but have been completed with relevant government ministries.

“I cannot yet say what provisions [in the existing laws] will be amended or modified until discussions are completed with stakeholders in the business community,” he said.

U Aung Naing Oo acknowledged that the amalgamated law could include a list of sectors restricted to Myanmar investors.

“I will be able to reveal the list after the consultations with stakeholders,” he said.

U Aung Naing Oo said the draft legislation would be known as the Myanmar Investment Law and could tentatively be passed by parliament in the first quarter next year.

The International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, has been providing technical expertise for the drafting process, the IFC’s senior operations officer in Yangon, Charles Schneider, told Mizzima in an email on September 27.

“A draft law has been prepared and consultations with stakeholders are planned to take place soon,” Mr Schneider said, adding that once the legislation was enacted it would streamline investment procedures and strengthen investor protection.

“A combined investment law will clarify investment rules and be an important step forward towards creating a level playing field for all investors,” he said.

Mr Schneider said Myanmar was the only ASEAN member with separate domestic and foreign investment laws.

“Combing these laws is also a part of Myanmar’s integration within ASEAN,” he said.

Source: MIZZIMA Myanmar

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