Mandalay likely to hit US$600 million FDI target for 2017-18

The Mandalay region is set to achieve its US$600 million foreign direct investment (FDI) target for 2017-18. FDI in April-June has already exceeded US$582 million, which is around 90 per cent of the target, data released by the Mandalay Region Investment Committee showed.

Under the new Myanmar Investment Law enacted in Oct 2016, Region and State investment committees have been given the authority to approve investment activities across Myanmar.

Formed with an aim to facilitate potential investors, the Mandalay Region Investment Committee comprises Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung as chair, while members include a Region Planning and Finance Minister, Electricity, Energy and Construction Minister as well as the Regional Industrial Supervision and Inspection Department, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) and Planning Department (PD).

“Under the new arrangement, more FDI is expected and more job opportunities available for citizens. As more powers are delegated to Regions and States, investment decisions can now be more effectively made. It will become easier to get approvals. After Bago and Tanintharyi, Mandalay is one of the regions with good prospects,” member of Regional Investment Committee and Director from DICA Daw Nwe Ni Oo told The Myanmar Times on July 24.

A total of 7 investments were channeled into the Mandalay region during the first 3 months of the 2017-18 fiscal year – 4 in industry and 1 each in the agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

China was the top investor with over US$ 400 million in funds channeled into the Region, followed by The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand, with over US$ 150 million, US$7 million and US$5 million invested, respectively.

Meanwhile, investments worth K42 billion by 4 Myanmar citizens have been approved in the industry and real estate sectors.

Last year, FDI in the Mandalay Region hit US$724 million, exceeding its target of US$500 million. Meanwhile, citizens invested K907 billion versus the target of K100 billion.

“For investment amounts under US$ 5 million for foreigners and K6 billion for citizens, Regional Investment Committees have the authority to approve. Businessmen can also apply for tax exemptions, tax reliefs and land utilization.” Daw Nwe Ni Oo said.

Investors can apply for tax exemptions in191 promoted sectors and depending on zone 1, zone 2 and zone 3 in the Region, tax exemption periods will be 7 years or 5 years or 3 years.

“ Tax exemptions depend on zones. For example, investment in Myotha (where Myotha industrial zone is located) in zone 1 can enjoy tax exemptions of up to 7 years. If the investment is in Mandalay district, one can enjoy only 3 years’ tax exemption,” Daw New Ni Oo said.

During construction periods, tax exemptions are given for machinery imports,” she said.

So far, there are 74 permitted businesses from 14 countries which have invested up to US$2.7 billion in the Region. Among them, Singapore is the top with over US$980 million and China is the second with US$910 million, Hong Kong is third with US$ 390 million. They are followed by The Netherlands and Thailand. Most of the investments are in industry and power.

Meanwhile, the promoted sectors are agricultural production, agri-based value-added production, livestock breeding, marine products, export promotion manufacturing, import substitute manufacturing, electricity, logistics, education services, health services, affordable housing projects and industrial city developments.

Mandalay is a major trade hub between China and Myanmar thanks to its central geographical location. The Region is one of the largest contributors to Myanmar’s GDP. Manufacturing imports, mostly from China, are transported and distributed to the rest of the country via Mandalay.

Situated on the east bank of Ayeyarwady River, Myanmar’s most important commercial waterway that flows through the country from north to south, Mandalay is well-connected with other major cities including Yangon and Bagan.

Source : Myanmar Times