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Final public consultation on the draft Myanmar Investment Rules

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Summary: Team members of our BLP Myanmar office have been closely involved the development of the new Myanmar Investment Law. Below is a selection of key updates which track its progress, previously included in our monthly Myanmar Postcard series. In our latest update, we discuss the formation of the new Myanmar Investment Commission.

About the Myanmar Investment Law

The new Myanmar Investment Law is designed to promote and facilitate both foreign and domestic investment in the economy and open more economic sectors to private investment.

Final public consultation on the draft Myanmar Investment Rules

Further to our update in our January 2017 postcard, the Directorate of Trade and Company Administration ("DICA") conducted the final public consultation on the draft Myanmar Investment Rules on 13 February 2017. BLP is supporting the government in this drafting process and Chris Hughes, Managing Partner of BLP’s Yangon office, was one of the panellist speakers at this consultation. The event which included a Q&A session was held at the Parkroyal Hotel, Yangon and was well attended by government officials, members of civil society groups and the business community.

U Aung Naing Oo, the Director General of DICA gave an update and overview on the processes. After finalising the draft Investment Rules, DICA will submit the draft to the Attorney General’s Office and to Parliament. It is expected that the new Investment Rules will be implemented by 1 April this year.

We have also been working closely with the Myanmar Investment Commission ("MIC") and DICA in relation to the new Myanmar Companies Law. Please feel free to contact a member of our team if you have any questions regarding the draft Investment Rules, the draft Myanmar Companies Law or in relation to your investment and business activities in Myanmar.

Draft list of restricted business activities released

This month, the MIC published a draft notification which sets out a list of restricted business activities pursuant to section 42 of the Myanmar Investment Law 2016. Once implemented, this list will replace the current list of restricted business activities contained in MIC Notification No. 26/2016 which we have previously covered in our April 2016 postcard.

We note that this list is in draft form only at this stage and further changes may be made, as it is still subject to Parliament’s review as well as a public consultation process. The list can be accessed at the DICA website as well as a translation of the list.

Whilst the list provides clarification for certain sectors, the number of restricted activities set out in the list has increased – the draft notification contains 136 business activities compared to 64 business activities in the current notification.

One notable development is in retail trading. Retail trading carried out on a floor area of 10,000 feet (100 feet x 100 feet) or 929 square meters and above is now permitted to be undertaken by a joint venture between a foreign investor and any Myanmar citizen or citizen owned entity.

For our top picks for developments taking place in Myanmar, please go to our February 2017 postcard.

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