The maiden Yangon Investment Forum sets to give information on customs regulations, tax relief and tax exemption to potential investors.
The Yangon Investment Forum will be organised for the frst time on May 9 in a move to attract more foreign investments into Yangon region. The forum was announced by Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein during the 16th regular meeting between Vice President Myint Swe and the private sector that took place on April 2 at the offce of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Yangon. With an intention to be held annually, the forum is aimed to provide a platform to officials from the Yangon Region Government and related departments to explain existing investment sectors and further investment opportunities in the region. The forum, to take place at Novotal Yangon Max Hotel expecting 500 foreign businesses to attend, is organised by Yangon Region Investment Committee with the cooperation and support of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, German international aid and development organisation Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and Myanmar Investors Development Association.
With the Yangon Region Government receiving enquiries from various foreign investors including large enterprises with many subsidiaries under their banners, the government is prepared to focus on those in the coming three years, according to Phyo Min Thein. As the enhancement of foreign investments is prioritised by his government, the forum is part of the government’s efforts to increase the momentum of investments, said the Chief Minister.
The discussion matters scheduled to be covered at the 2018 Yangon Investment Forum include Myanmar Investment Law and its rules, investment-related laws, rules and procedures, information on investment opportunities and investment-pouring process in Yangon region, current business background of the region, and projects to be implemented. The attendees will have a chance to raise questions directly to offcials from the regional government and relevant departments at the forum that aimed to invite foreign investors with the purpose of establishing Yangon as a clean and booming commercial city. Yangon Region lures 60 per cent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) entry into Myanmar, followed by Mandalay region with 30 per cent, according to the statistics of the DICA. In a broader context, officials in Myanmar organise the Myanmar Investment Forum to provide a platform for exploring and discussing possible investment opportunities in the country and to be acquainted with the most update regulatory and legal framework. It is organised by Myanmar Investors Development Association, a Yangon-based nonproft organisation comprising private companies from various sectors of the country’s economy. The organisation aims to serve as a bridge between Myanmar enterprises and international companies, exposing local companies to the world and facilitating foreign direct investments in the country.
The Myanmar Investment Forum 2017 took place on June 6 to 7, 2017 at the Myanmar International Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw. Spearheaded by Vice President Myint Swe, the event drew more than 100 economic organisations, 90 foreign enterprises and nearly 200 local businessmen. Among the attendees were Union Minister for Planning and Finance Kyaw Win and Vice Minister for Commerce Aung Htoo.
The forum picked up a variety of topics that spanned from the quality of export products and agricultural produce to the need to lift up the tourism industry by cooperating with the private sector. At the highlight of the forum, DirectorGeneral of the DICA Aung Naing Oo gave an update on the improved investment environment in Myanmar following the implementation of the new Myanmar Investment Law and its rules, and discussed the changing pattern of Myanmar economy.
The forum also included discussions about investment opportunities in the special economic zones in Dawei, Thilawa and Kyaukpyu as well as in industrial zones across the country. In addition, it covered the discussions on construction of much-needed infrastructure.
Also at the upcoming Yangon Investment Forum, the issue of infrastructure is set to be emphasised as Phyo Min Thein said that interested investors from Korea, Japan, ASEAN member countries and China are currently discussing/ negotiating with the Yangon Region Government for investing in road construction works, power, housing and factories. Western entities such as the United States and the European Union are interested in technology service works, said the Chief Minister, adding that businesses which can assure quality infrastructure will be given priority in consideration to work with.
When it comes to investment, Myanmar also has the Myanmar Global Investment Forum to pave the way for discussions in exploring the opportunities arising from Myanmar’s latest economic agenda and reforms. The forum offers an annual platform for the public and private sector to discuss Myanmar’s continued economic open-up, covering topics of the country’s economic conditions and outlooks, investment situations, banking and fnancial reforms, the integration of power and energy sectors, challenges related to infrastructure, developments in industrial and agricultural sectors and tourism promotion arrangements. Officially the Euromoney Myanmar Global Investment Forum, the event is jointly organised by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), a government-appointed appraisal body for domestic and foreign investment proposals, and Euromoney Institutional Investor (Asia) based in Hong Kong. As the 6th annual edition of the event, the 2017 Euromoney Myanmar Global Investment Forum was held from September 12 to 13 at the Myanmar Convention Centre II in Nay Pyi Taw, being attended by more than 1,000 business leaders, investors and government officials from over 28 countries.
M i n i s t e r f o r T r a n s p o r t a n d Communications Thant Sin Maung, Minister for Industry Khin Maung Cho, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance Maung Maung Win and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Soe Thein were among the attendees that included parliamentarians, directorgenerals from government agencies, representatives from the UMFCCI, international representatives, local and international entrepreneurs and other officials. The Myanmar Global Investment Forum is aimed at serving as a bridge between the private sector and the government for national economic progress and helping investors fnd new markets.
The 7th annual Myanmar Global Investment Forum is scheduled to take place in September 2018.
According to the National Development Project, Myanmar plans to boost FDI infux through a set of measures that include revising the legal requirements that restrict the inflow of foreign investments, reduction of land prices that causes a cost burden to establishment of businesses, making industrial development policies to improve the manufacturing of value-added products, increasing the fundamental need of power access and strengthening the transport infrastructure.
In order to improve the investment environment by providing easier access to business activities in the country, Myanmar passed a new Myanmar Investment Law in October 2016, merging the pre-existing Myanmar Citizens Investment Law approved in 2013 and Foreign Investment Law enacted in 2012. The new law will provide tax relief to investors depending on the developments made in regions and states. Investors in remote areas can enjoy a tax break of seven years.
And the country recently passed a new companies law to replace the century-old 1914 Myanmar Companies Act, which had been used as its major company-related legal framework prior to that. The new legislation, designed to modernise and internationalise the company and investment-related legal set-up of Myanmar, comes with a facilitation of the registration of companies and liberalisation of procedures and regulations for smaller companies, aiming to lift up domestic and foreign investments, develop the capital market of the country and improve the private sector.
In the previous 2017-2018 budget year that ended on March 31, Myanmar attracted FDI infows into agriculture, livestock and fshery, real estate, transport and communications, manufacturing, electric energy, industrial estate and hospitality sectors and other service sectors. The investments came from a range of countries that include China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macao, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, Taiwan and New Zealand.
The MIC on June 28, 2017 announced ten areas which will be prioritised for investments by both local and foreign investors: agriculture, export promotion, import substitution, livestock and fshery, power, logistics, education, health care, affordable housing construction and establishment of industrial estates.