Myanmar is committed to provide a secure, accessible and conducive environment for both foreign and Myanmar citizen investors.
The Myanmar Investment Law, enacted in 2016, vastly simplified the process for investment applications and offers a number of tax breaks, incentives, guarantees, rights and protections for business ventures.
Likewise, the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) is a government-appointed body formed under the Myanmar Investment Law. The MIC's mandate and functions include:
- acting as Myanmar’s investment promotion agency;
- facilitating investment,;
- providing investment policy advice;
- reviewing incentives;
- encouraging responsible business, and;
- facilitating an investment grievance mechanism.
Investments that need to have MIC Permit
Investors need to submit a proposal to MIC if the investment activities are:
- essential to the national strategy;
- large capital intensive investment projects;
- likely to cause a large impact on the environment and the local community;
- using state owned land and buildings;
- designated by the Government to require the submission of a proposal to the MIC.
Investment activities that are strategic for the State
- Information, communication, medical, bio or similar technologies, logistics/energy infrastructure, urban development, new cities, natural resources, media and etc. (Investment value exceeding US$ 20 Million)
- Cooperation with a Government organization (Investment value exceeding US$ 20 Million)
- Investment made in a border region or conflict affected area
- Investment made across the national border
- Investment made across the States and Regions
- Occupying or using more than 1000 acres of land for agricultural related purposes
- Occupying or using more than 100 acres of land for non-agricultural related purposes
- Agriculture and its related services (except cultivation and production of tobacco and virginia)
- Plantation and conservation of forest, and other businesses with forest
- Livestock production, breeding and production of fishery products, and its related services
- Manufacturing (except manufacturing of cigarette, liqueur, beer, and other harmful products to health)
- Establishment of industrial zones
- Establishment of new urban areas
- City development activities
- Construction of road, bridge and railway line
- Construction of seaport, river port and dry port
- Management, operation and maintenance of airport
- Maintenance of aircraft
- Supply and transport services
- Power generation, transmission and distribution
- Production of renewable energy
- Telecommunication businesses
- Education services
- Health services
- Information technology services
- Hotel and tourism
- Science research development business
Restricted Investment Activities
Allowed to be carried out only by the Union
Not allowed for foreign investors
Allowed for JV
To be carried out with the approval of the relevant Ministry
Types of Investment
JOINT VENTURE (JV)
OTHER INVESTMENT FORMS
Foreign investors may invest without any local partners in permitted sectors.
Joint ventures may be created with foreign, local and government entities.
Foreign investors may act under a mutually-agreed upon contract.
These include build operate-transfer (BOT) and build-operate-own (BOO) investments.
According to section 52 (Chapter XIV) of Myanmar Investment Law, there will be no expropriation of investments except under the following conditions::
- it is necessary for the public interest;
- it occurs in a non-discriminatory manner;
- is in accordance with due process of law; and
- on payment of prompt, fair and adequate compensation.
On the other side, investors have certain obligations, including incorporating and operating under existing laws of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Others concern land use, leasing and mortgaging, environment protections, sale or transfer of assets and other aspects of the process. Click here to jump to the detailed list of investors duties at the end of this section.
Investors’ Rights and Protections
- National Treatment and Most Favored Nation
- Fair and equitable treatment
- Rights to use land
- Right to employ expatriates
- Investment guarantee
- Transfer of funds
Investment Screening Applications and Guidance Issuance
How to Apply Investment Permit
First, an investor must submit a proposal to MIC according to predefined criteria. MIC will then:
- Scrutinize the proposal and accept or reject it within 15 days
- Once accepted, MIC will review the proposal and either refuse it or issue a permit within 60 days.
When an investor is granted a permit, it may begin operations after finalizing any necessary contracts with government entities, organizations or individuals. In some cases MIC can grant parties permission to amend the terms of their contractual agreements, in accordance with the Myanmar Investment Law.
Click here for more information on the how to apply for a MIC permit with further details to application criteria and the application process.
How to Apply Endorsement
- Scrutinize the endorsement and accept or reject it within 15 days
- Once accepted, MIC will review the application and either refuse it or issue an endorsement within 30 days.
Click here for more information on the how to apply for an Endorsement with further details to application criteria and the application process.
Tax Incentive Application Assessment Procedure
Investors have to duty to…..
- Respect and comply with the customs, traditions and traditional culture of the ethnic groups in the Union;
- Establish and register a company or sole proprietorship or legal entities or branches of such entities under the laws in order to invest;
- Abide by the terms and conditions, stipulations of special licenses, permits, and business operation certificates issued to them, including the rules, notifications, orders, and directives and procedures issued by this Law and the applicable laws, terms and conditions of contract and tax obligations;
- Carry out in accordance with the stipulations of the relevant department if it is, by the nature of business or by other need, required to obtain any license or permit from the relevant Union Ministries government departments and governmental organizations, or to carry out registration;
- Immediately inform the Commission if it is found that natural mineral resources or antique objects and treasure trove not related to the investment permitted above and under the land on which the investor is entitled to lease or use and not included in the original contracts. If the Commission allows, the investor shall continue to carry out the investment in such land, and if not allowed, the investor shall transfer and carry out, by obtaining the permission, at the substituted place which is selected and submitted by him;
- Not make any significant alteration of topography or elevation of the land on which he is entitled to lease or to use, without the approval of the Commission;
- Abide by the applicable laws, rules, procedures and best standards practiced internationally for this investment so as not to cause damage, pollution, and loss to the natural and social environment and not to cause damage to cultural heritage;
- List and keep proper records in books of accounting and annual financial statements, and necessary financial matters relating to the investments performed by a Permit or an Endorsement in accordance with internationally and locally recognized accounting standards;
- Close and discontinue the investment only after payment of compensation to employees in accordance with applicable laws for any breach of employment contracts, closure of investment, sale and transfer of investment, discontinuation of investment, or reduction of workforce;
- Pay wages and salaries to employees in accordance with applicable laws, rules, procedures, directives and so forth during the period of suspension of investment for a credible reason;
- Pay compensation and indemnification in accordance with applicable laws to the relevant employee or his successor for injury, disability, disease and death due to the work;
- Supervise foreign experts, supervisors and their families, who employ in its investment, to abide by the applicable laws, rules, orders and directives, and the culture and traditions of Myanmar;
- Respect and comply with the labor laws;
- Have the right to sue and to be sued in accordance with the laws;
- Pay effective compensation for loss incurred to the victim, if there is damage to the natural environment and socioeconomic losses caused by logging or extraction of natural resources which are not related to the scope of the permissible investment, except from carrying out the activities required to conduct investment in a Permit or an Endorsement.
- Allow the Commission to inspect in any places, when the Commission informs the prior notice to inspect the investment;
- Take in advance a Permit or an Endorsement of the Commission for the investments which need to obtain prior approval under the Environmental Conservation Law and the procedures of environmental impact assessment, before undertaking the assessment. Such investments shall be submitted the situation of environmental and social impact assessment to the Commission during the permitted investment period.