Why Business in Myanmar Is About to Change

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a nation in transition. Company in Myanmar is on the brink of sweeping modifications that should usher in long overdue economic prosperity for the citizens of Myanmar.

For decades, Myanmar was tightly controlled by a military regime. During this time, western governments such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European nations sanctioned Myanmar. With the exception of humanitarian aid for the starving population, western companies had been not allowed to do business in Myanmar.

Nevertheless, after the 2010 elections in Myanmar, the new Myanmar president and other political leaders ushered in rapid radical reforms and the western globe started to take notice. Political prisoners have been freed, the press is now allowed access, and earnest efforts in peace talks have been praised by many. It seems the new Myanmar government is truly trying to assist its personal people and also cultivate business and political relationships with other countries.

In July 2012, President Obama declared that U.S. companies are now free to invest in Myanmar for the initial time in 15 years. The UK followed suite soon after. The Myanmar parliament is in the process of passing new legislation that will supplant Myanmar's current 1988 investment law. The new law will reform significantly how Myanmar does business with international investors.

The first version of this bill was criticized as becoming as well strict and it was believed by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Business, Myanmar's top company lobby group, that modifications required to be produced. The Myanmar parliament has gone back to the drawing board and it is predicted the changes they are making will attract foreign investors in a large way.

1 of the main modifications is the original monetary cap that was to be placed on foreign investment. Originally it was capped so higher that little to medium sized foreign companies would have been shut out. Nevertheless, the cap has now been lowered to a level that they can participate.

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The tax incentives to foreign companies have also been elevated and extended which will now make doing business in Myanmar much more attractive. In most cases, the tax incentives have been extended from 3 to 5 years.

An additional main source of contention in the original version of the new foreign investment law was the inclusion of 13 areas where foreign investment would be restricted. This was developed to shield the main domestic companies such as agriculture, fishing, and textile manufacturing. Nevertheless, these restrictions have now been produced much more lax and now allow for foreign companies to enter into 50/50 partnerships with domestic Myanmar businesses in these restricted business categories.

The Myanmar Investment Commission will be in charge of regulating the new international company inside the nation. They have been putting on a far friendlier face than they have had in the previous to woo in the international investors. At the same time, the Myanmar parliament has offered them more energy in how they handle issues. This consists of the capability to revoke the tax incentives.