THE TOP 5 THINGS INVESTORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MYANMAR
(1) Business opportunities
The government of Myanmar is open to all business opportunities that will bring positive developments and economic benefits to the country and its people. This includes businesses that can help to upgrade the skills of its workforce or help improve the standard of living.
(2) Changes in regulations
Myanmar is a developing country with frequent changes to its laws and regulations. It is important for foreign investors to stay informed of any changes and be aware of how these will impact their businesses as well as how they can remain compliant. The government takes a serious view of recalcitrant companies and individuals who fail to comply with the statutory filing obligations.
(3) Foreign ownership restriction
There are no foreign ownership restrictions in Myanmar. Business entities may be owned by foreigners in the form of a wholly foreign-owned company or branch, or a joint venture between a foreign investor and a local partner.
Foreigners are not allowed to own land and immovable property in Myanmar. However, under the new Myanmar Foreign Investment Law, registered investors can lease land for a term of up to 50 years.
(4) Foreign exchange and exchange control
To help stabilise the country’s exchange rate, the Central Bank of Myanmar has instructed government ministries and regional governments to only use the local currency for all local transactions. Companies incorporated under the Myanmar Investment Law are exempted and are permitted to repatriate investment and profits in the foreign currency in which the related investments were made.
Citizens, foreigners and companies in Myanmar must seek permission from the Foreign Exchange Management Board for all dealings involving foreign exchange transactions.
(5) Labour laws
There are no restrictions on the number of foreigners that can be hired by foreign companies registered under the relevant legislation in Myanmar. One point worth mentioning is that investors should appoint only locals for work that does not require skill.
Other than small businesses with less than 15 employees, the minimum wage for workers in Myanmar is MMK3,600 (equivalent USD2.80) for eight working hours per day.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH ADVISORS WHO KNOW MYANMAR
Investors will be able to:
- Appreciate the robust business landscape
- Understand the finer details of doing business in Myanmar
- Develop a greater appreciation of practical issues on the ground and the best ways to overcome them
- Better manage the budget for the incorporation and maintenance of the company
- Obtain holistic advice on advisory and compliance matters
YOUR IDEAL LAUNCHPAD INTO ASEAN
Singapore is an excellent base for reaching out to the region’s developing markets.
- Businesses in Singapore enjoy tax and other benefits of intra-ASEAN trade. They also enjoy free trade and double tax agreement benefits that Singapore has with neighbouring countries such as China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea
- Singapore is the de facto financial capital of ASEAN’s treasury function
- It enjoys a low corporate income tax rate (currently at 17%), has no tax payable on dividends earned externally from its borders (subject to meeting conditions) and offers tax incentives/financial assistance to small-medium enterprises wishing to establish operations overseas
- There is no capital gain tax. If a Singapore holding company were to sell its shares in the subsidiary and makes a profit, there is no capital gain tax at the Singapore holding company level
- Strong reputation as a leading global financial hub