Bangkok, 9 February 2018 – Today, KPMG hosted KPMG Myanmar Business Outlook 2018: Investing in Myanmar to provide investors with updates on recent key business issues, changes in the market and possible developments to look out for during 2018. The forum was conducted by Thomas Chan, Partner and Head of Tax, KPMG in Myanmar.
The Myanmar Investment Law (MIL) that took effect on 1 April 2017 and the Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law (SEZL) are two significant laws for foreign investors to keep an eye on. Under the MIL and the SEZL, the Government of Myanmar guarantees protection against nationalization/expropriation, and also grants a wide range of favorable income tax exemptions and other benefits to foreign investors. With government support in key sectors (such as agriculture and healthcare) where Thailand also has strong expertise, the alignment of interests and the availability of the new market should prove attractive to investors from Thailand. In addition, Myanmar has signed the new Company Act into law. Although it will only be implemented later this year, it is expected that it may attract investments into Myanmar as foreigners may potentially be able to invest up to 35% in industries previously closed to foreigners.
Myanmar is one of the key investment areas in terms of its geographic, strategic, and demographic advantages. The nation is also in two of the six economic corridors under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), underlining its geopolitical advantage in facilitating the connectivity between China and South Asia as well as in fostering integration within the ASEAN bloc. Investors look forward to the implementation of the initiative as greater connectivity to significant regional markets will help spur growth and address some of the infrastructure concerns of investors.
“Myanmar offers many opportunities and investors should focus on their key strengths in order to ensure that they are able to support their investment through its initial stages. Thai investors can leverage on their close proximity and expertise in services, agriculture, healthcare, hospitality and other sectors to seek suitable investment opportunities where they have strategic advantages. Myanmar businesses are also looking for partners that are a good strategic fit and are able to help address market needs as competition in Myanmar heats up,” concluded Thomas Chan, Partner and Head of Tax, KPMG in Myanmar.
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