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State, Regional Authorities Given More Say in Approving Foreign Investments

The principles of an agreement to allow more freedom to state and regional governments to approve foreign investments have been finalised at the first inclusive meeting between the regional planning and economic ministers and the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

It has been preliminarily agreed to allow state and regional governments to approve foreign investment of up to $10 million and K5 billion for local investors without having to seek approval from the union government, starting from April 1, Dr Min Nwe Soe, Mon state planning and economic minister told Myanmar Business Today.

“When the investors come in, they won’t have to request approval from the union government. They would only need to submit their proposals to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). The government is planning to set up a supervisory committee to monitor investment operations approved by the state and regional governments,” Dr Min Nwe Soe said.

Under the current regulations, local and foreign investors in states and regions need the approval of the union government in addition to approval by relevant state and regional governments, as well as MIC.

The talk covered 16 sectors, including mining, forestry and manufacturing.

“We have discussed allowing state and regional governments to exceed the parameters set in the constitution regarding small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” Daw Tin Aye Han, director at DICA, told Myanmar Business Today.

Myanmar attracted $3.8 billion in foreign direct investments in the first eight months of the current fiscal year 2014-15. The total FDI received in 2013-14 was $4.11 billion, up sharply from $1.42 billion a year earlier. That compares with $329.6 million in 2009-2010, a year before the new government took office and embarked on reforms.

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