Stay up to date with legal developments in Myanmar.
On 6 December 2017, the President of Myanmar signed the Myanmar Companies Bill into law. This new legislation heralds a number of significant changes to the existing century-old companies legislation. Although the law will only come into effect at a later date to be announced by the President, this briefing highlights several key changes that might be of interest to foreign investors with existing presence in the country or those seeking to venture into the Myanmar market. Certain changes such as reducing the minimum number of shareholders, abolishing the requirement to obtain a Permit to Trade and removing the authorised capital concept would no doubt reduce the administrative burden of foreign companies operating in the country.
On 7 June 2016, the Union Government of Myanmar issued Notification No.43/2016, which constituted the new Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”). This is a welcome move, given that the status of MIC has been uncertain following the recent change in Government.
On 17 May 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control amended the “Burmese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 537” (“BSR”), and updated the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN”) List. While the primary sanctions prohibiting U.S. persons from dealing with “blocked persons”, including persons on the SDN list (as well as any entity owned in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by one or more such persons, commonly known as 50% rule) still remain, the amendments to the BSR support trade and facilitate the movement of goods within Myanmar to a greater extent. For example, the amendment now permits U.S. persons residing in Myanmar to conduct a wider range of transactions, and allow most transactions with Myanmar financial institutions.