The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) is constituted in accordance with Chapter IV of the MIL
The chairman of the MIC is a member of government. Its members are drawn from among both government officials and representatives from the private sector. The MIC’s principle duties and powers are set out in Articles 12 and 13 respectively. Additional powers flow from other miscellaneous provisions.
The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) serves as the Secretariat of the Myanmar Investment Commission. The DICA aims to encourage both local and foreign investment, private entrepreneurship and coordinate with regional and international bodies in relation to foreign investment in Myanmar business opportunities.
There are seven departments with the DICA, namely, the Foreign Affairs Department, the Myanmar Citizen Investment Department, the Investment Administration Department, the Special Economic Zone Department, the Legal Department, the Company Registration Department and the Administration and Account Department.
Foreigners are free to incorporate a company in Myanmar under the Myanmar Companies Law. However, certain foreign investments require MIC approval. Promoters or investors doing business in Myanmar must submit a proposal in the prescribed form in order to obtain an MIC Permit or an MIC Endorsement. The MIC is obligated to evaluate proposals in accordance with the basic principles set out in the MIL.
Powers of the Myanmar Investment Commission
The MIC can determine or vary the following:-
- restricted or prohibited activities;
- work permits;
- minimum foreign capital requirements;
- minimum requirements in relation to the employment of skilled local workers;
- guarantees against nationalisation;
- land leases; and
- tax exemptions and relief.
The MIC is also empowered to monitor active investments and impose administrative penalties. The exact division and separation of powers between the MIC and other Government agencies remains unclear. For example while the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development is responsible for issuing implementing legislation, the MIC may issue orders, notifications and directives. The MIC both advises and answers to government. While the MIC is required to seek government approval before issuing orders and notifications and directives the procedures by which it should apply for such approval are not set out.