On 24 December 2015 Myanmar’s parliament (the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) passed Law No. 72 ‘An Act Amending the Myanmar Mining Law’ (2015 Mines Law). The 2015 Mines Law amends Myanmar’s outdated 1994 Mines Law. The Government first announced its intention to amend the 1994 Mines Law in 2012. The protracted delay in introducing amending legislation has contributed to a stall in foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining in Myanmar. Mining FDI was just US$6.26 million in the year ended 31 March 2015. By comparison US$3.22 billion was invested in Myanmar’s oil and gas industry over the same period.
On 28 March 2014 the Myanmar Government introduced a number of important changes to Myanmar’s tax regime. The Union of Myanmar Tax Law 2014 (2014 Tax Law), effective from 1 April 2014, introduced a number of changes to income tax and commercial tax rates in Myanmar.
Myanmar has introduced a new Association(s) Registration Law (Registration Law) (No. 31.2014). The Registration Law was enacted by the Union Parliament on 25 June 2014 and signed by the President and officially gazetted on 20 July 2014. The Registration Law establishes a revised legal framework for the establishment of both local and international non-governmental organisations and associations (NGOs and INGOs respectively). Previously, NGOs and INGOs operating in Myanmar were required to register under the relatively 1988 Associations Law.
On 2 July 2013, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) issued a circular to licensed corporations and associated entities in relation to anti-money laundering / counter-terrorist financing (Circular). The Circular includes a reiteration of a statement [archived copy] issued by The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on 21 June 2013. FATF is the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Hong Kong has been a member of FATF since 1991. It is also a member of the affiliated Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently published its Regional Economic Outlook – Asia and Pacific: Shifting Risks, New Foundations for Growth.
The report is broadly optimistic and states that the global economy is showing signs of improvement and that growth in Asia is set to pick up gradually in the course of 2013, to about 5¾ percent, on strengthening external demand and continued robust domestic demand.
On 23 April 2012 the Council of the European Union (Council) issued its conclusions on Burma/Myanmar from its 3159th Foreign Affairs Council Meeting which took place in Luxembourg.
The Letpadaung Taung Investigation Commission (Commission) has issued its complete and final report (Report) into the Letpadaung Taung copper mining project (Project). The Letpadaung deposit is one of four significant mineralized deposits located in west central Myanmar; approximately 5 kilometres west of the town of Monywa situated 110 kilometres west of Mandalay and 832 kilometres north of Yangon.
On 11 April the Ministry of Energy (MOE) of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Government) issued an Invitation for bids to conduct petroleum operations in the Myanmar offshore areas (2013) (Offshore Bidding Invitation) in relation to both shallow and deep water blocks. The issuance of the Offshore Bidding Invitation follows on from the recently closed onshore bidding process (Onshore Bidding Invitation) following which 59 companies were shortlisted for a second round evaluation and data disclosure. The closing date for submissions is 14 June 2013. Of the 11 shallow water blocks, 3 are located in the Rakhine offshore area, 2 in the Moattama offshore area and 5 in the Tanintharyi offshore area. Of the 19 deep water blocks, 12 are located in the Rakhine offshore area, 3 in the Moattama offshore area and 4 in the Tanintharyi offshore area.
On 31 January, 2013 the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development of Myanmar released new detailed regulations to augment the 2012 Myanmar Foreign Investment Law (FIL). The regulations are comprised of two separate notifications, Notification 1/2013 and Notification 11/2013 (together the Investment Rules).
On 2 November 2012 Myanmar’s President Thein Sein endorsed the country’s new Foreign Investment Law (FIL). The introduction of the FIL is good news for potential investors and came in the same week in which the World Bank pledged $80 million in aid. The law was introduced just a few weeks prior to the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama who stated that Myanmar was taking “its first steps on what will be a long journey” and that the process of democratic and economic reform could “lead to incredible development opportunities.”