The Myanmar legal system is complex and based on a combination of statutes and regulations with their origins in different periods of Myanmar’s history and include colonial period laws (pre 1948), parliamentary laws, revolutionary Council laws, People’s Assembly laws, State Law and Order Restoration Council / State Peace and Development Council laws.
Law on Foreign Investment in Myanmar
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the Myanmar Parliament) is currently in the process of updating out-dated laws. Myanmar’s Government has sought to update sections of the Myanmar legal system and Myanmar investment law and taken a number of other steps to encourage foreign investment in Myanmar’s economy. A new Foreign Exchange Management Law was introduced in August 2012 removing all foreign exchange restrictions. An updated Myanmar Foreign Investment Law was also introduced in 2012 and is intended to attract foreign investment. However the 1914 the Myanmar Companies Act remains the cornerstone of Myanmar Company law and governs a wide range of corporate matters from incorporation to liquidation. A new Companies Act, IP Law and Mining Law are expected to be introduced by the end of 2014.
Myanmar’s banking Sector
Myanmar’s banking sector is also being reformed under the guidance of Myanmar’s Central Bank. At present foreign banks are only permitted to establish representative offices in Myanmar. However, it is anticipated that domestic banks will soon be permitted to enter into joint venture agreements and that foreign banks doing business in Myanmar will be allowed to establish locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiaries.
The Government is aiming to achieve a 10% increase of foreign investment in Myanmar in 2014 bringing it to approximately US$3 billion.