Myanmar: The Golden Land

A guide on investing in Myanmar


Date
27 February 2013


Opening remarks: H.E. U Tin Latt, Ambassador of Myanmar

Speakers:

  • Bob Herrera-Lim, Director, Asia practice at Eurasia Group
  • M. T. Rajah, Marketing Representative, Embassy of Malaysia in Myanmar, Trade Section (MATRADE)
  • Jasmine Thazin Aung, Director, PwC Myanmar
  • Jessica San, Associate Director, PwC Myanmar
  • U Win Naing, Managing Partner, ZICOlaw Myanmar Ltd.
  • Paul P Subramaniam, Knowledge Management  &Training Partner, ZICOlaw

PwC Malaysia held a sharing session on investing in Myanmar for businesses looking to expand into this emerging market. More than 100 corporate leaders including finance and legal professionals, attended the event.


H.E. U Tin Latt, Ambassador of Myanmar
H.E. U Tin Latt, Ambassador of Myanmar giving the opening remarks


Audience listening attentively to the speakers
Participants listening intently at the event


The audience were given an overview on the latest economic and regulatory developments in Myanmar, and what it means for their business.

Topics discussed included collaboration between Malaysia and Myanmar; a guide to setting up a new business, tax considerations and financial support; and Myanmar’s legal system.

Among the key highlights:

Prospects are encouraging for investors in Malaysia

  • Opportunities lie in various sectors, including manufacturing (wood-based industries, garment industries), tourism and mining.
  • Malaysian products are perceived as superior in Myanmar.
  • Potential for 100% ownership of a limited liability company by foreign investors (certain industries are closed).
  • Tax holidays for a period up to 5 years (subject to conditions) are available.
  • Relief from income tax of up to 50% of the profits accrued on exported goods (subject to conditions).
  • Right to pay income tax on behalf of foreign employees and the right to deduct such payments from assessable income (subject to conditions).
  • Petronas is the largest investor in Myanmar’s oil & gas industry.
  • Malaysia’s exports to Myanmar grew by 25% in 2012, and it is the 7th largest investor into Myanmar (MATRADE findings).

But it’s important to manage risks

While the speakers lauded recent efforts by the Myanmar government to stimulate the economy; they cautioned that businesses need to recognise the structural and regulatory challenges that may impact them.

Foreign exchange controls, limited access to finance, inflation, and lack of skilled local talents are some of the key issues that businesses have to contend with.


Jessica San, PwC Myanmar Associate Director speaking on tax considerations for potential investors
Jessica San, PwC Myanmar Associate Director speaking on tax considerations for potential investors

 


U Win Naing and Paul Subramaniam from ZICOlaw Myanmar Ltd. and ZICOlaw, respectively


Riding on the positive wave of market sentiments, potential investors should keep the latest economic and socio-political developments on their radar, and identify the opportunities and risks which may affect their business.

Paul P Subramaniam of ZICOlaw summed up the event theme very well, calling businesses to tap into this promising market because “the gold rush is there”. “Plus, Myanmar has the largest deposits of rubies in the world,” he added.


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