Regulatory ambiguity slows Myanmar FDI

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 26 Jul 2017

Myanmar’s new civilian government has taken steps to amend some of the country’s antiquated laws to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), but contradictions in the law have put overseas investors off.

While FDI has seen steady growth year-on-year with nine deals totalling $32 million since January this year, there was a drop in total deal value from the $70 million recorded in the same period last year, according to Dealogic.

According to lawyers in Myanmar, that’s due to regulatory contradictions arising from the co-existence of old and new laws. They think such ambiguity is slowing down FDI into the country.

"This ambiguity causes legal risks and deters some large international investors from investing in Myanmar," said William Greenlee, partner at DFDL in Myanmar. He calls for further legal reforms, but thinks it’s more important that old laws – some that have been in place since the 1960s...