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MYANMAR: In-Depth Proposals Now Mandatory for Prospective Investors

As of 1 August, this year, prospective investors will be required to supply more information when submitting proposals. In line with this, the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations has introduced revised and expanded application forms, all of which can be downloaded from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration website.

The changes are intended to allow officials to more effectively examine applications and verify the credentials of would-be investors. Accordingly, the revised forms require in-depth background information on the parent company backing any investment project, including details of its products and services, financial capabilities/credentials, technical know-how/experience, supply chain arrangements and the likely benefits for local industries.

The revision of the forms has also been driven by public concerns over a lack of transparency with regard to FDI projects, with details of such initiatives seldom appearing on government websites, despite this being a legally-mandated requirement. Similarly, there have also been concerns that, even when details of such proposals are made public, they are seen to be lacking much of the key information required for a truly thorough evaluation to have been undertaken. This has led to complaints that some currently operating FDI projects many have failed to comply with the mandatory disclosure requirements. While this has led to calls that the new, expanded proposal forms should be publicly accessible, the government has yet to make such a commitment.

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