MYANMAR is preparing to sign an agreement with Hong Kong for promotion and protection of investments, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
Myanmar has signed similar bilateral agreements since 1998 with the Philippines, Viet Nam, China, Laos, Kuwait, Thailand, India, Japan, Indonesia, the US, South Korea, Israel, and Singapore. Myanmar is now in the process of discussing the investment agreement with Hong Kong, and the two nations will sign an agreement very soon, said officials.
Signing a bilateral agreement on the promotion and protection of investments can build strong mutual trust among investors and promote business operations, said Daw Tin Aye Han, the deputy director-general of the DICA.
“Regarding the agreement on the promotion and protection of investments, if the country’s laws are enforced strongly, investors will trust the host country to make an investment, and we, therefore, don’t need to sign an agreement. However, the signing of an agreement means generally making a deal stronger. If there is an issue between the two countries, we can solve it according to the agreement. Some countries are weak in laying a legal framework compared with developed Western countries. So, those countries prefer to enter into a strong agreement and sign a treaty,” said Daw Tin Aye Han.
“Last month, Myanmar signed a bilateral agreement with Singapore, its biggest investor, for the promotion and protection of investments. So, Singapore can be said to make more investments in Myanmar,” said U Aung Naing Oo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.
Although Myanmar has signed bilateral agreements with other countries to attract more investments, the agreement on the promotion and protection of investments with EU, which was signed in 2014, was suspended in 2017 because of political issues in Myanmar. No negotiations have been made yet on the issue, said officials.
(Translated by Hay Mar)
By Nyein Nyein