Venture to Myanmar with IE Singapore
Myanmar's development has been gathering pace since its economic liberalisation began a few years ago. With the government making sustained efforts to create a more business-friendly environment and a population that is well-disposed to the Singapore brand, the time is right for Singapore firms to start doing business in Myanmar and enjoy first-mover opportunities.
Strong Singapore brand
The Myanmar business community is eager to collaborate with Singapore partners, who are seen as trustworthy and efficient. With an active Burmese diaspora in Singapore familiar with the language and customs of both groups of people, Singapore firms can expect a welcoming environment in Myanmar.
"Singapore companies can bring in management expertise and technological know-how, while Myanmar companies can help navigate the local customs and regulations. More importantly, they have access to networks that might be difficult for foreigners to access." Our Yangon Regional Director shares how you can leverage Singapore's strong brand name. Read more
Singapore has been Myanmar’s top foreign investor for over five consecutive years. From F&B to infrastructure, there are more Singapore firms doing business there. Learn why the Singapore brand is flying high in Yangon. Read more
The current administration has taken concrete steps to attract investors. The Myanmar Investment Law of 2016 recently replaced the Foreign Investment Law of 2012, with the new law set to make investing in Myanmar easier..
Our Global Conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi highlights how Singapore firms can play a part in Myanmar's growth. Read more
Find out what opportunities Myanmar’s latest Investment Law presents for your business. Read more
Myanmar Companies Act (MCA) 2017
Passed by Parliament and ratified by President Htin Kyaw in December 2017, the MCA will enter into force on another date with a presidential notification, estimated to be on 1st August 2018. The MCA 2017 will govern the registration, ownership, management and internal affairs of both local and foreign companies in Myanmar.
Key changes to the MCA
- Foreigners are permitted to take up to 35% shareholding in local companies.
- Companies with more than 35% foreign shareholding will be classified as foreign companies.
- An online platform for registration:
- All new and existing local and foreign companies have to register/re-register online through the eventual DICA portal within 6 months of 1 August 2018, when the MCA 2017 is effected.
Single Shareholder/Director Companies Allowed and Residence Requirements:
- One member and one director are sufficient for private companies.
- A public company must have at least one director who is a resident Myanmar citizen.
- A private company must have at least one director who is “ordinarily resident” in Myanmar.
- A rep office or branch must have at least one “authorised representative” who is ordinarily resident in Myanmar.
Minority Protection Increased
- Any existing or former member may request the court to make an order if the conduct of the company’s affairs or related act is “oppressive to, unfairly prejudicial to, or unfairly discriminatory against, a member or members, whether in that capacity or in any other capacity”.
Changes to the Capital Structure
- There will be no more authorised capital, unless specifically provided for by the constitution. In addition, there will is no more nominal or par value for a share.
Impact of the new MCA on Singapore companies: Flexibility in foreign ownership and increased capital lines
The inclusion of foreign shareholding in local companies is beneficial to Singapore investors, as this now allows investment in hitherto protected sectors, such as trading companies, banks, insurance, pharmaceuticals and industrial equipment. Furthermore, the relaxation in capital structure makes it easier to reduce the capital required of foreign companies to enter Myanmar, as well as for local or existing companies to issue bonus shares and take in new members.
Other than joint shareholding in private and public companies, this also means that the Yangon Stock Exchange-listed (YSX-listed) companies are now open to foreign participation. This is expected to increase activity and liquidity in the YSX, as the local market and investment is limited. Through the 35% foreign equity, this would also allow fresh injections of capital and greater access to debt-financing through foreigners for local Myanmar companies.
FAQs on doing business in Southeast Asia
Ivan Tan, our Group Director for Southeast Asia and Jimmy Koh, UOB Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations and Research, answer all your questions on industries with the most potential, navigating potential pitfalls, leveraging government support and more.
ASEAN Webinar: Opportunities for you in Southeast Asia
Click here to watch the highlights.
MOU with Myanmar government to boost opportunities for Singapore firms looking to venture overseas
Find out how IE Singapore’s (now Enterprise Singapore) MOU with the Myanmar Investment Commission is set to open more doors for Singapore firms in the urban solutions and logistics sector.
Singapore agencies to partner Myanmar in accreditation services and standards
The Singapore Accreditation Council, Spring Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore) and Myanmar’s Department of Research and Innovation are set to work together to accredit Myanmar’s laboratories, inspection and certification bodies. The collaboration is set to provide greater quality assurance in products and services, and facilitate market access for businesses in both countries.
Being partners “in hearts and minds”
From the revised Investment Law to the easing of visa restrictions, ties between Myanmar and Singapore are set to grow stronger. Aung San Suu Kyi calls for Singapore to be partners "in hearts and minds" with Myanmar as both countries look to deepen the relationship.
Singapore to help Myanmar in nation-building
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reaffirms Singapore's commitment to help in Myanmar's development and progress.