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Myanmar Contract Staffing and Payroll Services
16 Mar

Myanmar Contract Staffing and Payroll Services

Contract Staffing and Payroll Services are now a very popular solution in Myanmar.

Why companies are choosing FocusCore and MyWorld Careers in Myanmar.

The staff are hired by MyWorld, through FocusCore paid and insured by MyWorld. MyWorld employ them, everything is covered. Benefits for the client company are huge. Many international companies do not have corporate entities in this region but there is customer demand for their products and services. By using FocusCore & MyWorld, an immediate solution, the overseas company can respond to customers and immediately start operating in Myanmar.

As you may know FocusCore also helps companies complete the process for Company Incorporation in Myanmar. There are many steps to complete and of course these take time. But now there is a growing trend. This is hardly a surprise – a company wants to be first in the market, the first mover, to get into the market early – without the worry of setting up an office and obtaining licences. With FocusCore they can, by outsourcing their staff requirements.

FocusCore is an international third party manpower solution provider. Ever since Myanmar opened to more trade, companies are leveraging on FocusCore to gain a quicker entry into the Myanmar markets.

We provide a platform; we hire their employees directly, on their behalf, and place them into the roles as required.

The staff can be national or international. If they are foreign nationals we will be ready as soon as they arrive to cover all the required registration procedures, from insurance to visas, then payment of salary, corporate tax and social security contributions. This is our payroll and contracting service. For Myanmar nationals, they will already be registered in Myanmar with The Social Security Board (SSB). This administers Myanmar’s social security programmes, including benefits and contributions.

If a company wants to start operating in Myanmar they can, now, via FocusCore. We are client driven, we can supply staff tailored to a company’s requirements.

Companies who have planned to grow in Myanmar but are tied down by the timescales of incorporation can use our solution and enter the market very quickly. (If you require permanent staff, MyWorld has an extensive database of 20,000 profiles of bilingual Burmese talented candidates. MyWorld is Myanmar’s fasting growing recruitment company. They can complete a search of their databases and submit to you the candidates suitable for placement in your company).

The FocusCore contract staff and payroll services cover employee on-boarding, registration with the local tax offices, together with calculation and payment of social security payments and salaries. Payments can be made locally and offshore. The entire process is managed by FocusCore.

As far as we are aware FocusCore is the only company providing this service in Myanmar. The service is steadily growing. We can support many sectors and industries – technology, banking, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and more.

You may already know the skills that you need for your operation in Myanmar. We can find suitable people for you now, take them onto our payroll and they are available for you to start operations in Myanmar.

So to sum up……Contract Staffing and Payroll Services

• The staff are ’employed’ by us and work for you.
• We pay the wages and corporate taxes and social charges.
• We complete recruitment and selection processes for you and find the necessary expertise and resources – we manage the employment processes.
• We answer instantly your company needs – you do not have the expenses of hiring and terminating.
• Reduce your admin! We take care of all the required paperwork when hiring employees, so reducing the demand on your resources and saving you an enormous amount of time AND you start operating in Myanmar immediately.
• We screen applicants, complete reference checks, administer payroll and tax and social charges, payroll tax, public liability and professional indemnity.

Globally, employment laws are getting more and more complicated. Let FocusCore & MyWorld find, hire and pay the staff so you can start your company in Myanmar today. Please contact us today to find out more.

KBZ Bank opens New York US Dollar settlement facility via SMBC
08 Mar

KBZ Bank opens New York US Dollar settlement facility via SMBC

KANBAWZA Bank (KBZ Bank) Limited, part of the KBZ Group of companies, has confirmed that they now have USD settlement account facilities via the international bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s New York branch (SMBC New York).

This will provide “streamlined remittance services that enable faster, more convenient trade financing and transactions between Myanmar and the United States”.

The announcement was made by Mr. Nobuyasu Akagi, General Manager of SMBC Yangon and Mr. U Win Lwin, Managing Director of the International Banking Division of KBZ Bank. (At present, KBZ Bank has more than 414 branches across Myanmar with nearly 690 ATMs, and over 190 currency exchange counters).

Mr. Akagi, “The arrangement allows KBZ Bank to centralise its USD clearing services through SMBC New York, which also improves the management of fees for transactions as a result of having to process transfers via different banks with varying respective costs”.

Mr. Akagi added “this is a momentous development…..the opening of a USD account, as a Myanmar private bank is a good example of how Myanmar financial institutions are committed to join the international community….this development will spur business growth between both countries, with KBZ Bank customers now able to utilise SMBC New York’s 24-hour USD clearing service, which eliminates cut off times for transfers….by opening a settlement account, money transactions will become smoother and it means Myanmar will penetrate the international banking community.”

The press conference was also attended by diplomats from the US Embassy in Yangon.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) is keen to encourage modernisation to bolster trade. One can still find the Hundi system for payments. Hundis are used as a form of remittance instrument to transfer money from place to place, as a form of credit instrument or IOU to borrow money and as a bill of exchange in trade transactions.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) was established in April 2001 through the merger of two leading banks; The Sakura Bank, Limited, and The Sumitomo Bank, Limited.

FocusCore Myanmar helps companies open, establish and run their operations in Myanmar. This announcement is more news on how new services are working to help the rapidly growing Myanmar economy. If you have enquiries about incorporating your company in Myanmar, or are already trading in Myanmar and wish to establish overseas links, do not hesitate to contact us. We have a team of international and national staff offering world class solutions and services.

Singapore companies choose Myanmar for overseas trade
24 Feb

Singapore companies choose Myanmar for overseas trade

For local companies in Singapore international trade is creating more revenue than local trade. These are the findings from recently published research and the annual survey of International Enterprise*(IE) Singapore. Results show that internationalisation is the key to driving growth. Results from 700 companies were analysed. Revenues grew faster from overseas, 4.2% overseas revenue growth compared to the 1.3% overall revenue growth. Overseas trading revenues were a higher percentage of the overall trading figures, compared to local revenue, for small to medium enterprises, at 53% (50% in 2015). Findings also show that firms seeking to grow their overseas trade reported their premier markets are Myanmar and Vietnam.

*(International Enterprise Singapore or IE Singapore, is a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Singapore Government. Formerly known as the Singapore Trade Development Board, IE Singapore is the lead agency promoting international trade and partnering Singapore companies in going global).

Further details from IE Singapore confirm that with over 450 projects globally in 2016, the majority were in China and Southeast Asia. This ties in with comments from Standard Chartered Bank, who are confident that firms should remain “very keen to be open to trade and to business opportunities in these areas”. More recently, following the US election, there are growing concerns as to potential protectionist measures and the risk of a trade war between the US and China.

Lee Ark Boon the CEO of IE Singapore said, “For 2017, companies are facing greater uncertainty, but (from the) Government’s perspective we want to continue to ensure that we have the support and where possible increase the support for them to manage the risks and manage the uncertainties. This includes looking at markets beyond a country, going much deeper.”

Companies in the survey said they were targeting new markets and new business sectors. Notably the mention of digital platforms and the digital economy. In the region there is a steady growth in the proportion of people living in urban areas. IE Singapore sees more opportunities for infrastructure and digital economy projects. Indeed, the agency will step up their support for companies to help them win and supply these projects.

In 2016 IE Singapore helped 37,000 companies via various schemes. In terms of grants, more than 10,000 companies benefited from total allocations of S$73.4 million.

Together with the growth of Singapore via international trade, the agency noted that there is a strong trend towards jobs that are for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET). Approximately six in 10 of jobs focussing on international trade were PMET positions, compared to roughly five in 10 for domestic focused jobs.

Direct investments overseas by Singapore (DIA) grew 2.5 per cent year-on-year (S$636.8 billion as of year-end 2015). Asia accounted for the largest percentage with 54 per cent. Growth in investment funding was driven by Asia, especially the emerging markets in India, Vietnam and Myanmar. You may have seen the blog last autumn from FocusCore in Myanmar

http://myanmarcs.focuscoregroup.com/singapore-is-now-the-largest-investor-in-myanmar/

FocusCore operate across ASIA in Singapore, Japan, Myanmar and Hong Kong. Our focus is to help companies prosper in these growing economies, offering a broad range of corporate and recruitment services, helping companies start new operations overseas and or expand nationally.

Comments from a Senior Director of the IE neatly confirms the positive findings of the IE Singapore survey, “The bustling South-east Asian market and its heavy demand for infrastructure and consumerism will likely ensure the region remains appealing to Singapore firms that want to invest abroad”.

FocusCore finds synergy with Asia Green Development Bank (AGD)
15 Feb

FocusCore finds synergy with Asia Green Development Bank (AGD)

FocusCore works with companies to help them complete all the necessary steps to incorporate their company in Myanmar. Now, when client companies visit FocsCore, an AGD Bank team can also attend and meet visiting company Directors to open a bank account and provide other financial services and products.

Commenting on the news, Eddy Herbert, Managing Director FocusCore Myanmar said “This is another addition to our range of corporate services. We can now provide turnkey account processing services with our partner, AGD Bank. When client companies visit us the bank team can also be present to meet the visiting company and start the process for opening accounts. For the incorporation of your company in Myanmar, a key requirement is the opening of a Bank Account. Now this step can also be started while visiting FocusCore. Thanks to AGD advanced bank services many other facilities are available online. This also means the bank is ideal for companies with overseas offices”.

AGD was founded in 2010 and has total assets of 366 billion kyat (US$366 million). The bank was founded by Tay Za and the Htoo Group of Companies. The bank now has over 60 branches in Myanmar. It was the first bank to provide ATMs, then on-line banking and is one of the few banks with a very strong digital mindset.

The bank selected Infosys systems (HQ India, revenue 1 billion USD 2016) for world class back end technology. These solutions are currently powering banks across 94 countries and serve over 848 million customers, estimated to be nearly 16.5 percent of the world’s adult banked population.

AGD with these advanced systems is now leading the way in Myanmar enabling International, Corporate & Personal Banking, eBanking, Card services with also eWallet and mobile banking.
AGD services include:-

International Banking Services
International Banking for personal and business needs. Foreign Currency Account, Foreign Exchange Service, Foreign Remittance.

Corporate Banking
For businesses large and small, AGD has the following services:-
Company’s Current, Saving and other accounts
Loans and Lending Services
Cards
Payment and Cash Management Services
Local Remittance

Card Services

By using AGD secured banking cards, you can manage your cash easily.
It is convenient and safe as you don’t have to carry cash. Payments can be made at both national and international shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and other places where the individual card payment scheme is accepted. If you need cash, you can use ATMs across the world to get the cash.
Online shopping is part of our daily life and having an AGD card can help to fulfil it. When you open a current account or saving account, the AGD customer service team can help you get a card account.

eBanking
Banking services via your computers or phones connected to the Internet.
Remittance
Checking your account balance
Viewing your transaction history
Online payment enquiries
Mini statements
Transfer funds
Pay bills
Enable mobile top up
View latest exchange rates
Call centre support
Language: Myanmar/English

Once your company incorporation is complete, FocusCore can be relied upon to provide you with a wide range of corporate support services covering recruitment, legal, compliance, and bookkeeping. World class serviced office space is also available. All designed to help you complete the Company incorporation process and start operations in Myanmar.

Myanmar New Investment Law: details emerge encouraging investment
26 Jan

Myanmar New Investment Law: details emerge encouraging investment

The key figure is 100. Projects that move over 100 people or projects with budgets of over $100m or projects targeting areas of over 100 acres (1000 acres if agricultural) are seen as requiring a permit. There are exceptions and we include some examples below.

The Myanmar Investment Law was approved by the Government during September and October last year. It has been warmly welcomed because it adds flexibility, allowing further investment into this rapidly growing economy. One of the benefits is that a permit will not be required for many projects. This saves time and eliminates the process for many, when applications were sent to the controlling administration The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), for a permit. Last year many of the new details in the law were not announced and these are now emerging, with a deadline for these clauses to be published for the new financial year, starting 1st April.

(FocusCore published blogs on The Investment Law last year. The law combines the Myanmar Citizen’s Investment Law and The Foreign Investment Law, thus bringing to an end the exception within ASEAN member countries, of Myanmar demanding different treatment between national and foreign investment.)

Examples where permits are required include projects that are seen as “strategic to the Union”.
Further exceptions can include projects in agriculture, media, energy distribution and technology. Other examples are projects in border areas. Details are awaited on what is included in the category entitled “re-stricted” investments. Please do not forget that if you require a permit FocusCore can help you with your application to the MIC.

While the legal process of change continued last year, many investors waited for these revisions to be written into Myanmar Law. So there was a slowdown in investment, which created a back log. It is forecast that due to these new regulations, which are much more flexible, and the processing of the back log, the target of $6 Billion for foreign investment in Fiscal Year 2017 will be exceeded.

This ties in with our predictions that Myanmar growth is set to continue and continue. Contact FocusCore now to receive the latest information together with Corporate Support and Start Up services for your company.

Let us help you make 2017 the year you start and prosper in the vibrant economy of Myanmar. The Asian Development Bank stated that Myanmar is expected to see 8.3% growth in 2017. Beat that!

Patriot Act. Section 311 – detailed information, FocusCore and your route to trading in Myanmar.
29 Nov

Patriot Act. Section 311 – detailed information, FocusCore and your route to trading in Myanmar.

We have received many enquiries from companies seeking more information following our recent blogs – on the Executive Order from The White House for the removal of Sanctions, and on Singapore the preferred route for investments into Myanmar.

The proposed lifting of sanctions is a major benefit to Myanmar. Sanctions have been increasingly liberalised in recent years. However you should note some detail here that is not widely reported.

It was after September 11, 2001 that President Bush introduced the Patriot Act. Section 311, of this Act, provides a range of options that can be adapted to target specific money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

However, the result of the Executive Order to lift sanctions is an “administrative exception” to suspend but not rescind the prohibition on US financial institutions facilitating trade with Myanmar.

This is a key point. Due to Myanmar heading a list of nations with the highest forecast for growth, many companies seek to get started in Myanmar. This is why FocusCore started in Myanmar, to help companies become incorporated and operate now in Myanmar.

Over recent years there have been a number of general licenses that authorised most transactions with Myanmar. Exceptions were sanctions relating to parties on the list of The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)*. This names Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, the SDN List, and sanctions on certain activities involving the Myanmar Ministry of Defence or any state or non-state armed group. Their findings led to the designation of Myanmar under Section 311 as a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern”.

So how can you invest in Myanmar and what does the lifting of sanctions really mean?

Changes planned following the Executive Order, terminating the sanctions, include:

– Parties blocked under the Myanmar sanctions have been removed from the SDN List.
– Any property that was blocked under the Myanmar sanctions is now unblocked.
The ban on the importation into the United States of Myanmar origin jadeite and rubies, and all
jewellery containing them, has been lifted.
– Compliance with the State Department’s Reporting Requirements is no longer required and is now
voluntary.
– All OFAC administered restrictions regarding banking or financial transactions with Burma are no
longer in effect, but FinCEN administered restrictions remain.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN, is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. The rules remain in place to guard against the flow of illicit proceeds, by demanding compliance with the due diligence programme requirements under the Patriot Act.

FinCEN’s cautious approach in dealing with Myanmar with respect to anti-money laundering matters may be seen as encouragement and recognition of Myanmar’s progress in improving its anti-money laundering regime and its commitment to progressing. FinCEN has indicated that it intends to rescind its action in its entirety when Myanmar has made sufficient progress in addressing the issues.

Clearly many companies wish to benefit sooner rather than later by entering this booming economy and operate with the correct permits, governance and procedures.

So how do you fund your operation in Myanmar? This is how FocusCore can help you.

If you transfer funds from USA to Myanmar, the transfer will be blocked. The 311 Act is aimed at the Central Bank of Myanmar. But Singapore has an AAA rating. As long as you have a Singapore bank account or you are linked to a legitimate business in Singapore there should no reason why that transfer will be blocked. Once the funds are in Singapore then they can be transferred to Yangon.

The Patriot Act, Section 311 is effectively imposed on the Central Bank of Myanmar, so blocking transfers. Following the Executive Order to lift sanctions (that has still to be passed in The Spring by The Senate in the US) US firms will be able to trade with Myanmar but the banks cannot facilitate trade.

The USA is opening up to working more with Myanmar. If you establish your Myanmar corporate structure in the correct way, to facilitate an authorised business type, then you should not have any block on your fund transfers.

As we have said, The Section 311 blocks funds from the USA to Myanmar directly. FocusCore, based in many locations across Asia, including Myanmar and Singapore, can assist you with the correct legal structures, approved by the Singapore authorities so you can remit funds into Myanmar. We help you follow all the rules on corporate governance and with background checks, due diligence, KYC etc.

(Know your customer, KYC, is the process of a business, identifying and verifying the identity of its clients. The term is also used to refer to regulation which governs these activities).

We in FocusCore take great pride in being fully up-to-date and fully compliant with all these elements and operate with the latest technologies.

Contact us now so we can guide you on your route to open your company in Myanmar.

We also provide a wide range of corporate services to help you grow in this economy – an economy that holds the top spot in global forecast ratings for annual growth.

Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation supports public-private agreements to develop airports.
11 Nov

Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation supports public-private agreements to develop airports.

The Department of Civil Aviation Myanmar (DCA), the government agency operating under The Ministry of Transport, is planning to obtain approval for public-private invested upgrades for airports across Myanmar. This will be for operations management, renovation and development of the facilities. This is important news as :-

1) Redevelopment of airports’ operations demands a huge range of skills and technologies.
2) Projects would be under public-private partnership agreements, (PPP).
3) The Myanmar Government is now encouraging PPP agreements.

In the past, when compared to other ASEAN countries, Myanmar was seen as being rather restrictive in terms of PPP policies. There had been some developments under the National Comprehensive Development Plan. But there were no definable PPP laws or a government agency. No guidelines existed for PPP projects that could cover ports and airports, toll roads, inter-city and urban rail transport, water resources, telecommunications and communications. This has now changed. There are now clear government policies and guidelines for PPP agreements. The projects are usually long term and high value.

You may have seen our previous blogs reporting on growth in the Myanmar construction sector, following the on-going reforms in Myanmar. Now airports across Myanmar are in the spotlight with opportunities for funding by private capital sources. Myanmar has 25 operating airports with commercial flights. Following development it is envisaged that some regional airports will also be upgraded to receive international flights.

In the years prior to Myanmar’s independence the task to provide civil aviation for Myanmar was granted to the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Then, following independence on 4 January 1948, changes started allowing for the development of Myanmar’s own civil aviation services. The authorisation of PPP agreements for all the airports across Myanmar will provide enormous opportunities.

One example of a PPP agreement in operation is the new Hanthawaddy International Airport, which will be operational by Autumn 2019. The total project will be completed in 2022 making Hanthawaddy International the premier gateway for entry into Myanmar. The consortium won the tender in October 2014. This privately operated airport is designed for a handling capacity of initially 12 million passengers, growing to 30 million and has a budget of US $ 1.5 billion.

FocusCore opened in 2014 and is working in this rapidly growing economy. We help companies become established here. The potential budgets in PPP agreement are very substantial*. We are here so you can focus on your business and rapidly open your company in Myanmar.

*Reports indicate that infrastructure spend required to support Myanmar forecast growth of 8% per year up to 2030 is estimated to be US $ 320 billion, including 60% of the investment required for residential and commercial real estate; Power generation US $ 66.6 billion; Transport infrastructure US $ 40 billion.

Record levels of foreign investment in Myanmar – why is this now important for your company?
08 Nov

Record levels of foreign investment in Myanmar – why is this now important for your company?

Foreign Direct Investment has a catalytic effect on a country, which can trigger a sooner than expected demand for products and services. We have listed here many of the changes, results and reforms that are transforming Myanmar with links to many of our blogs on these subjects. This is the time you should call us to discuss where, when and how you enter Myanmar.

The order by President Obama to lift the economic and financial sanctions has driven up the pace of development in Myanmar with levels of foreign investment that have surpassed all previous figures.

The widely publicised political and economic reforms in Myanmar have steadily encouraged more foreign direct investment, FDI.

The economic growth forecasts for Myanmar show levels that lead the world with 8.4 percent GDP for this year. Now, with the news regarding US sanctions being lifted, even higher levels of foreign investment are forecast, with estimates of over US $ 9 billion. In 2003 the figure was US $ 3 billion. (See our blog on US Sanctions removed).

Why is FDI potentially important for your company, even if you are not yet in Myanmar?

FDI is key for Myanmar and indeed for any developing economy. It reduces the economic gaps between countries. It allows growth that is faster than normal due to investment from international companies. This acts as a catalyst. For example, the huge growth in mobile Internet access has led to demand for technical products much quicker than expected, with rapid positioning for market share. This followed the rapid construction of a new larger telecommunications infrastructure. (See our blog on Telecommunications).

There have also been announcements supporting public private joint venture partnerships, PPP, for all airports across Myanmar. The list of projects and developments is extensive. They provide demands for a very wide range of skills, products and services. Your company could now be vital!

A key role for FocusCore is to help companies start in Myanmar. The trend for overseas investment is now exceeding all expectations. The trend is gaining even more momentum as the Government of Myanmar continues to make more constitutional, legal and tax reforms. Whether for public-private partnerships (PPP) or new companies that via The new Foreign Investment Law can soon be 100 percent owned by the foreign investors. This is in addition to the planned New Company Act, that will update governance regulations and encourage investment via The Yangon Stock Exchange. (See our blog on the new Foreign Investment Law).

There are incentives for Special Economic Zones, policies to encourage exports, and tax benefits for a wide range of activities including manufacturing and real estate. Investors who have not hesitated have seen good returns. Already, some investors have realised spectacular profits for land purchase and construction projects.

The geographic position of Myanmar is becoming increasingly important as transport and logistics improve. Our recent blog reported on the huge markets that adjoin Myanmar. These countries also have an expanding consumer base, albeit not in an economy with 8.4 percent growth, but they all offer huge markets for product and services from Myanmar.

The growth in Myanmar was steadily increasing even before the removal of sanctions. This has been clearly visible with the increasing number of companies arriving in Myanmar from overseas, adding to those from the APAC region. China has been the main investor region, with investment figures of over US $ 3 billion. Now this lead position has changed and is surpassed by funds arriving via Singapore totalling over US $ 4 billion. (See our blog on Singapore being the N°1 investor in Myanmar).

Major global brand names from the USA and other countries already have manufacturing plants in Myanmar. Their operations will now be much easier, post sanctions. Why? The lifting of sanctions is more than just a filter on some trading. It means much more. Restrictions on banking have been removed allowing US Banks to be actively involved with groups of companies from many countries.

Japan has already been very active with major projects in Myanmar. (See our blog on The Japan International Agency). There is also activity from European companies – all these investing companies are seeing an economic environment in Myanmar that presents enormous long term potential.

Bookmark our blog pages here so you can keep ahead of the curve.

Contact us now to discuss how you can start your company operations in Myanmar.

Singapore is now the largest investor in Myanmar.
17 Oct

Singapore is now the largest investor in Myanmar.

Recent figures released show that Singapore has overtaken China as the top investor in Myanmar. The figures include indirect investment from America and European Union Countries. Now Singapore has 55% of the total foreign direct investment and over $519 million. Why?

One has to look back and recognise the ASEAN Agreement. Under Article 1 of the Agreement the objectives are to create a free and open investment regime in the ASEAN Member States*. An integrated investment area, maintaining preferential treatment among Member States, creating a transparent investment environment in ASEAN. In other words, scrutiny on investments from non ASEAN sources.

Then there is the matter of controls on investment into Myanmar introduced by the USA. Many of these controls are being released but all these matters together demanded solutions, in order to get investment funds into Myanmar. Singapore provides the route, as an ASEAN country, authorised to invest in accordance with the ASEAN Agreement.

There are plenty of incentives. For 2016, financial forecasts from the IMF see Myanmar as the fastest growing economy, with growth of 8.6 percent. Still in a phase of development, with rapid change and huge opportunities, Myanmar is clearly attracting growing foreign direct investment (FDI) within ASEAN and further afield. The ongoing economic reforms are continually encouraging this growth.

You may have seen our previous blog on The New Investment law, so expect investment levels to continue to rise further. It has never been easier nor more lucrative to invest in Myanmar.

FocusCore opened in Myanmar to facilitate exactly this process – to help you launch your company in Myanmar. We can help you through the processes for your company establishment, Visa and Work Permits applications, to office facilities and to provide legal and bookkeeping services.

Contact us now for more details on the sectors benefiting from this growth in investments and the special economic zones.

*The Governments of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”).

USA investment sanctions on Myanmar removed
17 Oct

USA investment sanctions on Myanmar removed

On September 14, President Obama met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and announced plans to lift U.S. sanctions on Myanmar. The announcement is a major and historic step forwards for Myanmar.

The three page Executive Order was issued by The White House. American sanctions had been authorised under what was known as the National Emergencies Act – note that this was introduced in May 1997. This is a major change and huge plus for Myanmar.

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America…….I hereby determine and certify that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive, and hereby waive, the sanctions…….. This order is effective at 1:00 p.m. eastern daylight time on October 7, 2016.
“It is the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of Burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government” President Obama.

“We think that the time has now come to remove all the sanctions that hurt us economically, because our country is in a position to open up to those who are interested in taking part in our economic enterprises. We would like to invite all of you to come to see our country, to see why you should invest there, and see how you can invest there in such a way that you will benefit from it as much as we can.” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She added that economic development was essential to bring peace to the country. “Unity also needs prosperity, because people, when they have to fight over limited resources, forget that standing together is important…We want to make sure that our people are better off materially in order to strengthen our political initiative.”

Clearly The Government in Myanmar seeks and will now benefit from investments from the USA. The sanctions had been designed to block individuals and companies. The speed and scope of the changes have surprised some observers. Some sanctions had been lifted in 2012 and US firm GE quickly established a presence in Myanmar (see below, GE’s view on Myanmar). Now there is a level playing field for investors and this will be especially helpful for small and medium sized companies in Myanmar. American companies also benefit as they now have a wider choice of business partners in Myanmar.

You may have seen our recent blog that reports on Singapore as now the premier investor over the historic funding source leader, China. The removal of these sanctions will further bolster investments from countries in addition to China and also broaden the range of companies to whom funding will be available. There was a pattern of Government projects being funded by China. Now with a much broader range of funding sources more projects will emerge for funding within commercial sectors.

The 2016 IMF financial forecast for Myanmar growth of 8.6%, the fastest growing economy, has already been attracting investors. Now, it is hard to think of any other one change that could do more to ramp up further the speed of economic growth in Myanmar.

This really is a huge step and improvement for Myanmar and must surely remove any vestiges of hesitation for any firm viewing Myanmar’s lucrative economic future.

This is exactly the forecast we had planned and hoped for when FocusCore opened in Myanmar in February 2014. Legal and tax reforms have continued to enhance growth, forecasts and results. Our objectives, to help companies start their business operations in Myanmar and offer our full range of specialist and corporate support services will now also be able to assist more direct investments from the USA.

*In the words of GE (General Electric) “Myanmar is the new sweet spot for growth in ASEAN…” (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

Contact us now to fast track your planning and benefit from our knowledge base of laws, regulations and procedures in Myanmar.