Myanmar Law May Entice Paper and Metal Recyclers

New Foreign Investment Law designed to attract basic materials producers and recyclers to nation.

January 23, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

The government of Myanmar has passed a new Foreign Investment Law that may make it easier for basic materials producers and recyclers to operate in the nation.

The law, passed in late 2012, is described in a Reuters report as allowing overseas companies to “fully own ventures and offers tax breaks and lengthy land leases.”

Myanmar President Thein Sein, eager to attract foreign investment, reportedly had to overcome resistance from legislators representing some business owners in Myanmar who have enjoyed monopolies extending back years or decades.

According to Reuters, Myanmar-language state newspapers have reported that “joint ventures between foreigners and Myanmar citizens or the government [are now] permitted with any stake ratio agreed between the partners.”
However, some industry sectors considered “sensitive” may yet have 50 percent or 35 percent foreign ownership limits placed upon them, according to Reuters, which pointed to agriculture as one such sector.

According to Pe Kyaw Htin, president of the Myanmar Pulp and Paper Industry Association (MPPIA), the new law allows “50 percent joint venture [ownership] for recycled-content paper [mill] investors.”

In 2012, Myanmar was not among the 66 nations reporting steel production figures to the Brussels-based WorldSteel Association. The nation reportedly imports most of its steel from Thailand, China and South Korea.