As the primary interface between businesses and the government, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) is mandated to promote private sector development by boosting domestic and foreign investments. U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of DICA, is proud that Myanmar improved by 29 ranks in the indicator “Starting a business” of the Doing Business Report, making it the country with the biggest improvement in terms of easiness of starting a business in 2014/15.
European Times: What are your next goals for improving the business climate?
U Aung Naing Oo: Our focus is on legal framework improvement, which is the fundamental request from all the investors interested in coming to Myanmar, online registration of companies and “one stop shop.” The new investment law, the increase of online methods of registration of companies and the relocation of representative offices of key institutions in our own building, under one roof, are serious achievements. We offer consultations to companies at pre- establishment level, and after they are established, we offer a variety of services, including visa extensions, licenses, tax, and customs clearance.
European Times: Which are Myanmar’s development priorities and how can you assist them?
U Aung Naing Oo: Foreign direct investments are crucial, and in the last fiscal year we had US$8 billion FDI, which is US$3 billion more than anticipated, owing to increased activity in the energy, manufacturing and telecoms sectors. That reflects growing foreign interest in our untapped market, which is offering tax breaks and export tariff perks to create urgently needed jobs for our 50 million people. We need investment in labour intensive manufacturing in order to speed up job creation, as well as public-private partnerships (PPP) to improve our infrastructure. The new government has foreseen favourable quotations for investors willing to enter in PPP in infrastructure, and investments in deep seaports are crucial. We have to cooperate with the private sector, and we have to rely on trade with neighbouring countries, due to geographical limitations, while at the same time work on achieving the standards required by the US and EU markets.
European Times: What is your message to future investors?
U Aung Naing Oo: Myanmar is a business friendly country and DICA is here for everyone interested in doing business and we are willing to share our expertise and lend support. Additionally, DICA serves as a secretary to the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), which is the responsible body for investment applications. Come and invest in a country that is bordering markets which account for 40% of world population.