Myanmar

ASEAN Market Watch: Cambodian Corruption, Telecoms Bidding in Myanmar, and Increasing Philippine Trade Deficits

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Cambodia: Cambodia Ranked as ‘Most Corrupt’ Country in the Region

Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Cambodia as the ‘Most Corrupt’ country in Southeast Asia. Cambodia score was 21 out a possible 100 points, which is the same as the country’s score in 2014.

Cambodia’s Anti-Corruption Unit Chairman, Om Yentieng dismissed the score. Meanwhile, Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International (T.I.) Cambodia said that the country’s score landed it in the ‘highly corrupt’ category. Local analysts believe that graft in the judicial system is responsible for the low ranking.

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AEC in Practice – What Can Foreign Investors Do Now?

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By: Mareike Entzian

Much like the European Union, the ASEAN Economic Community is founded on several unchanging pillars. The community is supposed to create a single market and production base, support one another in increasing competitiveness, close gaps of an economic nature and other disparities, and to further integrate with the global economy. 

In a previous article , we laid out the relationship between ASEAN’s largest markets and Germany, and we will now explain what investors can do to act on this potential. In a survey conducted by Germany Trade and Invest, German firms operating within ASEAN indicate that they are excited by new opportunities presented by the AEC and are ready to seize them. However, unlike their invested counterparts, companies not yet operating in the region continue to register reservations about committing capital. This hesitance has led German firms to fall behind other competitors, such as Japan, who have been successfully leveraging tariff removals and other benfits of found within the region.

To understand the AEC, it is paramount to be aware of its geopolitical background as well its fundamental differences to the European Union. Once it is clear that, although on paper the AEC looks like the European Union, it remains a long way from the EU’s level of integration, it becomes clear what investors can do to operate successfully.

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Myanmar Opens New Stock Exchange – Beginning of New Economic Era?

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By: Fernando Vidaurri

Shwedagon PagodaOn December 9, 2015, Myanmar’s new stock exchange – the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) – opened with big expectations. However, despite the grand opening and the US $24 million investment, the bourse will not be operational until February of 2016, or later. So is this really the beginning of a new economic era, or is the new move by the administration being rushed before the country is ready?

Myanmar has come a long way from being isolated from the world community under a military regime, to becoming an attractive investment destination. In fact, during the fiscal year 2014-2015 Myanmar managed to attract US $8 billion in FDI despite some economic sanctions still being in place. However, the fact remains that there are still many factors that can keep the country from reaching its full economic potential. Still optimism is prevalent, and with many favorable factors aligning Myanmar seems to be at the right place at the right time for investors.

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ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Philippines’ New Tax Treaties, FDI Changes for Myanmar, and Ride Hailing Apps in Indonesia

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In this edition of ASEAN Regulatory Brief, ASEAN Briefing takes a closer look at new tax treaties negotiated by the Philippines, changes to Myanmar’s foreign investment laws, and ride hailing services in Indonesia.

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ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Brunei’s New Finance Rules, Eased Export Restrictions for Myanmar, and a Fight Against Graft in Indonesia

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In this edition of ASEAN Regulatory Brief, ASEAN Briefing takes a closer look at Brunei’s new finance regulations, the US’s eased export restrictions for Myanmar, and a fight against corruption in Indonesia.

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Nationality and Residence Requirements for Directors across ASEAN – Part Two

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Steven Elsinga

In the previous article we began our discussion on nationality and residence requirements for member of the Board of Directors. We now continue with the remaining five ASEAN nations, where we shall come across both the most restricted and the most liberal regime. Vietnam will be examined separately at our sister website Vietnam Briefing.

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ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Myanmar’s Internet, SIM Card Regulation, and Thailand’s Business Collateral Act

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In this edition of ASEAN Regulatory Brief, ASEAN Briefing takes a closer look at regulations over Myanmar’s internet and mobile SIM cards, as well as Thailand’s new Business Collateral Act.

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Foreign Investment Restrictions across ASEAN: An Overview of the Region’s “Negative Lists” – Part Three

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Steven Elsinga

This is the third installment in the series on FDI restrictions in ASEAN. Please click on the following to read Part One and Part Two

The final part of this series turns to the remaining three ASEAN nations: Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar. Of these, Malaysia is by far the most developed and has the most sophisticated and mature legal system. Here, we see that restrictions are mostly imposed due to domestic political reasons. Most investment restrictions specifically targeted at foreigners have been removed in recent years.

Laos and Myanmar are underdeveloped countries eager to attract foreign investment. As such, their investment policies are quite liberal on paper. However, as these countries are still in the early stages of developing a reliable rule of law, the situation on the ground may differ.

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An Overview of IFRS Adoption in ASEAN – Part Three

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By: Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Maxfield Brown

ato-tax-refundIn this final installment on the Association of South East Asian Nation’s (ASEAN) adoption of International financial reporting standards, ASEAN Briefing touches on the state of harmonization in the Philippines as well as the regional bloc’s frontier economies. 

Unlike previous installments, nations covered herein present divergent opportunities for investment. The Philippines – an original member of ASEAN 6 – has a long history of financial reporting requirements, and its transition from national GAAP to IFRS is largely representative of previously covered member states.

ASEAN’s frontier economies on the other hand offer investors a relatively blank slate. The absence of preexisting regulatory infrastructure has enhanced and – in several instances – allowed swift and uncompromised convergence with international standards to take place. Although implementation of IFRS promises to reduce compliance costs for wholly owned foreign investment projects, lagging local penetration of accounting practices among other issues mandates a careful selection of local partners.

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ASEAN Regulatory Brief: New Shipment Inspection in the Philippines, Regulatory Shifts in Thailand, and Dollar Restrictions in Myanmar

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In this edition of ASEAN Regulatory Brief, ASEAN Briefing covers opposition by shippers in the Philippines to new inspection regulations, the splitting of the Thai aviation authority, and restrictions on the use of dollars in Myanmar’s tourism sector.

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