Laos Investment Incentives, Brunei Halal Certification, and Myanmar Livestock Exports – ASEAN Regulatory Brief

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Laos: Profit tax and land lease fee exemptions announced for tourism investors

According to Laos’ Deputy Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism, Ounethouang Khaophanh, foreign investors in the country’s tourism sector will be exempted from the payment of profit tax for four years and land lease fees for ten years. To qualify for the incentives, foreign investors should invest in the development of infrastructure and facilities at the country’s newly identified sites of tourist interest.

In 2016, a study commissioned by the government identified more than 2100 potential sites of tourist interest in the country. Only 40% of those sites have been developed into visitor sites. The government’s latest move comes as part of its bid to upgrade the country’s tourism infrastructure through funding from foreign investors.

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Brunei: Halal certification made mandatory for all food businesses

According to Brunei’s Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), all food businesses and restaurants in the country will now be required to obtain a Halal Certificate for their premises and a Halal Permit for their products. As per a recent notification, any individual owning a food business, including restaurants, stalls or canteens, must now secure a Halal Certificate. This regulation will also apply to individuals who make and sell food from home without distributing to a retailer or wholesaler.

Further, any individual who owns a food business that prepares food for distribution to a retailer or a wholesaler will be required to secure a Halal Permit for each kind of product sold. The Halal Permit will cost US$50 and will be valid indefinitely.

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Myanmar: Government indicates plan to lift ban on livestock exports

Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning and Finance has indicated that it will lift a current ban on livestock exports. The move comes as part of the government’s bid to boost the country’s agriculture and animal husbandry sector. The government is also planning to facilitate loans to farmers and support the whole supply chain of the country’s agricultural sector.

In a further move, the government is planning to set up designated agricultural trading zones across the country. The government will also issue slaughter licenses for livestock and allow export of animals and dairy products without any further restrictions.

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