On 9 May 2018, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued the much anticipated Notification 25/2018 (Notification) permitting foreigners to trade either wholesale or retail, subject to certain conditions.
This is a huge move forward for foreign investment, because previously foreigners were only allowed to trade products if they had manufactured them in Myanmar, or wholesale under strict conditions through Thilawa Special Economic Zone. Otherwise a local distributor had to be used.
Provided the conditions below are met, trading can now be conducted by joint venture companies or foreign companies.
Capital Requirements for Foreign Companies
- Wholesale – initial investment of at least USD 5 million in commodities for sale excluding cost of lease
- Retail – initial investment of at least USD 3 million in commodities for sale excluding cost of lease
Capital Requirements for Joint Ventures
- Where equity ratio of Myanmar citizen/entity is 20% or above, in wholesale, at least USD 2 million excluding cost of lease
- Where equity ratio of Myanmar citizen/entity is 20% or above, in retail, at least USD 700,000 excluding cost of lease
- Where equity ratio of Myanmar citizen/entity is less than 20%, same capital requirements as for foreign companies above
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