Myanmar allows up to 80% of foreign investment in agriculture sector

Eleven Myanmar| 3 August 2018

Myanmar allows up to 80% of foreign investment in agriculture sector

by: Zeyar Nyein
A farmer walks past the harvester in a paddy field in Kangyidauk, Ayeyawady. Photo: GNLM/Phoe Khwar

Foreign businesses have been allowed to invest up to 80 percent in Myanmar's agriculture sector instead of 49 percent, according to Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

"Previously, the agriculture sector seemed to protect local businesses. At that time, a foreigner was allowed to invest 40 percent while a national had the chance to invest 51 percent. The restrictions were eased in 2016. The new law allows a lot more joint-venture businesses in agriculture sector. Now, a foreigner can invest up to 80 percent," said Than Aung Kyaw, deputy director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

With this permission, investments in rice mills have increased to a certain degree. More investments have come to seed production businesses as foreigners are allowed to invest fully in them.

"More investments come to seed production sector because foreigners have the opportunity to invest 100 percent," said Than Aung Kyaw.

MIC is expecting more foreign investment in manufacturing value-added products in the country's agriculture sector.

"We expect to manufacture more value added agriculture products," he said.

According to MIC, local and foreign investment in Myanmar's agriculture sector has represented only less than 1 percent of the total investment in all sectors.

Data from the DICA shows that up to June this year, foreign investment in the agriculture sector was valued at US$5.650 million. From 1988-1989 to 2017-2018 fiscal years, the value of foreign investment in the agriculture sector amounted to US$390.001 million.  

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