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Lacking training, Mon State Investment Committee has no real power

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The recently formed Mon State Investment Committee has been unable to begin work on soliciting and regulating investment because of a lack of direction from the Union investment body that formed it. Members of the Committee, which was formed on July 7, say they are waiting for the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) to train them on implementing investment procedures in the state.

“We have formed a committee and the MIC has already drawn up procedures for how it should be operated, but we need to hold workshops and discussions about how to implement those procedures. That is why we don’t yet have real power,” said U Myint Lwin, secretary of the Mon State Investment Committee.

He added that once the committee is operating, there will be new opportunities for locals, and shorter wait times for investments of less than $5 million, which the state has the authority to regulate. Larger investments, as well as projects on government land or with significant environmental impact will still be coordinated by the Union government.

U Wanna Kyaw, another committee member, said, “It’s a good plan because we will no longer need to go up to the Union level to discuss local investments. We’ll be able to decide and choose companies on our own. We’ll also be able to solicit investments directly from companies looking to invest in various states and regions.”

The advantage of a state committee, he said, is that the Mon State government can focus on drumming up investments for the state directly. The committee plans to meet every two weeks to discuss which companies should be allowed or encouraged to invest.

Currently, only Mawlamyine Cement Limited, which produces cement in Kyaikmaraw Township and Long Light Co., Ltd, which operates a quarry in Paung Township, have received permits from the Union investment commission.

Additionally, Bedok Construction and Engineering Co., Ltd, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mon State government regarding its investment plans.

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