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Mon State establishes investment committee

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Mon State officials are trying to streamline investment projects via a new committee established to vet and approve proposals for the state.

The Mon State Investment Committee started on July 7 and is headed by Chief Minister U Aye Zan, with U Myint Lwin, deputy director of the Mon State Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, as secretary. The seven-member committee will meet twice weekly.

“We will decide on the issues that can be approved at the state level. We will seek Union-level approval for issues that can’t be decided by the state, for example, big projects that could harm the environment,” U Myint Lwin said.

State and region-level investment committees are permitted to review investments worth less than $5 million (K6 billion) without first seeking permission from Nay Pyi Taw. Investments above that threshold need to go through the central-level MIC, according to the MIC Notification Letter 11/2017, announced in March.

State and regional investment committees are supposed to be set up around the country, each one led by the respective chief minister.

“We need to scrutinize the companies that are investing in the state and decide on whether their projects should be allowed,” said U Wunna Kyaw, Mon State Minister of Planning, Finance, Immigration and Population, and a member of the investment committee.

The new Mon State committee plans to hold workshops to help explain and implement investment rules and regulations put into place by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, approved foreign investment last year dropped 30 percent from the year prior, declining to $6.65 billion from $9.48 billion. The largest investor last year was Singapore, followed by Vietnam. As of the May report, $923.59 million has been approved so far for 2017-2018.

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