Plans are underway to allow fully foreign-owned companies the same export and import rights as local and mixed joint venture companies, U Khin Maung Lwin, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, has said.
At the moment foreign companies in joint ventures with local firms are allowed to import a limited range of items including fertilizers, pesticides, construction materials and vehicles but only companies in the manufacturing sector are allowed to export.
“Foreign owned manufacturing companies are only allowed to export their products into foreign markets. But specified companies in certain trading categories can import materials,” U Khin Maung Lwin said.
He added: “We don’t have to be in rush to allow trade for foreign companies. We have to go through the process step by step. We have concerns about local companies competing with foreign firms because of an unbalanced playing field”.
“Authorities should take five to six years to allow foreign companies to trade for the sake of protection to local companies,” said Dr Maung Maung Lay, Vice-President of the Union of Myanmar Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“In accordance with rules and regulations by the World Trade Organization, Myanmar has to allow foreign companies to trade. But it is a huge challenge for local firms,” he added.
Source: Myanmar Business Today