Growing Southeast Asian economy Myanmar is now drawing up a foreign investment law that will mandate tax reductions in a bid to woo more investments into the country, particularly in less developed regions.
“Less developed regions in Myanmar could see an increase in investment if tax were to be reduced to make such business ventures more attractive,” the Department of Investment and Companies was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
These less developed areas include Chin, Kayah, and Rakhine states, where primary requirements are basic housing, road infrastructure, and access to electricity, which present potential areas of investment opportunities for international capitalists.
The agricultural sector will be given priority with regards foreign investments, said officials of the department.
According to the Myanmar Investment Commission, it has received over 80 submissions so far for fiscal year 2016-2017 from foreign and domestic companies intending to place investments in the country.
Of these proposals, over US$15 billion, or 30.89%, are in the electricity sector and $37.767 million, or 0.06%, are in the construction sector, statistics show.
Laos continues rapid growth
Meanwhile, another developing Southeast Asian nation, Laos, is expected to maintain a growth rate of some 7% in 2016, the same rate that helped it boast one of the fastest growing economies in the East Asia and Pacific region last year, according to figures released by the World Bank.
In an environment accompanied by low oil prices and subdued inflation, Laos in 2015 saw a half-percentage point drop in growth from the 7.5% posted in 2014.
Prospects for growth remain strong on the back of opportunities arising from the closer integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in transport, trade, production value chains, and tourism, according to the World Bank analysis.
“With its growing economy, the (Lao) government can take steps to improve Laos’ business environment and attract investment to create quality non-farm jobs and raise wages, while strengthening overall competitiveness,” World Bank country manager for Laos Sally Burningham said, as quoted by Xinhua.
On the risk side, the progress of economic transition in China and continuing slow growth in Thailand could place constraints on prospects for growth.
The report also found that the poverty rate in Laos had declined to 23.2% nationally.
VN enterprise shutdowns rise 19.5%
On the other hand, in Vietnam, the number of enterprises closing down in the first five months of this year is 4,643, up 19.5% against the same period last year, Vietnam’s Business Development Agency said.
Among the enterprises, 93.5% had a registered capital of below VND10 billion (US$444,000) each. Of the dissolved enterprises, 40.4% were one-member limited liability companies and 29.9% were two-member limited liability companies.
From January to May, besides the dissolved enterprises, 28,582 Vietnamese firms had to temporarily halt production or business after meeting difficulties, up 25.9% against the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the country saw 44,740 Vietnamese enterprises being established with total registered capital of VND349.5 trillion Vietnamese, recording respective year-on-year increases of 24.1% and 59.3%.
The firms set up in the first five months of this year are expected to create 531,900 jobs, up 2.6%, said the agency.