The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) of Myanmar has announced that the governments of Singapore and Myanmar have commenced negotiations in August 2017 on an investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA). Myanmar has already signed similar IPPAs with China, India, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Israel, Kuwait, Japan and South Korea.

Singapore has been one of the top investors in Myanmar for the last five years and has supported Myanmar’s recent economic transition. Investments by Myanmar businesses into Singapore have increased as “local” Myanmar companies have capitalised on the country’s economic prosperity. An IPPA between the two nations would strengthen their relationship and encourage safer investments into both countries.

The IPPA would provide:

  • Enhanced two-way investment flows by boosting both economies;
  • Fair and equitable treatment of investments;
  • Protection of bilateral investments for Singaporean and Myanmar businesses;
  • Nondiscriminatory treatment of investments (including compensation for losses due to force majeure, war and expropriation);
  • Free transfer abroad of investment and returns; and
  • Settlement of investment disputes.

It is expected that the Myanmar and Singapore IPPA negotiations will be concluded by the end of 2017. Myanmar is also finalizing IPPA negotiations with the European Union and Hong Kong, and is currently negotiating IPPAs with Bangladesh and Russia.