On November 17, 2017, the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce issued Notification No. 55/2017, under section (13) (B) of the Import and Export Law, which grants permission for joint ventures (JV) between foreign and domestic companies to carry out the retail or wholesale trade of agricultural machinery.

The Notification provides that any foreign-domestic JV company that wishes to trade in agricultural machinery must:

  • be a locally incorporated company permitted to trade under Myanmar law;
  • have met the equity-ratio requirements for foreign-domestic JV companies, as prescribed by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, when it was registered;
  • have permission to sell agricultural machinery retail or wholesale; and,
  • if the company is also applying for an Importer/Exporter Registration Certificate, have submitted standard Directorate of Investment and Company Administration forms 6 and 26, with a bank statement attached.

If the requirements are met, qualifying companies will be able to operate on the same basis as local companies. A list of the types of machinery which they are entitled to trade is appended to the Notification as a list of HS Codes, and is subject to change as necessary.

Part of a broad program of modernizing reforms, the Notification is intended to promote growth and mechanization in the farming industry and represents a bold opportunity for foreign investment in a sector with exceptional room for development. It came into effect immediately upon publication.