Legal experts at law firms still on the ground in Myanmar are cautious about the future of the country, with further sanctions designed to send a message to the military more likely to place greenfield foreign investment in jeopardy.
Myanmar declared a state of emergency on 1 February 2021 for up to one year under order No. 1/2021. During this period, the commander-in-chief of the defence services, Min Aung Hlaing, is in charge of the state, while vice president U Myint Swe serves temporarily as president.
Since then, business and companies have been closely monitoring developments in the country that may impact international businesses with interests or operations.
Julian Barendse, a counsel at Myanmar Legal MHM, expected that investors would be seeking reassurance that there would be a transparent, stable and predictable environment in which to conduct business during the term of the order.
“Recent assurances by the commander-in-chief that there would be no change in government policy may provide some comfort to investors,” Barendse told Asia Business Law Journal.
“However, it will be important for the Myanmar government to demonstrate its commitment to preserve investors’ existing rights, including under agreements with Myanmar government parties entered into prior to the order, and to take a transparent approach to regulation, including preserving existing laws and transparently publishing future laws.”