Burma: Strict conditions dropped from investment law


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The Independent Online

Parliament adopted a much-anticipated foreign direct investment law yesterday, which is crucial to the government's ambitious plans for economic expansion in one of Asia's poorest countries.

The law drops several provisions in the original draft that had raised fears it could deter investors. The law was seen as one of parliament's most urgent tasks and was passed on the last day of its current session.

One proposal that was dropped would have required a minimum $5m (£3.15m) initial investment. The final version also allows foreign parties to hold a 50 per cent stake in joint ventures rather than limiting them to 49 per cent.

Almost five decades of military rule have kept the economy stagnant. Most of Burma's export earnings come from extractive industries, especially natural gas.