Myanmar will designate six main commercial cities as free trade zones under a new special economic zone law to be enacted in the near future, the local weekly Myanmar Times quoted the Forestry Ministry sources as reporting Friday.
The six free trade zones will be Thilawa Port in Yangon, Mawlamyine in Mon state, Myawaddy and Hpa-an in Kayin state, Kyaukphyu in Rakhine state and Pyin Oo Lwin in Mandalay division, the sources disclosed.
Foreign investors making direct investment in the free trade zones will be categorically exempted from taxation ranging from a minimum of one year to a maximum of eight years, it said, adding that five prospective sectors, outlined by the government, are production; high-tech; agriculture, livestock breeding and forestry; transport and communications; and banking services.
Specifically, income derived from such investment in the production and communication sectors for the first five years will be totally exempted from taxation, while that in the sector of high-tech for the first eight years, in the sector of agriculture, livestock breeding and forestry for the first two years, and in the sector of banking services for the first one year will also be so handled, the sources said.
Once the new special economic zone law is promulgated, it is expected that 200,000 job opportunities will be created, it also predicted.
According to the sources, some Malaysian companies are proposing to establish wood-based industrial zones in Myanmar when the law comes out.
The new special economic zone law has reportedly been completely drafted for enactment, aiming to absorb inflow of more foreign investment into the country to promote its economic development.
According to the latest official statistics, contracted foreign investment in Myanmar has reached 13.917 billion U.S. dollars and 402 projects since the country opened to such investment in late 1988.