Myanmar Approved FDI for 2019 in Power Sector: All Projects Selected VDB Loi as Advisor (VDB Loi Insights)

31
Jan
2020

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HIGHLIGHT OF THIS MONTH
Myanmar Approved FDI for 2019 in Power Sector: All Projects Selected VDB Loi as Advisor

From our Energy and Infrastructure Team – Myanmar Office

We are very proud to hear that our firm’s strong position in the Myanmarpower sector was once again underscored by the financial reports of the Myanmar Investment Commission ("MIC"). The MIC reportslistnew investment in the country which has been approved by this authoritative body. Nearly all foreign investment in the power sector requires an MIC approval, so the reporting is widely followed by observers as an important indicator.

Up to November 2019, the total investment in the power sector amounted to almost 506 million US$. The entire investment, which is subdivided intojust a few projects, has been supported by VDB loi as its legal advisor, including managing the MIC process.

VDB Loi’s Senior Partner Edwin Vanderbruggen explains: "There were very few projects in 2019, actually. That is why we were able to cover all of the projects that received an MIC in 2019. But it still says something about our team’s capabilities,the confidence people have in us and our market position".

He continued: "Much more projects are in the pipeline, but they have not reached the MIC stage yet. You can’t apply to the MIC if you have not agreed your Power Purchase Agreement yet, and most do not have that."

VDB Loi is a leading legal and advisory firm with, besides Myanmar, offices in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia. In Myanmar the firm employs nearly 100 people, divided over several practices including Banking, Corporate, Disputes, Regulatory, Real Estate, Telecoms andEnergy & Infrastructure.

IN THIS ISSUE
Trademark
Myanmar Trademark Alert: Register Your Trademark as Soon as Possible
[From our Telecoms, Media and Technology Team – Myanmar Office]
After almost one year of enactment of the Myanmar Trademark Law 2019 (for our previous article about the law, please see here, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) has brought implementation of the law on schedule. A draft regulation of the Trademark Law has been circulated for comments, and the MOC is testing the new on-line filing systems for trademark registration
Power plant
How Are Power Projects Taxed in Cambodia?
[From Cambodia Office]
One of the key tax considerations that should be kept in mind in any investment project in Cambodia is the availability of the benefits under Cambodia’s investment incentives, specifically the tax incentives once the investment project is registered as a qualified investment project (“QIP”).
Offshore Loans
Central Bank of Myanmar Updates and Clarifies Criteria for Offshore Loans
[From our Corporate Commercial and M&A Team] – Myanmar Office
The Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) has recently made changes to the offshore loan criteria that it has published on its website. Clearer wording has been added in terms of the differences in requirements for companies holding permits from the Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”) and non-MIC companies.
Tax
Laos announced conditions for tax certificates
[From our Laos Office]
On 9 January 2020, the Ministry of Finance issued Notice No. 0031/CO (the “Notice”) to announce the necessary formalities for business entities to obtain their Tax Payment Certificates for the year 2019.
Highway
Yangon Elevated Expressway Project
[From our Energy and Infrastructure Team] – Myanmar Office
VDB Loi has been assisting as local legal counsel to the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), acting in its capacity as lead transaction adviser to the Ministry of Construction of the Government of Myanmar on the Yangon Elevated Expressway Project Phase 1, which is the first-ever international road Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) in Myanmar.
OUR UPCOMING EVENTS

RECENT VDB LOI WORK
Power Quickest turnaround time for regulatory approvals for a power project: Our Regulatory team understands that time is of the essence in major investment projects. They obtained several MIC permits in a record three weeks period.
Telecom Tower Microfinance institution financing in high gear: Our Banking and Finance team has been assisting a financial institution on its provision of a loan, through the EU Agriculture Financing Initiative (AgriFI), of up to US$3 million (local currency equivalent) to a microfinance institution in Myanmar.

The team has also been assisting a European impact investor on its lending to a microfinance institution in Myanmar.

Fuel Tank Fuel terminal acquisition: VDB Loi is advising a foreign inventor on the potential acquisition of a fuel terminal in Yangon region.
Beverages Beverages company acquisition: An asian beverages player has engaged our Corporate M&A team to assist with a proposed deal. We provided transactional assistance regulatory and MIC services.
Solar Commercial rooftop solar project: The Energy & Infrastructure team is drafting a power purchase agreement in relation to a commercial rooftop solar project in Yangon for a major Myanmar player.

VDB LOI NEWS
VDB Loi Shortlisted for Prestigious Award and Climbs in Legal 500 Rankings

With the 2020 legal rankings and awards season kicking off, VDB Loi is off to a promising start, with excellent rankings for its Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar practices. In addition, VDB Loi has also managed to land a spot on the coveted shortlist for the Asia Legal Awards in the Asian Technology and Innovation category.

2020 Legal 500 Rankings

2020 Asia Legal Awards

As Asia’s most distinguished ceremony for the legal elite, The Asia Legal Awards celebrates the finest work in the region. On 26 March 2020, Asia’s top lawyers, law firms, and in-house teams will gather to celebrate their most noteworthy achievements of the year.

This year, VDB Loi is proud to be shortlisted for the coveted Asian Technology and Innovation Initiative of the Year award alongside Norton Rose Fulbright and Herbert Smith Freehills, among others. This award recognizes law firms that use technology and innovation to improve efficiency and add value to their services. In this regard, VDB Loi has been nominated for its advanced AI-based platform featuring a digital legislation database, centralized document management system, Technocat (digital legal and proposal software developed by the Firm), and Microimage HCM human resources management system.

For more information on the awards, categories, and shortlist, please click here.

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