find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Burma opens to foreign investment

Burma opens to foreign investment

After decades spent in international isolation, the opening of Burma’s doors to foreign interests could provide opportunities for Australian firms, according to an investment expert.

Malcolm Brennan (pictured), a foreign investment specialist at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), has welcomed a new law, passed by the Burmese parliament last week, which allows foreign firms to own up to a 50 per cent stake in joint ventures with local partners.

“The opening of doors like this is always welcome,” Brennan told Lawyers Weekly. “When you’ve got the involvement of incoming foreign investment with a local partner, it can benefit both parties.”

As long-standing international sanctions are lifted, Burmese authorities hope the law will help regulate escalating attention from overseas investors and see it as the first step in the long process to reform the legal framework of investment.

Brennan believes Burma should look to the Australian model as an example, which during the early part of its foreign investment policy in the late 1980s also had a 50 per cent partnering requirement.

“Ultimately, a country must mature in a market to have the capacity to cope with 100 per cent foreign ownership,” he said. “It will need to monitor sensitive sectors like we do here, such as residential land, but the long-term aim is to become a player on the world stage and have free flow of foreign investment.”

“Burma needs foreign capital to expand and grow … it’s the hallmark of a developed economy when you have a free flow of foreign investment.”

A recent report by the Asian Development Bank - its first comprehensive assessment of the new regime in Burma - has predicted the country’s economy will grow by about six per cent in 2012 and 2013 on the back of commodity exports and a pick-up in foreign investment.

It also suggested that Burma, with a population of almost 50 million, could grow by up to eight per cent per year for a decade or more if the government continues to push more economic reforms.

With considerable natural resources and a geographical position between China and India, Burma could potentially be a lucrative market for foreign firms.

“When you’ve got a country coming from a low base like Burma, it will undoubtedly benefit from the growth that flows,” said Brennan. “Look at China, from a low base and in a short space of time, the world is now reliant on its continued growth and expansion."

It has been reported that Burma has already invited foreign firms to invest in the energy and resources sector, which could open opportunities for Australian law firms as professional services will be needed to serve the needs of those companies seeking to invest and operate in the country.

Brennan was unable to comment on whether KWM had any immediate plans to enter the Burmese legal market.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Burma opens to foreign investment
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Papua New Guinea flag
06:04
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
06:03
Punishing offenders twice pointless, politicians warned
The president of the Law Society of NSW has warned legislators from other states about adopting cont...
Dec 13 2017
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...