Published July 30, 2018
By Thiha Ko Ko@Myanmar Times
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has issued its standard operating procedure (SOP) for retail and wholesale business registrations as well as a list of products allowable for trade.
The updates were announced on July 26, more than two months after notification (25/2018) was officially released, allowing retail and wholesale services run by wholly-owned foreign companies and joint ventures involving foreigners to operate in the country
The MOC said the list of products will provide specific information and make clear the type of goods allowed to be traded in Myanmar. The list includes 24 products and items, such as consumer goods, which includes clothes, watches and cosmetics, foodstuff, which includes agricultural, fishery, animal and instant products, beverages and locally-produced liquor, household and kitchen items, drugs and medical equipment as well as vehicles and vehicle parts (see table).
The SOP to apply for retail and wholesale services registration includes specifying the type of company, procedure for retail and wholesale operations, lowest investment amount, land area, if the business involves opening shops or enterprises and the registration period.
The move has been lauded by most local businesses. “We really welcome the opening up of the retail and wholesale sector to foreign investments,” said U Myo Min Aung, the vice chair of Myanmar Retailers Association.
Already, foreign investor interest in Myanmar’s retail sector is rising fast, with Japan and Thailand exploring opportunities to bring supermarkets and department stores into the country, according to the Directorate of Invest-
ment and Company Administration.
On the flipside though, foreign investments are expected to have an impact on small mom-and-pop retailers. Other businesses, such as those that manufacture and sell local food products, could also suffer from competition due to the lack of funds and technology to scale production.
“It is important to take into account the difficulties faced by smaller businesses as a result of this move to open up the sector. On this front, we will discuss and submit suggestions to the government on how to deal with the issues,” said U Myo Min Aung.
Original Source: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/moc-releases-list-retail-wholesale-goods-open-foreign-investment.html