Real Estate

No 100 per cent Foreign Ownership in Real Estate

Date: 08 August 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Myanmar Times

Foreigners will not be allowed to own 100 percent in any real estate business in Myanmar, according to a draft Real Estate Service Law, but they can be allowed to go into partnership with citizens, U Aung Tun, vice chairman of the Myanmar Real Estate Services Development Association, said.

“In this draft law, foreign companies are not allowed to invest 100 percent. For sure if they are allowed to invest 100 per cent in real estate, local companies will have lesser opportunities,” he said in a conference in Nay Pyi Taw on Friday.

He said foreigners need to seek permission from the Myanmar Investment Commission if they want to go into partnership with Myanmar nationals or local companies.

U Tin Aung, chairman of the Myanmar Real Estate Services Development Association, said that currently, foreigners are doing real estate business in the country by cooperating with individuals and companies.

“Foreigners are advertising about their businesses. We don’t get any taxes [from them]. They’re robbing the rights of our citizens,” he criticized.

U Tin Aung added that although foreigners are able to transact directly with individuals and citizens, they were not able to be stopped due to lack of law governing the matter.

Moreover, U Tin Aung said when the association cooperated with the relevant government  departments to draw the draft law, some departments refused to include the above issue on the proposed bill.

“I assume that refusing by saying ‘we don’t want to do it or this matter does not concern with our department’ is the same meaning as denying working for our State to enforce proper taxes,” he said without mentioning the names of the departments.

Under the proposed bill real estate agencies that are not holding any license will need to secure temporary license once the bill is passed.

Once the law is passed, if one establishes agency without the proper licenses, he or she will be liable to a six-month imprisonment and/or a fine of K3 million (US$ 2045).

Persons 18-years-old and above can apply for licenses and so there will be no difficulties for everyone, U Tin Aung said.

“Prescribing the law doesn’t mean to restrict or punish the agents. We intend the agents who follow the regulations to hold the licenses to be able to operate their works with dignity,” he said. After the law is enacted, it is expected to lessen the false sales and loss of trust between buyers and sellers in real estate industry. Moreover, the government can collect more taxes.

The draft bill is already being finalized and will soon be submitted to the parliament, U Tin Aung said.

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