Welcome to the latest edition of our regular legal update from the A&P Myanmar office.
This week, we highlight new channels for people living and working overseas to send their salaries home, a review of Myanmar’s Development Assistance Policy, and guidance from the State Counsellor on COVID-19.
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New Licenses Granted for International Cash Transfers
People living and working in foreign countries will now find it easier to send their earnings home, after the Central Bank last week issued five new licenses for companies to provide international remittance services.
It is estimated that around four million people live and work overseas. The capital that these migrant workers send home added up to US$3 billion in 2019 – equivalent to 4.5 per cent of GDP. However, most cross-border transactions are unofficial and unregulated. It is hoped that these new licenses will make it cheaper, faster and safer for people to send their funds home, with more licenses reported to be in the pipeline soon.
These services are not available for business activities, so people wishing to transfer capital for commercial purposes will still need to use banks as before.
Development Assistance Policy under Review
Myanmar’s development assistance policy is set for an overhaul, according to reports from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade. First introduced in 2018, the policy outlined the assessment and evaluation criteria of development assistance bids and included guidelines on how to access support.
The new development assistance policy will feed into Myanmar’s Development Assistance Coordination Group, and aims to ensure greater alignment with the country’s ‘Sustainable and Balanced Development Plan’ covering the period 2018-2030.
State Counsellor Urges COVID-19 Vigilance
The State Counsellor has urged citizens to follow public health measures such as wearing face masks and remain at home as much as possible, following a small increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Writing on 23 November, Aung San Suu Kyi also asked people to read newspapers in order to keep up to date with the latest medical advice and developments during the pandemic. The State Counsellor added that official news sources will help citizens to better understand and follow the rules and regulations, rather than social media which often does not provide the full picture
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