The Thilawa Special Economic Zone


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is the Thilawa SEZ only for Japanese investors?

A: No. The Thilawa SEZ is developed jointly by the Myanmar and Japanese governments and private companies; however, it is a general purpose Special Economic Zone for investors from any country. The Thilawa SEZ has so far receieved investors from Japan, China, Thailand, U.S.A, Myanmar, and Sweden. 

Q. Does an investor in the Thilawa SEZ need to get an investment permit from the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC)?

A: No. Investors in the Special Economic Zones in Myanmar are not under the ambit of the Foreign Investment Law, but under the Special Economic Zone Law, hence, they need to get the investment permit from the Management Committee of the respective Special Economic Zones, where they invest.

Q: In addition to application for Investment Permit, do the investors need to contact other government ministries, departments or agencies to apply for relevant licenses/permits?

A: No. Investors do not need to contact any other government ministries, departments or agencies. All required licenses/permits/approvals can be acquired from the One-Stop-Service-Center located inside the Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

Q: Do investors need to apply for import/export license each time they want to import like others in Myanmar?

A: No. Investors need to register the list of materials they want to import in advance with the Thilawa SEZ Management Committee. These lists can be in the form of (a) Master list, which is the list of machinery and equipment to be imported duty free (b) Material list, which is the list of raw materials, and (c) BOM list, which is the bill of materials showing what and how much raw materials are used for the manufacturing of one product.  These lists can be regularly amended. The importation of materials in the above-mentioned lists do not require import license at all.

Q: How could an investor be registered as a Free Zone investor?

A: An investor needs to export at least 75% of the production in value to be registered as a Free Zone investor, who is eligible to enjoy seven-year tax holidays. The companies such as logistics that support export-oriented manufactures can also be free zone companies. Domestic oriented manufacturing companies are regarded promotion zone companies and they are eligible to enjoy five-year tax holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Taxation

Q. What are the corporate tax incentives for investors?

A. If you are a free zone investor, you will be exempted for corporate tax for 7 years starting from commercial operation.

If you are a non-free zone investor (i.e. promotion zone investor), you will be exempted for corporate tax for 5 years starting from commercial operation.

Both free zone and non-free zone investors will get 50% exemption on corporate tax for the following 5 years; and another 50% exemption for the next five years if the profit of the year is reserved and reinvested.

Q. What are other tax incentives?

A. The commercial tax and customs duties on the imports of capital goods such as machinery, equipment, their spare-parts, construction materials and vehicles for operational use are 100% exempted for the whole approval period in the case of free-zone investors; however, they are 100% exempted only for 5 years from issued date of investment permit and 50% exempted for the following five years in the case of non-free zone investors

The commercial tax and customs duties on imports of raw materials are 100% exempted in the case of free zone investors; however, they are not exempted in the case of non-free zone investors. The commercial tax and customs duties paid by non-free zone investors on the imports of raw materials can be refunded if these imported materials are processed and exported.

The commercial tax and customs duties on the import of merchandise for trading, consigned goods and vehicles for operational use by duty-free wholesalers, export-related traders and service providers like logistic companies that are regarded as free zone investors.

Q. What other types of tax are relevant for free zone investors and non-free zone investors?

A. Please download the file that explains tax system in the SEZ as per the Myanmar SEZ Law from the following link.

Tax system in the Thilawa SEZ