Directorate of Investment and Company Administration
The Establishment and Role of DICA
As part of its efforts to establish a market oriented economic system in Myanmar, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) was formed under the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development on October 13, 1993.
As the primary interface between businesses and the government, DICA is mandated to promote private sector development and to boost domestic and foreign investment by creating a conducive investment climate. DICA has several functions:
- as a regulator on investment and companies
- as a company registrar
- as an investment promotion agency
- and as the Secretariat of Myanmar Investment Commission(MIC).
Furthermore, DICA is also responsible for drafting, negotiating and approving bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements and serves as a focal department for all ASEAN investment related affairs (e.g. ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement, bilateral ASEAN Investment Agreements).
2013: A One Stop Service (OSS) center was established within the DICA headquarters in Yangon to facilitate coordination and the engagement of businesses with other ministries.
2014: DICA moved its headquarter from Nay Pyi Taw to Myanmar’s economic center Yangon to easily cooperate with investors. At the same time DICA started to branch out to other states and regions, with first branches opening up in Nay Pyi Taw, Taunggyi, Mawlamyine and Mandalay.
2015: DICA expanded by 128 members of staff to support DICA’s role as a facilitator of the business community and its commitment to deliver better services. Processes of company registration and investment application are simplified and properly documented to make doing business easier in Myanmar. Myanmar improved by 29 ranks in the indicator “Starting a business” of the Doing Business Report, making it the country with the biggest improvement in the ease of starting a business in 2014/15. The first Myanmar Investment Fair was organized by DICA in Mandalay.
2016: A new website was launched to provide better information and services. Other branch offices were already opened in Pathein, Dawei, Monywa and Hpa-An .
2017: The Myanmar Investment Rules – which explain the compliance requirements of the Myanmar Investment Law (MIL) and the way the MIL will be interpreted – were agreed by Parliament in March and came into effect, with the MIL, from April 2017.
DICA is also playing a key role in the next phase of regulatory reform, amendment of the century-old Myanmar Companies Act 1914, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Following a comprehensive survey of companies, DICA published the Cost of Doing Business in Myanmar 2017 report which offers a detailed guide to, amongst others, the cost of office accommodation, staffing, company setups, importing and exporting, and utilities in Myanmar.
DICA played an active role in enhancing the investment climate in Myanmar with a significant contribution to reforming the regulations governing investment and business activity with development of the MIL and Rules. The MIL, which replaced the Foreign Investment Law 2012 and Myanmar Citizen Investment Law 2013, was approved by Parliament in October 2016. DICA provided further assistance to investors looking to start businesses in Myanmar with publication of the booklet, How to Register Your Company in Myanmar.