Myanmar became independent from the British Commonwealth in 1948, after which the country experienced rule by a military junta based on an ideology called the Burmese Way to Socialism. Although a pro-democracy movement became active thereafter in 1988, Myanmar remained under the control of the military government for a long time. Then, in March 2011, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) was dissolved and the power was transferred to a newly established government headed by President Thein Sein, whereby the transition from the military rule to democratic government was realized.

The population of Myanmar exceeds 50 million, and with its hardworking people and inexpensive labor costs, the country is described as Asia's last frontier. The Thein Sein government has recently laid out a policy to promote the inflow of foreign capital with a view toward economic growth. As a result, there is a trend to gradually ease restrictions on foreign investments.

Against the backdrop of such circumstances described above, foreign direct investment into Myanmar, including those made by Japanese companies, is rapidly increasing.

Our Myanmar Desk will assist our clients in legal cases in Myanmar, including business expansion plans and investments therein by Japanese companies.


One of our lawyers is currently seconded to the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and is engaged in a capacity building program for the Myanmar government (SME Center, Ministry of Industry) (JICA program) as well as in a program supporting overseas expansion of Japanese small and medium enterprises (a program entrusted to by JETRO). In addition, we have another lawyer who is also currently seconded to a local law firm that has a huge presence all over Southeast Asia, including Myanmar. Also, the Intellectual Property Practice Group of our firm, which is actively engaged in intellectual property-related cases, is participating in the work currently underway for the enactment of intellectual property laws and establishment of an intellectual property office in Myanmar.

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