Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs what plans are in place to assist Singapore companies with interests in Myanmar in managing the junta’s new regulations requiring exchange of foreign currency according to a mandated rate.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan: The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) announced on 3 April 2022 that all foreign currency deposited in banks in Myanmar must be converted to the Myanmar Kyat at a mandated rate within one business day. Subsequently on 20 April 2022, the CBM exempted certain entities from the directive including approved foreign investments, foreign missions and international organisations.
This latest development is yet another setback to Myanmar’s economy, which has already been severely disrupted since the military coup on 1 February 2021. The Singapore Embassy in Yangon, like many other foreign embassies and international business chambers, has expressed our concerns about the impact of the CBM’s directive on Singapore companies operating in Myanmar. We have sought clarification over the scope of the regulations and requested for exemptions to be applied to Singapore companies and we are still waiting for CBM’s response.
Given the heightened uncertainty associated with doing business in Myanmar, Singapore companies must make their own commercial assessments about the Myanmar market.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
9 May 2022