February 2020 – a busy month for Myanmar

February 2020 has seen significant legal developments in Myanmar.

First, the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Supreme Court of the Union, the Republic of the Union Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Guidance as to Enforcement of Money Judgments (MOG) on 10 February 2020.

The MOG explains the scenarios, rules and regulations for either country to enforce money judgments from the other based on their respective domestic legislation. While the MOG, like a similar one signed in August 2018 between the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, is not binding, it is understood and should be taken as an important step forward to facilitate understanding concerning the enforcement of money judgments between the two common law jurisdictions.

Four days later on 14 February 2020, Myanmar’s Parliament officially enacted the Insolvency Law 2020 following Presidential assent. This ground-breaking new legislation deals with both personal bankruptcy and corporate insolvency. Its corporate insolvency framework focuses on business rescue, includes tailored measures for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises which are the backbone to Myanmar’s economy, and adopts the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-border Insolvency.

ABLI is particularly pleased by these two developments which are areas of interest of our two flagship projects – Foreign Judgments Project and Restructuring Project. Last year, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China expressed interest in leveraging the Foreign Judgments Project to promote the signing of more MOGs, a vision that has been realized first by the Supreme Court of Singapore. We are also extremely proud that Mr Scott Atkins, Jurisdictional Reporter for Myanmar for our Restructuring Project, led the drafting of the new insolvency law with his colleagues at Norton Rose Fulbright over a three-year period. We can all look forward to a more detailed analysis of the new insolvency regime in the output of Phase-1 of the Restructuring Project when the Compendium is released in March.

It is hoped that both the MOG and the Insolvency Law 2020 will contribute to Myanmar’s further economic development by attracting more foreign investment to the country, deepening its economic cooperation with the outside world and encouraging entrepreneurship among its own people.

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