Andre Gan and Kenneth See
A. LEGISLATION AND RULES
International arbitration in Myanmar continues to be governed by the Arbitration Law 2016 (Union Law No. 5/2016) (“Arbitration Law“), to which no legislative amendment has been made since.
To recap, arbitration is defined as being international if:
(a) the place of business and trading activity of at least one party is outside Myanmar at the time of the execution of the arbitration agreement;
(b) the place to conduct arbitration in accordance with the arbitration agreement is outside Myanmar and that place is different from the parties’ place of business;
(c) the place where a substantial part of the obligations is to be performed or closest connection to the subject matter of the dispute is different from the parties’ place of business; or
(d) the parties expressly agree that the subject matter of the arbitration agreement is related to more than one country.
A.2 Institutions, Rules and Infrastructure
As previously mentioned, the Myanmar Arbitration Centre (MAC) was launched by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in August 2019.
There have been no changes to the Arbitration Rules of the MAC.
Myanmar acceded to the New York Convention in July 2013. The Arbitration Law provides for the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards made in the other New York Convention member states.
The first successful application for recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award was reported in December 2019. The foreign arbitral award was made pursuant to an arbitration matter filed with the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (JCAA). The application by the claimant/judgment creditor in the Myanmar courts took around eight months before an order for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award was granted. It also bears highlighting that the respondent filed a duplicative civil suit in the Myanmar courts after the JCAA arbitration had commenced. This civil suit was preliminarily dismissed by the Myanmar courts on the grounds of res judicata. The respondent has filed an appeal against the dismissal of its civil suit and the order for the recognition and enforcement of the foreign arbitral award.
 Section 3(i), Arbitration Law.