Negotiations for a Japan-Myanmar bilateral investment treaty are set to pave the way for Myanmar’s progress towards democratization, with the help of Japanese firms expanding in the country.

Foreign affairs and economic ministry officials will meet in the capital, Naypyidaw. Japan hopes to sign an investment treaty with the previously closed economy of Myanmar, envisioning a potential market for Japanese firms.

The treaty will obligate Myanmar to grant Japan a favorable investment treaty as it seeks ‘most-favored-nation’ status. Japan wants Myanmar to refrain from enacting laws that would force foreign companies to locally transfer technologies and procure materials.

Myanmar is the only ASEAN member Japan had not signed an investment pact with and is targeting the treaty’s signature on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in November. The untapped market will potentially improve its demand for power, roads and other infrastructure, making its market preferable for other nations to invest in, following the lifting of US sanctions.