Improving ease of doing business through legal reform

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Myanmar improved its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report by six positions last year, moving up from the 171st place to 165th out of 190 countries on the index.
The ease of doing business index report is released every year and is based on 10 indicators.
Following the report, the World Bank said Myanmar had made strides forward in several areas and was among the top 20 reformers for the year.
However, the doing business index in some areas has not changed, and is still far from rising. It has been found that lack of necessary laws and regulations is one of the reasons for the absence of change in some areas.
For instance, we still have no law to help businesses facing financial crises. To resolve this problem, the Insolvency Bill has been submitted to the Hluttaw. Once the Insolvency Bill becomes law this year, some hardships in some areas of doing business in Myanmar would be eased.
Another requirement for easing doing business is the Secured Transactions Law, which can help businesses get loans. The law is currently being drafted, and after the law and the Credit Bureau for implementing it come into existence, we are confident our country’s ranking in doing business would improve.
As legal reforms take time, some sectors have not seen improvement.
Myanmar has more than 70,000 companies, of which over 100 are public companies. Public companies need to be listed in order to enter the international stock exchange. We can assume that a public company can be listed if it has confidence.
Our businesses lack knowledge on corporate governance. To overcome that challenge, the Myanmar Stock Exchange Authority, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, and the Union of Myanmar Chambers of Commerce and Industry are working on a corporate governance code with the help of experts.
Once the corporate governance code comes into existence, more public companies are expected to get listed. Just five out of the over 70,000 companies in Myanmar are listed on the stock exchange. According to the World Bank, only when we have 10 listed companies can we enter the International Stock Exchange, which would help raise our ease of doing business index to a certain extent.
To achieve this, we would like to urge the government and the private sector to cooperate and commit to putting our economy on the path of development.

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