Myanmar moves up six places to 165th of World’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report rankings, climbs from 171th

Vice President U Myint Swe delivers the speech at the ceremony to publish Ease of Doing Business Report 2020 at Sule Shangri-La Hotel inYangon yesterday.  Photo: MNA
Vice President U Myint Swe delivers the speech at the ceremony to publish Ease of Doing Business Report 2020 at Sule Shangri-La Hotel inYangon yesterday.  Photo: MNA

Vice President U Myint Swe, Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) addressed a ceremony to publish Ease of Doing Business Report 2020 held at the Sule Shangri-La Hotel, Yangon yesterday afternoon.
In addressing the event Vice President U Myint Swe said Myanmar has cooperated and participated in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey program starting from 2014 for ease of doing business in Myanmar. At that time, Myanmar stood at 182 among 189 countries. In the 2019 report, there were 190 countries and Myanmar stood at 171.
Ease of doing business in Myanmar is an essential work required to be done for economic development of Myanmar. As such PSDC formed a 14-member Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Work Group led by Deputy Minister for Commerce to consistently work on it. Ten support groups led by directors-general level officials were formed for each “ease of doing business index” and recognition was given to these support groups for the progress they have achieved.
Myanmar achieved a significantly successful result when the World Bank’s Doing Business Website posted on 27 September 2019 that Myanmar was among the top 20 improvers lists in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020. The website mentioned that Myanmar progressed in the five sub-indices of dealing with construction permits, starting a business, registering property, enforcing contracts and protecting investors. Some improvements and reforms were under observation and were not included in this year’s report but would be included next year. Although the government had conducted reforms, the private sector was not aware of it immediately. This lack of response resulted in loss of points. All were urged to cooperate and participate towards easing and developing Doing Business work processes.
The Ease of Dong Business Report 2020 was officially published on 24 October 2019. Due to the cooperation of relevant ministerial departments and the private sector led by the UMFCCI, Myanmar achieved 46.8 points in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 Report. This was 3.3 points more than last year’s 43.5 points. Myanmar now stands at 165 in 190 countries and jumped 6 positions from last year’s 171 position. Of the ten indices, there were progress in five, two remains unchanged and a decline in three. The best indices were in construction permits, starting a business and registering property. It could be said that the country’s cooperative efforts had progressed to a certain level. However, there was no room for complacency and efforts should be continued towards increasing the ranking year by year.
Myanmar was practicing market economy system and as per the open door economic policy, trade and investments were being invited and cooperation provided. Myanmar could establish a strong economic foundation and develop rapidly only when it participated in integrating with the regional and global economies. It was necessary to increase the connection and linkage with Southeast Asia, South Asia, regional economies and the global economy. Ease of doing business in Myanmar was important for both local business persons as well as for foreign investors. Therefore, ease of doing business in Myanmar was a continuous work process and an arrangement to form a permanent Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Committee was being planned.
There would be progress and development in trade and investment works when there was progress in ease of doing business. Myanmar foreign trade was US$ 33.53 billion in fiscal year 2017-2018 and US$ 34.98 billion in fiscal year 2018-2019. This was US$ 3.879 billion more than the planned amount. As of September 2019, there were foreign investments numbering 1,500 amounting to US$ 67 billion and local investments numbering 1,315 amounting to K 17,772.686 billion that included US$ 9.214 billion.
Relevant ministerial departments and the private sector need to continue to cooperate and work hand in hand for ease of doing business ranking of Myanmar to rise further. As the competition was with 190 countries, more need to be done towards reforming, changing and developing the economic environment.
There was a requirement on the side of the departments toward raising Public Awareness to the reform and changes that were being conducted. Only then could the public know of the true situation, provide true answers and achieve the deserved points and rankings.
Calculation for inclusion in the report was based on the response of the public sector and not the departments toward the survey questions raised by the World Bank. UMFCCI was urged to provide the necessary linkage and support for private business persons to know of the reforms and changes made by the departments and respond to the survey questions accordingly.
Ease of doing business index wise support groups are required to prepare Reform Action Plan for Ease of Doing Business Report 2021. It was important to implement e-Government system as it could reduce the time to conduct works. On behalf of the Government of the Union of Myanmar the Vice President thanked Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) for their support and technical support of World Bank Group IFC in Myanmar’s Doing Business works. The Private sector was urged to study and provide suggestion on reforms and the Vice President expressed his appreciation and recognition towards departments, private organizations, business persons, international organizations for their supports and assistance and invited continued cooperation and assistance.
Next, IFC Region Director Mr Vivek Pathak explained about his view on Doing Business 2020 Report and presented the report to Vice President U Myint Swe, Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo and UMFCCI Vice President Dr Maung Maung Lay.
Afterwards, Mr Rurik Marsden of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) delivered a speech.
Following this Vice President U Myint Swe and event attendees took a commemorative group photo and concluded the first part of the event.
The second part of the event was then continued and Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Work Group leader Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo delivered a speech after which UMFCCI Vice President Dr Maung Maung Lay explained about the private sector participation in improving Ease of Doing Business Ranking.
Finally Union Minister Dr Than Myint and Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo presented gifts of appreciation to honor those who had supported and assisted in the progress of five indices.
The following persons attended the event:
Union Ministers U Win Khaing, Dr Than Myint and U Soe Win, Union Attorney General U Tun Tun Oo, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo, Yangon City Development Committee Chairman and Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe, Central Bank of Myanmar Deputy Governor U Soe Min, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Regional Director Mr Vivek Pathak, Mr Rurik Marsden of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), representatives of IFC, World Bank, international organizations, support groups and partner organizations, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) Vice Presidents and executive committee members, chairmen of organizations, Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Work Group and support group members, departmental heads and officials.— MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)

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