“The Private Sector Development Committee promptly carries out matters that can be dealt with immediately. For example, the committee announced during its 23rd regular meeting that the Ministry of Planning and Finance will submit a proposal to amend a provision in the 2019 Union Taxation Law that reads ‘milk, condensed milk, fresh milk and various kinds of milk powder’ into ‘milk and other dairy products’, after the Myanmar Livestock Federation made the request, citing that the absence of the word ‘yogurt’ means commercial tax is levied from this dairy product,” said Vice President U Myint Swe.
The Vice President made the remark during his speech at the 24th regular meeting of the Private Sector Development Committee – PSDC, of which he is the Chairperson, held at the UMFCCI (Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry) building in Lanmadaw Township, Yangon yesterday.
Current trade volume reaches 65% of previous mini-budget period within first four months
The Vice President also said they have directed the UMFCCI to relay the suggestions and submissions by businesspeople made at PSDC’s last monthly meeting to other relevant businesspersons. He said the five working committees under PSDC regularly holds public-private dialogue with relevant ministries and private businesspersons to discuss solutions to issues that require long-term planning.
The Vice President said the public and private sector regularly work together to increase the national trade volume every year. He said the trade volume for the 2018 mini-budget period (from April to September) reached US$18.3 billion while the first four months of the 2018-2019 FY reached US$12.02 billion on 8 February. He urged everyone to work together to increase the number of local exports and import substitutions to bring balance to the trade volume.
Illegal border trade countered, two-month window before World Bank report
The PSDC has formed special groups in nine states and regions to combat illegal border trade that negatively affects micro, small and medium enterprises – MSMEs and has made 306 arrests concerning the issue from September 2018 to 5 January 2019, said the Vice President.
On the topic of attracting foreign investment, the Vice President said the Myanmar Investment Commission – MIC sent delegations to Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Japan and South Korea last year to meet and welcome prospective investors into Myanmar.
The Vice President also reminded the relevant ministries that the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2020 Report’ will be collecting data until April 2019, and therefore, the ministries must use the remaining two months to swiftly implement their designated reforms on time. He curged the association representatives present at the meeting to voice their opinions and suggestions as relevant officials are present to address them.
Officials provide updates on relevant sector performances
Next, Union Minister for Transport and Communications, U Thant Sin Maung, explained processes for upgrading roads, infrastructure and airports and implementing cross border transport with neighboring countries.
Union Minister for Industry, U Khin Maung Cho, also explained on organizing MSME exhibitions and competitions, providing MSMEs with loans, conducting capacity-building trainings, setting standards and guidelines for the iron and steel industry, and efforts to manufacture electric vehicles.
Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein then explained his region’s current implementations and UMFCCI Chairperson U Zaw Min Win explained the implementation process on the meeting’s decisions, organizing private-public partnership dialogues, and increasing export volume.
Following this, General Secretary U Win Kyaing from Myanmar Fisheries Federation, Vice-Chairperson U Tin Hlaing from Myanmar Iron & Steel Association, Chairperson Dr. Soe Tun from Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association, U Ko Ko Gyi from the Border Trade Development Working Committee (UMFCCI), and Joint General-Secretary Daw Khine Khine Nwe and General-Secretary U Aung Kyi Soe from UMFCCI responded to the various submissions and suggestions. The Vice President, Union Ministers and other officials provided input into the discussions as necessary, after which, the Vice President concluded the meeting with a closing speech.
—MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)