The Private Sector Development Committee held its 32nd regular meeting with Myanmar entrepreneurs at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Yangon yesterday morning, attended by its chairman Vice President U Myint Swe.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice President U Myint Swe said the Private Sector Development Committee was established on 24 October 2016 for the effective implementation of the issues covered by the framework of private sector development. During the period of over three years, five task forces were formed for the success of the functions of the committee and solving the problems of entrepreneurs. Beginning December 2016, the committee started holding regular meetings with entrepreneurs, and since then it has responded to 369 suggestions of entrepreneurs in connection with their difficulties through the UMFCCI.
The committee completely solved some of the matters, but some of the issues need time. Hence, members of the task forces are holding public-private dialogues with business persons in looking into the issues and solving them through different stages till a satisfactory result is achieved, he said.
The Vice President said thanks to harmonious cooperation between the Government and the private sector in trade, which is of vital importance for national growth, the country’s trade volume reached USD 35.147 billion in fiscal year 2018-2019, and USD 13.101 billion till January in fiscal year 2019-2020. As the private sector’s contribution to the total trade volume was USD 11.295 billion it represents 86 percent of total trade volume.
Apart from trade, there must be an increase in investment for national economic growth. Hence, the Myanmar Investment Commission is approving investment projects.
Till January this year, it approved 1,943 foreign investments amounting to USD 83.964 billion and 1,676 domestic investments valued at Ks 20,232.720 billion including USD 1.563 billion, he said.
As regards the rise in the global illegal trade indicators resulting from the illegal trade in Myanmar, the country established the Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee as a way of cementing national level cooperation between the departments, and based on the indicator, the relevant ministries set up the action committees in connection with the government policy, selling and buying power, transparency and trade, and customs. Moreover, Nay Pyi Taw Council and the states and regions also formed special anti-illegal trade teams. The teams could make 2,709 seizures in which contraband goods at an estimated value of Kyats 24.162 billion were also impounded till January this year, he said.
As for the improvement in the rankings in Ease of Doing Business, the Vice President said as the Doing Business 2021 Report of the World Bank will take into account the activities only till end April, the relevant ministries need to multiply their current rate in conducting reforms for ensuring a better economic environment within the remaining two months. The department should broaden the public knowledge of their reforms.
He said coordination is required for the entrepreneurs to have knowledge of the departmental reforms in correctly answering a series of questionnaires of the World Bank, and requested UMFCCI to provide necessary links. He also thanked the UMFCCI for the formation of the Ease of Doing Business Task Force which paves the way for the accelerated participation of the private sector in improving the country’s ranking of the Ease of Doing Business. The task force should join forces with the Ease of Doing Business Ranking Improvement Team led by the deputy minister for Commerce.
The Vice President then invited open discussions between the entrepreneurs and the Union Ministers, deputy ministers and officials attending the meeting.
Union Minister for Commerce Dr. Than Myint explained the measures to ease the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) impact on the import and export business, to improve the Ease of Doing Business ranking, and to develop the private sector.
Union Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry U Soe Win elaborated on anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing activities, programs to adopt laws, bylaws, and provisions and to set up a project bank, and financial issues.
Chief Minister for Yangon Region U Phyo Min Thein dealt with the arrangements for private sector development of the region and for organizing international expos.
President of UMFCCI U Zaw Min Win presented the progress in realizing the resolutions of the previous meeting, the holding of public-private talks, export promotion programs and sector-wise progress of work.
Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo explained the procedures to solve the problems of entrepreneurs through the five task forces and to have occasionally hold meetings with foreign entrepreneurs.— MNA (Translated by TMT)