Prominent entrepreneur U Serge Pun has called for streamlined procedures for industries planning to set up shop in Myanmar, claiming a simplified approvals process would assist in attracting factories to provide much-needed employment.
U Serge Pun pointed to China where he said the barriers to establishing a factory were lower, with no need to see a multitude of high-ranking government officials before investing.
“The rules are so transparent, so clear, that if you invest in [a specific] sector you know you can do this, you can do that, you cannot do that,” he told the Myanmar Global Investment Forum in Nay Pyi Taw last week.
He said a similar approach could work in Myanmar.
Coca-Cola’s entry to Myanmar came with plenty of PR and hype, and it was good for the country, said U Serge Pun. “But we cannot thrive on one Coca-Cola that employs a few thousand people. We need millions of people to be employed, which means we need 10,000 or 20,000 factories,” he said, while adding foreign investors had to visit the chairman of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) first.
U Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) and MIC board member, downplayed the need for investors to visit the MIC, claiming it is “especially investors with huge capital who are required to meet the chairman”.
However, he said, the MIC met with a large number of foreign visitors daily following the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law in November 2012.
“Before, we received foreign investment guests only once a month. Now we see seven or eight international delegates every day in our MIC office,” he said.
MIC chairman and minister of finance U Win Shein told the Myanmar Times on the event sidelines that there was still work to be done to improve the investment climate for foreign businesses.
McKinsey senior partner Doan Nguyen Hansen said that clear strategies in areas such as skills training and infrastructure will assist with long-term development.
“Industries cannot run with only four hours of electricity a day,” she said during a conference discussion.
Experts pointed to a surge in FDI following the passing of the new Foreign Investment Law in November 2012. FDI has reached $1.8 billion in 2013 to the end of August, with some 50 percent in the manufacturing sector, with inflows set to dwarf the $1.4 billion received during the entirety of last year.
Source: Myanmar Times