Gov’t, IFC ink deal to improve Myanmar’s investment policy

YANGON—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Myanmar’s Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development to support its efforts to improve the country’s investment policy and regulation framework.

“This will make it easier to do business in Myanmar and help stimulate domestic private sector growth and attract sustainable foreign investment,” the IFC said in a statement yesterday.

The largest global development institution will work with the ministry on a new investment law and regulations to improve protection for both foreign and domestic investors and streamline investment approval procedures to promote a business-enabling environment.

The new law aims to create a level playing field for all businesses by combining the two existing separate laws for local and foreign investors.

“The cooperation with IFC will help accelerate our continued efforts to create a more business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investors,” said Aung Naing Oo, director-general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

“We will be able to enhance our own investment policy and business regulations through this cooperation and hope to learn from international best practices.”

The IFC will also help Myanmar implement investment climate reforms in top priority areas, including promoting a public-private dialogue platform to facilitate the reform process.

Vikram Kumar, the IFC’s resident representative for Myanmar, pointed out that improving Myanmar’s investment policy and strengthening the regulatory framework would encourage private sector investment and increase competition within Myanmar, as the country has become more integrated with ASEAN and the rest of the world.

“Together with the World Bank, the IFC is supporting the government’s economic reforms aimed at strengthening the private sector as a key driver for economic growth and employment in Myanmar,” he said.

The IFC is supporting the Myanmar government’s market-oriented reforms by providing advisory services and investment to strengthen the private sector. This will create investment opportunities and jobs that will benefit the population and lead to greater shared prosperity, added Kumar.

The IFC is also working with the government and financial sector to improve access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises and to increase financial inclusion through microfinance. Efforts are also underway to assist with private sector involvement in infrastructure, with an initial focus on the power and telecommunications sectors.

The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, which focuses exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, the IFC helps eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In this financial year, the IFC’s investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly US$25 billion (Ks 24.6 trillion), drawing from the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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