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Nov 19, 2014

World Bank Group Assessment of Investment Climate in Myanmar

By Nikita West

On October 31 2014, The World Bank Group, in partnership with UK Aid and the Myanmar Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development discussed its early findings on the investment climate in Myanmar.  The preliminary report will eventually accompany the Investment Climate Assessment for Myanmar.  U Tin Naing, Senior Minister to the President’s Office offered the opening remarks, commenting that the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Survey early findings were useful for Myanmar’s reform process.

The World Bank Group has conducted enterprise surveys in 130 countries, but this was the first survey conducted in Myanmar.  According to Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Manager, 632 owners and managers of private firms responded to the survey.  The survey focused on manufacturing and services throughout five regions in Myanmar:  Yangon, Bago, Monywa, Mandalay, and Taunggyi.

Conner Spreng, Senior Economist for the World Bank, stated that the major obstacles facing most firms were access to finance, land ownership, access to electricity and access to skilled workers.  For example, according to the Early Findings of the Enterprise Survey, Myanmar is still far behind other countries in the region regarding using bank loans for financing.  Additionally, in Myanmar - compared to China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka – only 30 percent of firms have a checking account. 

In order to improve the investment climate in the public and private sector, Charles Schneider, Senior Operations Office to the IFC, stressed the importance of the Myanmar Business Forum and how its working groups can help the Government implement further positive initiatives for Myanmar’s continued growth.  (S&A are members of the MBF: natural resources and infrastructure committees). 

Concurrent with the conference, World Bank Group released its Measuring Business Regulations 2015 Report which addresses the ease of conducting business in Myanmar together with its Economy Profile for Myanmar 2015.

Sciaroni & Associates Myanmar
Our seasoned team of expert advisors in Myanmar can assist clients and prospects in navigating the evolving legal and investment climate.  With new business reforms and increased economic growth (6.5 per cent GDP in the 2012-2013), Myanmar is ready to become a global partner for foreign and local investors. Despite the country’s projected growth, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure and political issues may prove challenging for some investors, but the country is rapidly making economic and social reforms to improve global partnerships and ease potential investors’ apprehensions. As the new ASEAN chairman, Myanmar is set to become a growing business center sharing borders with Laos, China, India, Thailand and Bangladesh. Construction, telecommunications, infrastructure projects and services will continue to boost Myanmar’s emerging market status and provide more opportunities for investors.

Sciaroni & Associates is a leading business and investment advisory firm serving Southeast Asia since 1993 with offices in CambodiaLaos and Myanmar.  Sciaroni & Associates assists clients in understanding the complex business conditions in those markets while efficiently identifying and resolving issues following strict international ethical standards.  Our firm provides experienced advice and seasoned business insights to many of the world’s leading companies, governments, economic think tanks, global development funds and international NGOs. For more information please visit www.sa-asia.com or contact us at info@sa-asia.com.

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Sciaroni & Associates is a leading professional and investment advisory firm doing business in Southeast Asia since 1993. Based in Cambodia with legal offices in Laos and Myanmar, we provide experienced advice and business insights to many of the world’s leading companies, governments, economic think tanks, global development funds, international NGOs and the Royal Government of Cambodia in accordance with strict international standards.
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