Vice President U Myint Swe, Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) and businesspersons held the 26th regular meeting at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) in Yangon yesterday morning.
In his address to the meeting the Vice President said the 20-members PSDC was formed in 24 October 2016 by Presidential order to effectively carry out the tasks of the private sector development framework. It had reached a life term of two and half years and had formed five work committees to coordinate difficulties faced by businesses with relevant union ministerial departments and state and region governments.
It had been holding regular monthly meetings with business persons starting from December 2016 and this was the 26th meeting. Responses to suggestions and issues raised by business persons up to the 25th meeting were being sent back to relevant businesses through the UMFCCI. Responses included matters that were resolved as well as matters that were still being resolved as it needed time.
For these matters, officials from the five work committees made arrangements for public-private dialogues among private businesses and relevant ministries to resolve the matter in stages, said the Vice President.
The Trade sector played an important role in the development of a country’s economy. Private and public sectors were cooperating towards increasing annual trade volume and during fiscal year 2018-2019 (as of 12 April) trade volume reached US$ 18.612 billion which was US$ 0.312 billion more than the same period of the last fiscal year. Private sector participation in this was US$ 15.662 billion or 84 percent.
As obtaining the latest news and information played a vital role for business persons to catch up with the changing economic environment, all were urged to regularly check websites and Facebook pages of government departments.
Illegal imports through the border were threatening the existence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and PSDC has formed illegal trade control and prevention groups in nine regions and states and during September 2019 to March 2019, 436 arrests of an estimated Ks 5.145 billion worth of illegal imports were made.
On the matter of raising the quality of the products, all need to cooperate towards long term durability of the products. Business persons in the entire Supply Chain including manufacturer, transporter, port clearance, shipping line, stores, packers, distributers and consumers need to cooperate.
Now was the final phase for this year to increase Ease of Doing Business. Index wise responsible departments need to make timely changes. Indicator wise Reforms were being made in preparation of the Doing Business 2020 Report. For business persons to know how Indicator wise Reforms were conducted by relevant government departments and where to enquire about it, the Myanmar Ease of Doing Business Website was launched starting from today in addition to the websites of the ministries.
On this website works conducted on the 10 Indicators; Call Centers where questions can be raised; frequently asked questions and answers; changes to laws, rules, work procedures; time required; fees and costs etc. were posted so everything could be learnt at a single place.
As private sector development plays an important role in the country’s development the government was giving priority towards ease of doing business for the private sector and had been relaxing work processes. In return private businesses must conduct businesses responsibly and become responsible businesses.
Associations and entities participating in today’s meeting were urged to discuss openly the difficulties they face with the relevant Union Ministers, Deputy Ministers and officials who were in attendance, said the Vice President.
Next, PSDC Vice Chairman and Union Minister for Commerce Dr. than Myint explained about arrangements made to export pulses, beans and rice to foreign countries.
Afterwards Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Soe Win explained about arrangements made by the ministry towards speeding up trade and flow of goods and status of establishing a Central Provident Fund (CPF) to enable retiring public servants to own homes, provide health care and monthly support.
Following this, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun explained about the ministry’s work on increasing local and foreign investment, create job opportunities for the people and the ministry’s response to suggestions made and issues raised by the business persons.
Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein then explained about works implemented and future works in Yangon Region for private sector development and preparations made to hold the Yangon Region Investment Forum to increase investment in Yangon Region.
UMFCCI President U Zaw Min Win also explained about the status of implementing decisions made at the past meetings, public-private discussions held for private sector development, increasing export and status of sector wise works.
Ministry of Commerce Department of Trade Director General U Min Min then explained about posting the Myanmar Doing Business Website.
Later Muse-Namkham Border Trade Merchant Association Vice Chairman U Min Naing Soe, Myanmar Retailers Association general secretary Daw Tin Su Hlaing and Myanmar Cosmetics Association Chairman U Kyaw Min submitted sector wise difficulties faced and suggestions
The Vice President, Union Ministers, Yangon Region Chief Minister and officials gave advice and comments to ensure coordination and effective implementation based on matters raised at the meeting.
The following officials attended the meeting:
Vice-Chairman of PSDC and Union Minister for Commerce Dr. Than Myint, Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Soe Win, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Thaung Tun, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Deputy Minister U Win Maw Tun, UMFCCI President, Vice Presidents and members, officials from five work committees, departmental officials, officials from Muse-Namkham Border Trade Merchant Association, Myanmar Retailers Association and Myanmar Cosmetics Association.
The meeting came to a close after a concluding speech by the Vice President. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Min)