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September 23, 2019

Gov’t wants private-sector participation to improve ease of doing business rank

To improve the country’s ease of doing business rank, Vice President U Myint Swe has noted that public recognition and participation by businessmen are needed to execute governmental reforms, in line with the efforts made by the concerned officials.
He made the statement during the 14th regular meeting with businessmen at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) yesterday.
“Not just our country, the neighbouring countries and other countries are also trying to climb the ranks. We must keep up with them,” said the Vice President.
Additionally, U Aung Htoo, Deputy Minister of the Commerce Ministry and the leader of the movement for improving the ease of doing business ranking, has encouraged the participation of the private sector in this effort.
Those who are liable to answer the tricky questions put forth by the World Bank need to understand the government’s reform processes, said U Aung Htoo.
“Those working for law firms and accountancy firms usually respond to the questions. They require extensive expertise in most aspects. If they lack knowledge about the government’s reform processes and performances, they will not be able to answer anything. If so, the country’s score will not go up,” he added.
The concerned ministries should anticipate the questions to carry out the reforms. They need to inform the public of the questions through the media, he continued.
The World Bank determines the country’s ease of doing business rank based on 11 indicators. They are starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across the border, enforcing a contract, resolving insolvency and labour management. These have been incorporated into the country’s existing indicators for 2018. Each indicator has two to 38 pages of associated questions.
While starting a business, questions related to the working process, cost, government’s reform process, and smooth or rough reform, among others, are included. They also ask whether the company registration system can cover the whole country and whether online data access and online registrations are available.
“The ease of doing business index is positively related to foreign investments in developing countries. Myanmar is inviting foreign investments, and more foreign investors will eye Myanmar if this rank goes up,” said the Vice President.
U Zaw Min Win, President of UMFCCI, said it was keeping the government reform process data and wanted the related ministries to share data on the changing processes with them. The UMFCCI can then disseminate the information to those who will answer the questions.
U Aung Kyi Soe, Secretary General of UMFCCI, said that although both the government and private sectors still require some modifications to the processes, it was a progressive action that the senior officials and other concerned officials had discussed the difficulties with the businessmen.
Currently, the country is ranked 172 out of 190 countries in the ease of doing business index. It sits in the last spot compared with countries in the ASEAN region. The government is trying to achieve a rank of 99 in 2020, aiming to rise by 24 spots per year on average.

 

By May Thet Hnin

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