Myanmar Trade and Investment Project to boost Myanmar’s business ecosystem

Union Minister for Commerce U Than Myint launches Myanmar Trade and Investment Project on 4th March 2019, to improve trade competitiveness and business and investment climate. Launching event was held at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon.

The Government of Myanmar and the International Trade Centre (ITC) unveiled the Trade and Investment Project, which will support joint efforts by public and private-sector partners to strengthen Myanmar’s role in the Asian economic ecosystem. The project will provide support for modernizing key processes and will make the business environment more favourable to emerging and established enterprises. It is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

One of the key outcomes of the project will be the design of an updated National Export Strategy for the period 2020-2025 through consultations with all relevant stakeholders.

‘The first National Export Strategy was launched in 2015 and has been a key policy document for sustaining export growth,’ said the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, U Aung Soe. ‘In recent years new trends have emerged, such as growing importance of Asia in global trade. The National Export Strategy 2020-2025 needs to further enable Myanmar to leverage these new opportunities through the creation of sustainable agro-processing, manufacturing and services jobs. It is also important for trade to reach all states and regions, as well as promote the building of productive capacities.’

U Aung Kyi Soe, Secretary General of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), noted that the private sector is a key driver of Myanmar’s economic growth. ‘For the economy to perform, a thriving private-public dialogue is essential. UMFCCI, sector associations and regional chambers will collaborate with all Trade and Investment Project partners to create new opportunities for Myanmar’s entrepreneurs.’

Speaking at the launch in Yangon, Ms. Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), said: ‘Located strategically in South-East Asia and with a young and entrepreneurial population, Myanmar has great potential to build on its assets and develop new sectors of growth. The Trade and Investment Project will work with private and public sector partners to capitalize on these opportunities and help the country to position itself for greater investment and deeper regional integration.’

U Aung Naing Oo, Director General of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), welcomed that the Trade and Investment Project will look beyond Yangon, Myanmar’s economic capital.

‘The Trade and Investment Project will contribute to the implementation of the Myanmar Investment Promotion Plan,’ he said. ‘One of the objectives of the Myanmar Government is to empower states and regional governments in their efforts to create sustainable economic development and prosperity.’

National Export Strategy (NES) and TIP

NES was launched in 2015 with 7 core sectors (Rice, Fish, Bean, Wood, Garment, Rubber and Tourism) and 4 cross sectors such as trade information, logistic, financing and quality control. Five new sectors will be covered at NES such as fruits and vegetables, gem, food processing, handicraft and digital industry.

Trade and Investment Project (TIP) will be implemented from September 2018 to September 2019. There are four areas to be covered in TIP as follows;

  1. Trade promotion
  2. Investment promotion
  3. Trade Services to MSMEs
  4. Enhanced private sector
  5. Technical capacities of MOC