Yangon, July 27, 2017
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has handed over the secretariat of the Myanmar Business Forum (MBF) to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), to take forward the task of promoting public-private dialogue.
For the last three-and-a-half years, IFC — in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Government of Japan — has helped establish MBF, supporting it with technical assistance and knowledge transfer to improve Myanmar’s business environment.
Established in February 2014, MBF has focused on removing operational and entry barriers for businesses. Besides providing feedback on government policies affecting the private sector, it has offered inputs to draft government laws and regulations impacting the private sector.
With UMFCCI taking over, IFC will now support the government to facilitate the dialogue process. IFC will provide technical assistance to the Task Force on Business and Trade Promotion chaired by the Minister of Commerce, which is in charge of the government secretariat, coordinating dialogue with the private sector.
“We believe that a transparent and inclusive dialogue involving both the domestic and foreign business community is crucial for an effective sustainable dialogue process,” said Charles Schneider, IFC Senior Private Sector Development Specialist.
Under the MBF, 14 working groups were established, and 51 private sector working group meetings and 31 meetings between the government and private sector were held. The private sector raised around 140 issues and 92 were discussed with the government. To date, 22 issues have been resolved with progress on several others.
“We are appreciative of the support and the capacity building program that IFC has provided to our staff. Now it is time for us to take the ownership of the private sector secretariat to promote transparent and inclusive dialogue with the government and to build a sustainable roadmap for investment climate reforms in Myanmar,” said U Zaw Min Win, President of the UMFCCI.
One of MBF’s successes includes elimination of import license requirements for over 5,000 products, saving USD 4 Million for the private sector. Other reforms include lease extension of State land and structures in tourism, introduction of the Specific Goods Tax Law, abolition of bank certificates for customs clearance, and reduction of Stamp Duties on land title transfers.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit