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IFC Supports Yangon’s New Construction Permit System to Help Improve the Ease of Doing Business in Myanmar

Yangon, Myanmar, August 9, 2019 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has been supporting the Building Control Authority (BCA) of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) to reform the city’s construction permit system and create a business and investor-friendly environment in Myanmar. The Yangon Building Permit System (YBPS) went online on July 1 and will be piloted until the end of the year.  
Following a year-long partnership between IFC and YCDC, the automated, paper-free system is estimated to  reduce the processing time, from an average of 95 days to 49 days, of about 90 percent of the 4,000 construction permits submitted annually. The new online building permit system, available in English and, Myanmar languages, was custom-built for YCDC. Professionally certified architects and construction engineers are participating in the pilot testing phase.
“We are pleased to pilot the Yangon Building Permit System, which was developed in response to the business community’s appeal for more efficiency in processing permits,” said Daw Hlaing Maw Oo, YCDC Secretary. “The pilot phase will test the waters, and by the time the system is rolled out in December, we will have an efficient, transparent, and cost-effective system in place.”
IFC’s support in developing the YBPS is part of a broader program to improve the ease of doing business in Myanmar. In the 2019 Doing Business Index, the country ranks 171 out of 190 economies. ‘Dealing with construction permits’ is one of the 10 indicators used to determine the index.
“Compared to other sectors, Myanmar’s construction sector has the highest earning potential. An efficient, transparent, and affordable permit system will enable a conducive business environment in Myanmar,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar. “This reform, in sync with the government’s efforts, will help build investors’ confidence and ensure a competitive and sustainable construction sector, helping to create jobs and drive Myanmar’s economy.”
In May 2018, IFC and YCDC conducted a detailed assessment and process mapping of the construction permit system in Yangon. While supporting YCDC with capacity building exercises, IFC also engaged with end-users to ensure a customized system to address the needs of Yangon’s construction sector.
Other recent Doing Business reforms in Myanmar include establishing Myanmar’s first credit bureau, and the approval of the revised Import and Export Negative lists which exempted about 70 percent of exported products and about 57 percent of imported products from needing a license. IFC, in partnership with Australia, the United Kingdom and Japan, has been supporting the government’s Doing Business Reform Working Group, which is chaired by the Deputy Minister of Commerce, to make it easier to do business in Myanmar and promote development of the private sector as a key driver of economic growth.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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About BCA                
The Building Control Authority is one of the seven authorities of the Yangon City Development Committee. It is responsible for setting rules regarding building construction within the city boundaries and for permitting (or)denying the construction in accordance to the set rules. It is responsible for inspection during the construction period and issuing (or)denying Building Completion Certificate to the completed buildings after inspecting whether they comply with the rules set.