World Bank survey says re­forms ‘ur­gent’

Mizzima Business Weekly - - BUSINESS // STATISTICS -

Re­forms of Myan­mar’s in­vest­ment cli­mate are ur­gent across a num­ber of ar­eas, es­pe­cially ac­cess to fi­nance, land, elec­tric­ity and skilled work­ers, ac­cord­ing to new World Bank re­port just out.

The En­ter­prise Survey was car­ried out in the Spring of 2014, cov­er­ing Yan­gon, Man­dalay, Monywa, Taung­gyi and Bago, ac­cord­ing to a World Bank press re­lease Oc­to­ber 31.

The survey says ad­dress­ing the key con­straints of ac­cess to fi­nance, land, elec­tric­ity and skilled work­ers is crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing a fair and trans­par­ent business en­vi­ron­ment in which all pri­vate en­ter­prises can grow and cre­ate jobs.

The survey of pri­vate sec­tor firms in Myan­mar in­cluded in­ter­views from more than a thou­sand for­eign and do­mes­tic non-agri­cul­tural busi­nesses, in man­u­fac­tur­ing, re­tail and other ser­vices. Some 23 per­cent of firms iden­ti­fied ac­cess to fi­nance as the top bar­rier to their op­er­a­tions – just 30 per­cent of the sur­veyed firms have a bank ac­count, by far the low­est fig­ure in the re­gion.

The survey comes out around the same time the World Bank is­sued their “Do­ing Business 2015: Go­ing Beyond Ef­fi­ciency 2015” re­port that places Myan­mar a dis­mal 177 out of 189 coun­tries in terms of ease of car­ry­ing out business in the coun­try.

“The find­ings from the survey of­fer not only a good snap­shot of Myan­mar’s cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, but also al­low com­par­i­son across coun­tries, in or­der to as­sess the business en­vi­ron­ment and bar­ri­ers fac­ing firms do­ing business in Myan­mar,” said Ab­doulaye Seck, World Bank coun­try man­ager in Myan­mar.

He said the survey re­sults and anal­y­sis will help in­form gov­ern­ment pol­icy to cre­ate a level play­ing field that helps pro­mote in­vest­ment, pro­duc­tiv­ity, growth and jobs.

More than a fifth of those sur­veyed in­di­cated ac­cess to land as the main prob­lem, while 17 per­cent and 9 per­cent cited ac­cess to elec­tric­ity and ac­cess to skilled work­ers as their pri­mary con­straints, re­spec­tively.

The World Bank Group has con­ducted sim­i­lar sur­veys in 130 coun­tries with more than 130,000 firms across the globe.

The survey in Myan­mar was sup­ported by the United King­dom’s Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment, and has been car­ried out in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Na­tional Plan­ning and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment.

[Mizzima]

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