Yangon – Although the Myanmar government has relaxed many of its restrictions, Myanmar has climbed up only five places in terms of the Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank. Therefore, Minister of the President’s Office U Tin Naing Thein has stated that the government will assist the World Bank with more systematic collection of data next year.
“We will help them gather more accurate surveys next year,” said the Minister.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report in 2015, the Myanmar government has reduced documents and processes for import and export businesses, thus making border trade easier and loosened its restriction in at least one sector during the economic reform by the end of June.
Myanmar, which previously was ranked 182 in terms of ease of doing business, stands at 177 this year. The ranking consists of 189 countries. The greater the ease of doing business in a country, the higher it is on the list.
World Bank’s Doing Business Report can be a useful help for a country’s economic development and foreign investment. So Myanmar has taken a lot of reforms to obtain better ranking on the list, U Aung Naing Oo, the Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).
Although company registration used to take about six months in the past, now the government has reduced the period to three days or at most two weeks. The registration fee is only 1 million Kyats now for Myanmar citizen investors. Also, the initial investment capital, which used to be 50 million Kyats minimum in the past, is now 2 Kyats, a nominal figure. These deregulations were taken to encourage investors to freely invest in Myanmar.
Despite these regulations, Myanmar’s position in the Doing Business Report grows sluggishly. Thus, the Minister suggests helping the World Bank obtain data more systematically.
“The country’s reforms are still on paper. They haven’t actually materialized yet,” says U Zaw Pe Win, an economist.
In order to obtain better position on the Doing Business Report, the Myanmar government has not only organized ministerial-level implementation, it has also asked for help from International Finance Corporation (IFC). According to Charles Schneider, a senior official from IFC, Doing Business Report 2014 in Myanmar is based on 11 basic criteria and therefore does not reflect the sectors as a whole.