Govt Sticks to Courageous Target as Myanmar Slips Down in World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings

Myanmar is in fact slipping further away from the govt’s target of reaching top 100 in the Doing Business index by 2020. It remains to be seen how Nay Pyi Taw could deliver this commitment.

DESPITE the fact that Myanmar has fallen one place last year in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, Nay Pyi Taw has repeated its commitment to elevate the country into the top 100 in three years. Myanmar wants to be ranked within the first 100 by 2020, U Aung Htoo, deputy minister of the commerce ministry, said. The minister made the commitment during a meeting with Vice President U Myint Swe and the business leaders at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) on February 1. The deputy minister, who heads the mission of improving the country’s ranking, was discussing reforms in improving regulation and reducing red tape to ease the business environment in collaboration with relevant ministries.

The target ranking he outlined repeated the government’s commitment made earlier – Vice President U Myint Swe said in July 2017 that Nay Pyi Taw wants to raise the ranking to less than 100 within the next three years, before seeing the country slipping down instead in October 2017.

Myanmar’s ranking

In the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings released last year, Myanmar ranked 171th out of 190 countries in the overall ease of doing business, one place lower than its 171th ranking in 2016.

The country occupied a position between Sudan (170) and Liberia (172). It remained the lowest-ranked ASEAN member and, with the exception of Timor-Leste, the worst-ranked country in East Asia and the Pacific region. It was also the fourth lowest-ranked country in Asia, after Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Timor.

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1-190. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a domestic company.

Last year marked the second consecutive year where Myanmar has seen a drop in its position. The country made notable improvements earlier, leaping from 182nd in the 2014 report to 167th two years later. However, it fell back to 170th in 2016 and further moved to 171th last year.

U Zaw Min Win, UMFCCI chair, urged the government to quickly deliver the ranking improvement because it’s a parameter which foreign investors look at when making investment decisions.

In the short term, firms doing business in Myanmar are affected by the regulations and procedures in some ministries. In the long term, it is about improving the legislative framework and revising and updating laws, U Aung Naing Oo, director general of Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), commented. Timor Leste, Afghanistan, Bangladesh , Timor,


Source: Myanmar Times


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