The International Finance Corporation has handed over to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry the secretariat of a body formed to promote public-private dialogue, the IFC said in a statement last week.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, established the Myanmar Business Forum in partnership with the governments of Australia, Britain and Japan in February 2014.
Since then, IFC and its partners have supported the forum with technical assistance and knowledge transfer to improve Myanmar’s business environment, said the statement, released on July 27.
It said the 14 working groups established under the MBF have held 51 private sector working group meetings and there have been 31 meetings between the government and private sector. Of about 140 issues raised by the private sector, 92 were discussed with the government, of which 22 have been resolved with progress on others, it added.
The MBF’s successes include eliminating import licences for more than 5,000 products, saving the private sector US$4 million (about K5.4 billion), IFC said.
“We are appreciative of the support and the capacity building program that IFC has provided to our staff,” said U Zaw Min Win, president of the UMFCCI. “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,” he said.
With UMFCCI taking over the MBF, IFC will support the government to facilitate the dialogue process, the statement said. 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 Mr Charles Schneider, IFC senior private sector development specialist.