Yangon, Myanmar, November 21, 2017—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has launched an initiative to help food
producers address and improve food safety practices, develop the country’s
agribusiness, and open new export markets.
As a first step, IFC — in cooperation with the Union of Myanmar Federation
of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) — organized a first
of its kind public awareness event in Yangon. The event, which brought
together more than 60 government representatives, leading food producers,
retailers and industry experts, underlined that addressing food safety
in a systemic and sustainable way has a clear business case, helping companies
to increase sales, reduce costs and minimize risks.
“Agribusiness is a key sector for Myanmar’s economy, accounting for about
38 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 23 percent of exports,”
said Dr Ye Tint Tun, Director General of the Department of Agriculture,
from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. “We want to
further increase exports and diversify opportunities in new markets for
our producers. We hope that with IFC’s help we can learn from the experiences
of countries around the world.”
IFC has over 15 years’ experience of providing Food Safety Advisory Services
to agribusiness and retail clients globally. This work has helped 150 IFC
clients from 30 countries attract $290 million in investments and generate
over $230 million in new sales. Further, clients benefit from improved
efficiencies and cost savings, contributing to stronger brand value.
“Investment in food safety management systems is a prerequisite for the
growth of Myanmar’s agribusiness, and ultimately, benefits consumers with
safer food and health,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar.
“Implementing internationally accepted food safety systems in the country
can improve competitiveness among food producers in both its export and
domestic markets, contributing to a stronger brand and preparing them for
Myanmar is aspiring to open its agribusiness sector to global markets.
Over the past two years, the World Bank Group has supported the government
in reforming the food safety framework. Today, IFC also helps client companies
introduce an internationally recognized food safety system and works with
governments and industry experts to build local capacity through training
programs and workshops.
IFC’s advisory work on improving Myanmar’s food safety practices, reforming
regulations, and improving the business environment in the agribusiness
sector is supported by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia,
the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and
the Government of Japan.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas
of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term
financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private
sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,