Yangon, July 27, 2017—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, has handed over the secretariat of the Myanmar
Business Forum (MBF) to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of
Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), to take forward the task of promoting public-private
For the last three-and-a-half years, IFC — in partnership with the Department
of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International
Development of the United Kingdom and the Government of Japan — has helped
establish MBF, supporting it with technical assistance and knowledge transfer
to improve Myanmar’s business environment.
Established in February 2014, MBF has focused on removing operational and
entry barriers for businesses. Besides providing feedback on government
policies affecting the private sector, it has offered inputs to draft government
laws and regulations impacting the private sector.
With UMFCCI taking over, IFC will now support the government to facilitate
the dialogue process. 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 Charles Schneider, IFC Senior Private Sector Development
Under the MBF, 14 working groups were established, and 51 private sector
working group meetings and 31 meetings between the government and private
sector were held. The private sector raised around 140 issues and 92 were
discussed with the government. To date, 22 issues have been resolved with
progress on several others.
“We are appreciative of the support and the capacity building program
that IFC has provided to our staff. 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,” said U Zaw Min Win, President of the UMFCCI.
One of MBF’s successes includes elimination of import license requirements
for over 5,000 products, saving USD 4 Million for the private sector. Other
reforms include lease extension of State land and structures in tourism,
introduction of the Specific Goods Tax Law, abolition of bank certificates
for customs clearance, and reduction of Stamp Duties on land title transfers.
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 FY16, we delivered a record $19 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, visit