Vice President U Myint Swe said that the main obstacle toward Myanmar’s economy was the illegal trade sector. As the illegal trade sector still remained strong it was a great hindrance to businesses conducted legally.
He said this as Chairman of the Private Sector Development Committee, while addressing the 10th coordination meeting of the Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) held at the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
In addressing the meeting the Vice President said that the PSDC had been formed with 20 members by Notification No. 79/2016 dated 24 October 2016 of the Office of the President to accomplish five main tasks. Five work committees led by 3 deputy ministers and 2 permanent secretaries had been formed to implement the Committee’s main tasks.
The first meeting of the PSDC was held on 28 November 2016. Four meetings were held in 2017, three meetings in 2018 and two, including this one were held in 2019. From the first to the ninth meeting 77 decisions were made out of which 69 were implemented while 8 were still being implemented. Relevant departments and organizations were urged to cooperate and work together towards completing the remaining 8 decisions by setting up a time frame.
Trade plays an important role in the economic development of the country and private sector involvement was found to be more than 80 percent of the economy. To support the works for private sector development, regular meetings were held with business persons and to date 28 meetings had been held where 353 issues raised by business persons were resolved and responded to.
Some of the responses were related to laws and procedures requiring up to two or three stages of works that needs time. Furthermore meetings of officials from the five work committees, relevant ministerial departments and business persons were held to resolve the issues in steps. It was known by all that works implemented for private sector development had achieved some successes. Relevant ministerial departments, Nay Pyi Taw Council, State/Region governments were placing much emphasis toward conducting private sector development works quickly. The country’s economic development will show good improvement only when the aims of private sector development were achieved.
The main obstacle to the development of Myanmar’s economy is illegal trade. A strong illegal trade poses a great impediment to conducting businesses legally. Illegal imports through the border are threatening the existence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and a 40-member Illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee with 13 duties was formed by the Office of the President on 25 June 2019. In addition to this illegal trade control and prevention groups were formed in nine regions and states and 669 arrests had been made with an estimated K 11828 billion worth of illegal imports up to June this year.
A 14-member Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Working Group led by the Deputy Minister for Commerce was formed with 12 work duties which had been conducting works to ensure smoothness in conducting businesses for private sector development as in conducting businesses internationally. Recognition was given to ten support groups formed for each “ease of doing business indexes” for their efforts.
Three points of reform were designated and instructed to relevant sector wise indexes on Reform Action Plans for Doing Business Report to be published in 2020. As of this date a total of 40 points for reforms were submitted by relevant indexes. Relevant ministerial departments were urged to cooperate and implement those reform points, said the Vice President.
Only then can business persons conduct matters like company registration, construction of stores, acquire electricity, acquire loan and pay taxes in a short time frame with efficiency and cost effectiveness. In addition to this all departments related to improving ease of doing business ranking must reform and change laws, rules, regulations and policies to be in accord with present day requirements and use modern methods to conduct reform and changes.
Union Ministers, officials from 5 work committees, officials from Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Working Group and departmental officials in attendance were urged to openly discuss status of sector wise works conducted and future works and provide suggestions, said the Vice President.
Next Committee Vice-Chairman Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint explained about status of works conducted for development of cooperation between the government and the private sector, status of posting economic attachés to foreign countries, status of increasing the export sector, relaxation on investments and works conducted to restrict entry of illegal goods.
Afterwards Committee Secretary Permanent Secretary U Aung Soe explained about the status of implementing decisions made at past meetings and future work processes.
This was followed by Ministry of Education Director-General Dr Aye Myint, Deputy Minister for Planning and Finance U Maung Maung Win, Union Attorney-General Office Director General Daw Nu Nu Yin, Deputy Minister for Commerce U Aung Htoo and Ministry of Planning and Finance Permanent Secretary U Tun Tun Naing explaining about the status of work committee wise works and future works.
Later Committee members Union Ministers U Thant Sin Maung, U Soe Win and U Han Zaw, Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Union Ministers U Thein Swe, Dr Myo Thein Gyi and U Ohn Maung, Central Bank of Myanmar Deputy Governor U Soe Thein and UMFCCI President U Zaw Min Win discussed and explained about the status of private sector participation in transport and communication sector; status of providing bank loan to SMEs; Ministry of Construction participating in private sector development; providing legal advice to enact laws, rules and procedures; works conducted within the ministry on increasing Ease of Doing Business Ranking; status of developing human resources for private sector development; cooperation works conducted by the ministry on private sector development; importance of the Financial Sector on development of businesses and status of loan made; and works conducted for private sector development and acquiring loans.
Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Working Group secretary Ministry of Commerce Permanent Secretary U Aung Soe then explained about index wise reform works conducted for Doing Business Report 2020 and work processes.
Meeting attendees also discussed status of works conducted for private sector development.
Vice President U Myint Swe gave comments and suggestions to ensure proper coordination after which he gave his closing remarks.
The meeting was attended by the following dignitaries and senior officials:
PSDC Vice-Chairman Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, Union Ministers U Thant Sin Maung, U Thein Swe, Dr Myo Thein Gyi, U Soe Win, U Han Zaw and U Ohn Maung, Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, Deputy Ministers U Aung Htoo and U Maung Maung Win, Central Bank of Myanmar Deputy Governor U Soe Thein, Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of five work committees, officials from Ease of Doing Business Ranking Promotion Working Group, Permanent Secretaries, directors general, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) President, Myanmar Industries Association (MIA) President and departmental officials.— MNA
(Translated by Zaw Min)