Myanmar Welcomes International Support for Responsible Investment

on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

Myanmar Welcomes International Support for Responsible Investment

JAKARTA, 12 March 2014 - At meetings organized recently in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon, Myanmar government officials voiced support for international efforts to promote responsible investment in Myanmar.

The meetings launched the “OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Investment Policy Review of Myanmar”, the first international project on investment policy undertaken by the new government. Speaking at the launch in Nay Pyi Taw this month, Myanmar’s Union Minister of National Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Kan Zaw, praised the comprehensive nature of the report and said that it would help to guide the government in solidifying investment climate reforms and in promoting more and better investment. The event was attended by members of parliament, 24 ministries and agencies, Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States and representatives from OECD Embassies.

The Review takes a broad brush to issues concerning the investment climate, pointing to key actionable recommendations, ranging from quick win solutions to more fundamental measures to ensure that Myanmar takes advantage of the current reform momentum to attract and sustain the type of investment it wants. Covering many different policy areas, as well as a special focus on sustainable investment in agriculture, the Review suggests that building capacity within government to implement investment climate reforms will be critical to ensure that these yield the desired development impact.

The Minister stressed the ownership of the review process that Myanmar enjoyed, which included the setting-up of a cross-government task force of 17 agencies to support the comprehensive nature of the project.

ASEAN Dialogue Partners, Australia and New Zealand praised the Investment Policy Review process, which is also undertaken by other ASEAN Member States, and its track-record for triggering investment climate reforms.

Following the launch, a roadshow event was held in Yangon to inform a broader range of stakeholders, including business representatives and civil society. This allowed for an in-depth discussion of the Review’s findings.

The Minister urged other ASEAN Member States to follow suit and undertake OECD Investment Policy Reviews and also called upon international co-operation partners to support the implementation of the Review’s recommendations. The International Finance Corporation is already working closely with the Directorate for Investment and Company Administration, taking the Review as a reference for supporting legal and regulatory reforms.

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This Review was undertaken in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat, supported by the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Programme. Other ASEAN Member States which have undertaken, or are currently undertaking, OECD Investment Policy Reviews, include Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam.  Visit http://aanzfta.asean.org/ and http://investasean.asean.org/ for more details.