Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

DICA business survey lacks breadth

Myanmar's Directorate of Investment & Company Administration (DICA) has published a survey on the cost of doing business in Myanmar, aimed at equipping potential investors with the requisite information.

Traffic flows in downtown Yangon. Photo: EPATraffic flows in downtown Yangon. Photo: EPA

Doing business reports are popular summaries of the challenges involved in entering a particular market, with international consultancies, foreign chambers of commerce and – perhaps most well-known – the World Bank all publishing their own surveys.

DICA’s new effort was drawn up with help from local firm Myanmar Survey Research (MSR), while the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided the funding.

MSR’s director U Ye Nyunt said that it was his firm’s first time conducting such a survey and that “we did the best given the situation, because there was not much time for research.”

U Ye Nyunt is hoping the survey can be extended and improved on, and added that many foreign investors were interested in the data. But several had also pointed out shortcomings.

The survey provides basic business information including banking and insurance services, sectors that are open to investment and details of infrastructure services such as water and electricity. But it is geographically limited.

“We could only survey Yangon, Mandalay and Bago regions,” said U Kyaw Win Tun, from DICA’s Statistical Department, adding that this was down partly to a lack of DICA branch offices elsewhere in the country. “Later DICA branch offices will open nationwide and the report will be in perfect condition.”

“In the past, it was very difficult to get facts on doing business in Myanmar,” said U Aung Naing Oo, DICA’s director general. “It is better that we have something rather than nothing. We will continuously try to fulfil [information] requirements.”

Myanmar was ranked 170 of out 190 countries in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, which was released in October last year. That was only one place higher than the previous year, although the country has made strong progress in the ease of starting a business category. After coming last in that field in 2014, Myanmar was now ranked 146th out of the 190 nations surveyed in 2016 when it comes to setting up a business.


Translation by Win Thaw Dar, San Layy and Khine Thazin Han