The International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it will work with the government on a new investment law and regulations to improve protection for both foreign and domestic investors.
The World Bank Group’s private sector lending arm said that the new law, by combining the two existing separate laws for local and foreign investors, aims to create a level playing field for all businesses.
The new law will streamline investment approval procedures and promote a business enabling environment, IFC said.
IFC on December 20 signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development (MNPED) to support the ministry in its efforts to improve the Southeast Asian nation’s investment policy and regulation framework.
This will make it easier to do business in Myanmar and help stimulate domestic private sector growth and attract sustainable foreign investment, IFC said in a statement.
“The cooperation with IFC will help accelerate our continued efforts to create a more business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investors,” said U Aung Naing Oo, director general of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), under the MNPED.
“We will be able to enhance our own investment policy and business regulations through this cooperation and hope to learn from international best practices,” he said.
IFC said it will also help Myanmar implement investment climate reforms in top priority areas, including promoting a public-private dialogue platform to facilitate the reform process.
“Together with the World Bank, IFC is supporting the government’s economic reforms aimed at strengthening the private sector as a key driver for economic growth and employment in Myanmar,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Resident Representative for Myanmar.
“Improving Myanmar’s investment policy and strengthening the regulatory framework will encourage private sector investment and increased competition within Myanmar as the country becomes more integrated with ASEAN and the rest of the world.”
IFC has been involved in supporting the current government’s market-oriented reforms by providing advisory services and investment to the private sector. The financier is also working with the government and financial sector to improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises and to increase financial inclusion through microfinance.
IFC said it is also making efforts to assist with private sector involvement in infrastructure, with an initial focus on the power and telecommunications sectors.
IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. In FY13, IFC’s investments climbed to nearly $25 billion.