Myanmar Business Survey: Data Analysis and Policy Implications


Myanmar is emerging from decades of military rule, central planning and economic isolation as it implements political and economic reforms and, as a result, faces fewer international sanctions. The country has great potential for rapid development due to its vast natural resources, abundant labour force and geostrategic location. Capitalizing on these assets to achieve its goal requires well-implemented regulatory and institutional reform.

To assist in these efforts, ESCAP and OECD conducted a multi-dimensional policy review of Myanmar from the end of 2012 in coordination with the Government of Myanmar. During the policy review, the lack of information on the business conditions on the ground was found to be a serious impediment to the development of appropriate polices. To address this issue, ESCAP and OECD carried out a business survey jointly with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

The information in this publication provides the much- needed perspective of businesses on the ground in Myanmar, the conditions they experience and the obstacles they face. The survey provides a rich dataset of more than 3,000 firms in all sectors and geographic regions to help in understanding the characteristics of firms on the ground, their business environment and the challenges they face. This publication explores the survey results in depth, in order to develop policies that address these challenges and promote private sector development in Myanmar. The survey results are discussed from various key perspectives of businesses in order to identify effective policy prescriptions. They include the business environment, market conditions, innovation, human resources, access to finance, productivity, corruption, agribusiness and food industries.

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