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Media »Speech at Workshop on Investment Promotion and Facilitation for Lower Myanmar

May 16, 2019


Jenni Hall, Team Leader, Private Sector Development Lead for UK aid in Myanmar



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Acknowledge Chief Minister of Yangon, Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, and the members of the investment committees from states and regions.


The DaNa Facility, which is funded by UK aid and which has been leading this innovative investment promotion work, is a key element of UK aid efforts in Myanmar to promote inclusive economic growth through responsible and sustainable private sector development.


UK aid leads the UK government’s work to promote sustainable development and fight poverty around the world, including here in Myanmar.


I’d like to particularly thank U Thant Sin Lwin, Director General, Directorate for Investment and Company Administration for the chance to work alongside you as you strive to improve the business environment for Myanmar business and contribute to jobs and incomes and poverty alleviation across the states and regions of Myanmar.


We know that there are many ways in which the private sector activities can benefit society and the poor, and an important element of this involves the kind of support to investment and business environment improvement that we are implementing here today.


Emphasise importance of having this workshop with states and regions, where the contexts vary. Hope to see this dialogue as a step on the road to regional prosperity and to support the peace process.


We note that this event builds on similar events held almost exactly two years ago in Hpa-An and in Monywa – we hear that significant progress has been made since then in developing the state and region investment committees and improving state and region business environments.


Why does the UK care about Private Sector Development and investment in Myanmar?


UK’s objective in Myanmar is to help its people and government to achieve greater peace, democracy and prosperity. The Government has the responsibility to put in place the right enabling environment for investment and the infrastructure to generate growth. But it is the creation of a vibrant private sector that turns investment into jobs and poverty reduction. Successful businesses also have an important role to play by acting responsibly, including paying the taxes needed to pay for public services.


We therefore welcome the government’s Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan to guide this, and note the significant references to the Private Sector Development Framework and Action Plan which the DaNa Facility is in the processing of improving and updating.


UK will work with Government to ensure that private sector development benefits all. By that we mean that the impact of new jobs and increased incomes are felt by people regardless of which state or region they live in, whether they are a man or a woman, or whether they have a disability.


What is the UK doing to support Private Sector Development and investment across the country?


The UK is committed to ensuring our support for private sector will increase income and jobs for Myanmar people through a range of activities: from rural economic development to financial sector reform.


We are continuing to support the implementation and roll out of the new Myanmar Investment Law. We are pleased that not only is the law now in force, but that it grants additional autonomy to states and regions – where the impacts of investment are actually felt.


We have also launched the DaNa Facility which is working with both government and businesses to stimulate investment and promote inclusive business, and which has worked with the Asia Foundation to develop the Myanmar Business Environment Index. Pleased to see DaNa’s Team and other DFID-supported activities delivering some of the sessions today, and to see many of this capable team in attendance to support Government’s plans and ambitions.


Very recently we have launched the Trade and Investment Programme being implemented by the International Trade Center. This ambitious programme is co-organizing the event today and will be active in supporting trade and investment activities across the country.


We are very proud that through the DaNa Facility we are able to support this event and hope this lays the foundation for a strong working partnership between state and region governments and the private sector over the coming years.


I hope you all enjoy the event. Thank you