Only six years sets this 2nd OECD Investment Policy Review of Myanmar apart from the first review published in 2014, but much progress has occurred in investment policies and related areas in Myanmar in the interim. The first review was in many ways instrumental in shaping these past reforms. It took place at a time when very little policy work had been undertaken with the Government of Myanmar, and donors were just beginning to turn their attention to private sector development in Myanmar.

This 2nd Review takes place at a time when diagnoses of the economic challenges facing Myanmar are multiplying and donor support is ubiquitous. The Review is therefore more selective in its policy areas coverage and focuses more on impact and on how foreign investment can help Myanmar achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. As with the first review, it relies on the OECD Policy Framework for Investment (PFI), a tool developed at the OECD to help governments address investment climate challenges.

The Review was mostly prepared before the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic, but some consideration is given to the immediate challenges emerging from the crisis in the Assessment and Recommendations. The Review remains, nonetheless, highly relevant for the aftermath of the current global economic crisis. Investment will be key for the recovery and many of the pre-COVID-19 structural challenges and policies discussed in this Review will resurface then in an ever more important fashion, as investors become more risk-alert and selective, and industries are eventually reshaped by the faster adoption of transformative technologies and business models.

This Review has been prepared by the OECD Secretariat at the request of the Government of Myanmar. It was carried out in close co-ordination with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations and supported by an inter-ministerial task-force established for discussing in a whole-of-government approach – characteristic of the OECD’s PFI policy priorities, assessments and strategic orientations of the government in the area of investment. It has benefited from the peer review of the OECD Investment Committee and stakeholder consultations with Myanmar-based foreign government representatives, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and academia. It was discussed at the OECD Investment Committee in June 2020 with the participation of a Myanmar delegation led by H.E. U Thaung Tun, Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.

The Review was prepared by a team led by Fernando Mistura and comprising Iris Mantovani and Baxter Roberts from the OECD Investment Division, Mike Pfister from the OECD Public Governance Directorate, and Naeeda Crishna Morgado and Margaret Wachenfeld, external consultants, under the overall guidance of Stephen Thomsen, Head of Investment Policy Reviews. The RBC chapter was authored by Coralie Martin from the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct as part of the broader project on Responsible Supply Chains in Asia funded by the European Union. Angèle N’Zinga provided administrative assistance. Koshu Kunii, former OECD policy analyst, provided inputs. Ana Novik, Head of the Investment Division, Alexandre de Crombrugghe and David Gaukrodger, senior policy analysts at the OECD Investment division, and Tihana Bule, manager at the OECD Centre for RBC, provided comments.

This Review was supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Norway.

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