Myanmar: Overview & Impact
Population: 54.5 million (CIA Fact book 2012)
Languages: Burmese (Official)
Monetary unit: The Kyat
Main Exports: Natural gas, wood products, pulses, beans, fish, rice, clothing, jade and gems
GNI per capita: US $379.6 (UN, 2009)
ODA received: $243.1 million (OECD, 2010)
Human Development Index ranking: 149 out of 189 (UN, 2011)
Estimated GDP growth: 5.5% (CIA Fact book 2011)
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is opening its doors to unprecedented levels of foreign direct investment and international development projects. The easing of sanctions and the recent adoption of the Foreign Investment Law will increase the volume and scope of international investment and assistance entering the country. Building Markets’ Sustainable Marketplace Initiative in Myanmar (SMI-Myanmar) is in a unique position to leverage this new economic activity into opportunities for local, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow their businesses and create jobs, thereby reducing poverty and guiding the economy on the path to sustainable development.
In its first year of operations, Building Markets will center activities in the Greater Yangon region and target sectors and industries that will generate immediate impact for local SMEs. The SMI-Myanmar will provide a suite of services designed to break down barriers to local procurement and generate linkages between local businesses and international and domestic opportunities.
- The SMI-Myanmar opened its first office in Yangon in November 2012. The full suite of services will launch in early January 2013.
- The SMI-Myanmar will conduct local trainings for Myanmar SMEs that increase their understanding of international contractual standards and procurement requirements, and leverage their existing capacity to better respond to new opportunities.
- The SMI-Myanmar will publish a stand-alone tender directory designed to give local businesses access to tendering opportunities. These opportunities come from the international aid community, international corporations, the national private sector, and national governmental institutions. After registering, businesses can browse opportunities online and sign up to receive email and short messaging service (SMS) notifications.
- The SMI-Myanmar will conduct verification of locally owned businesses to assess and identify capable suppliers that are poised to respond to international and local demand. Collected information will be used to create detailed business profiles that will be made available to potential buyers. These businesses will also have access to the SMI’s services, such as training and tender distribution, and will be included in appropriate business linkage activities.
- The SMI-Myanmar will work closely with international and national buyers to ground their supply chains to local SMEs through business linkage activities and networking events.
- The SMI-Myanmar will launch a “Myanmar First” campaign that will advocate for both the international community and the Government of Myanmar to prioritize local sourcing.
- The SMI-Myanmar will conduct market research to measure the impact of local procurement and assess the behavioral changes of the international aid community when it comes to local spending. Research will also analyze the economy’s critical sectors, to understand the growth potential and opportunities for local SMEs.
Source: Building Markets, November 2012