The Asia Foundation launches Myanmar Business Environment Index 2020

Second edition of MBEI tool shows progress in governance for private sector development

December 10, 2020 — Today, The Asia Foundation released the Myanmar Business Environment Index 2020 (MBEI). The MBEI 2020, funded by UK Aid through the DaNa Facility, is Myanmar’s second installment of the Index, which was first launched in 2019. The MBEI is a survey of primarily businesspeople measuring perceptions on the ease of doing business across Myanmar. The survey results are analyzed to produce an index for each state and region of Myanmar, establishing a benchmark for rating business-friendliness.

The index provides policymakers with critical information to inform decision-making regarding the business landscape in Myanmar. The MBEI is organized into 10 subindices, each a measure of a specific dimension of the business environment such as the cost of entry, government transparency, access to land, and the availability of suitably skilled labor. Each subindex consists of statistically rigorous indicators—153 in total. Each MBEI indicator tracks a specific issue, for example, the MBEI answers questions ranging from how many businesses have had difficulties with official registration to how frequently they have power outages.

Findings from the MBEI 2020 reveal that there have been improvements in Myanmar’s local governance for private sector development since the first iteration of the MBEI in 2018. Some business environment dimensions have improved more than others; results for seven out of the 10 subindices show improvements while there is a decline for one dimension, law and order. The MBEI 2020 suggests that Yangon, Sagaing, Bago Regions, and Nay Pyi Taw are the best environments to do business in Myanmar.

In addition to being able to compare business landscapes between Myanmar’s states and regions, the MBEI 2020 offers specific insights within each state and region. The index illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of each state and region, allowing government decision-makers, businesses, and the public to track progress in making each state and region a better place to start and grow businesses.

Mark McDowell, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Myanmar remarked, “The MBEI results can help government pinpoint areas that need special attention and then keep track of the impact of efforts to improve them. But it can also help businesses make investment decisions and citizens address public interest issues. It’s a project with benefits not just for business or government, but for all members of Myanmar society.”

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

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Related locations: Myanmar
Related programs: Economic Opportunity, Strengthen Governance
Related topics: Economic Governance Indices

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