The level of regional economic integration and labour issues in Myanmar’s private enterprises are highlighted in a presentation prepared for Masters of Public Administration students at the Yangon University of Economics.

Presentation: Private enterprises in Myanmar

Based on research in the food processing and garment manufacturing industries, the presentation covers a broad range of topics, including Myanmar’s main imports and exports (with ASEAN and non-ASEAN countries), the private sector’s participation in regional economic activities (namely in trade, investment, and production networks), and the obstacles faced by the private sector when participating in the regional economy. The presentation also proposes policy imperatives to promote participation of Myanmar’s private sector in the regional economy, namely:

  1. Improvements in data availability and collection to allow for better evidence-based policy-making
  2. Increasing firms’ awareness and knowledge about ASEAN economic integration and free trade agreements
  3. Facilitating and supporting investment, especially in technology and innovation
  4. Encouraging information and communications technolgy (ICT) usage by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  5. Promotion of human resource development

The presentation also includes research results regarding labour issues for the private sector, including labour rights and labour relations, skills and human capital development, wages and working conditions, employment dynamics and labour turnover. From CESD’s research and analysis, undertaken in Mon State and Yangon Region in 2015, six broad areas for possible policy action were identified, namely:

  1. Reduce labor turnover rates (by promoting and enforcing the use of employment contracts; encouraging and supporting the establishment of grievance systems within firms; improving working conditions and working hours)
  2. Support human capital development (including upgrading the public education system; and supporting private sector initiatives, for example technical training centers)
  3. Promoting social dialogue to improve industrial relations, including strengthening labor representation and supporting the establishment of dialogue mechanisms
  4. Ensuring minimum wage compliance, through enforcement and supporting firms as they mitigate the impact of the minimum wage (established in September 2015)
  5. Promoting return migration of (semi-)skilled Myanmar workers working abroad
  6. Branding of “Made in Myanmar” products as the outputs of decent work and compliance with international labor standards

The presentation was given by Thomas Bernhardt, CESD Researcher and Policy Analyst, with support from the CESD Labour Team, to Masters of Public Administration (MPA) students at the Yangon University of Economics (Kamaryut Campus) 0n 1 August 2016.

Presentation name: Private enterprises in Myanmar regional economic integration and labor relations

Presenter: Thomas Bernhardt

Supported by: IDRC

Publication date: 2 August 2016

Language: English

Download the presentation from the following link: