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Regional economic integration of Myanmar’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

For decades, Myanmar’s economic system was characterized by economic isolation and central planning. Today, however, as Myanmar is in the middle of a far-reaching political and economic transition, it is leaving this past behind. For Myanmar’s enterprises, and Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises (SMEs) in particular, the opening of the country’s economy in general and the intensification of regional economic integration more specifically, most notably through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC), bring both opportunities and challenges.

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Accessing Myanmar’s budget data online

The Open Myanmar Initiative (OMI), a nonprofit orginization promoting the right to information and education, recently launched their online budget dashboard, providing access to up-to-date budget data from the Union and State and Region governments. The project was lead by Giles Dickenson-Jones, CESD Research Fellow, as part of the State and Region Public Finances in Myanmar report.

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Strengths and opportunities for public financial management in Myanmar

CESD, in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has undertaken research to further facilitate and promote discussion on effective public financial management (PFM) between Myanmar’s union government and state and region governments.

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Paper: A primer on subnational finances and fiscal decentralisation in Myanmar

In a collection of papers on Myanmar’s financial sector, CESD’s Giles Dickenson-Jones and Cindy Joelene provide a summary of the fiscal structures at the state and region (subnational) level, highlighting the relevance of Myanmar’s political, administrative and economic systems to public financial management reforms.

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Promoting dialogue on effective public financial management across union, state and region governments

Recent reforms in Myanmar have lead to state and region governments having greater financial resources and responsibilities. Research undertaken by CESD, working with Ministry of Finance and supported by the Japan International Coopration Agency (JICA), supports greater transparency on how states and regions understand and undertake these responsibilities. The research findings, and policy recommendations, were discussed at a workshop for public finance management  officials in Nay Pyi Taw on 17 February 2016.

Workshop participants, 17 January 2016

Workshop participants, 17 January 2016

CESD’s research involved  interviews with a range of union, state and region public financial management officials in late 2015 and early 2016. The outcomes from the targeted interviews enabled a greater understanding of how public financial management operates at each level of government, the challenges faced, the important relationships used, and the governance and financial transparency arrangements in place. The results from the survey, and the CESD and JICA recommendations to improve public financial management in Myanmar, were presented for discussion at a workshop for public officials in Nay Pyi Taw on 17 February 2016.

Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director and host of the workshop, said that it was important to bring public financial management representatives across the different levels of government together to discuss the research results. “The workshop further informs the collective understanding of Myanmar’s more decentralised public financial management system. Participants have been encouraged to share their successes and challenges, and focus on future goals and reforms.”

The research into public financial management and subsequent workshop were sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and support an agreement between JICA and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to further improve implementation of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects in various states and regions of Myanmar.

Download a copy of the press release via the following links:

The press release, and additional photos, are also available on the JICA website.

Mr Kyosuke Inada, Deputy Chief Representative of JICA Myanmar Office, presents to representatives from union, state and region governments at the public financial management workshop

Mr Kyosuke Inada, Deputy Chief Representative of JICA Myanmar Office, presents to representatives from union, state and region governments at the public financial management workshop

Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, presents at the public financial management workshop

Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, presents at the public financial management workshop

Cindy Joelene, CESD Research Associate, presents at the public financial management workshop

Cindy Joelene, CESD Research Associate, presents at the public financial management workshop

S Kanay De, CESD Research Associate, presents at the public financial management workshop

S Kanay De, CESD Research Associate, presents at the public financial management workshop

 

 

Presenting some of the workshopped ideas and recommendations

Presenting some of the workshopped ideas and recommendations

Min Zarni Lin, CESD Senior Technical and Policy Analyst, facilitates discussion on public financial management reform and policy recommendations

Min Zarni Lin, CESD Senior Technical and Policy Analyst, facilitates discussion on public financial management reform and policy recommendations

Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, and representatives from union, state and region governments talk informally after the public financial management workshop

Dr Zaw Oo, CESD Executive Director, and representatives from union, state and region governments talk informally after the public financial management workshop

CESD research team, workshop host, facilitator and presenters: (standing) Min Zarni Lin, Lauren Dunn, Betty Mai, Cindy Joelene, S Kanay De, (seated) Giles Dickenson-Jones, Dr Zaw Oo

 

JICA logo

Promoting dialogue on effective public financial management

Based on an agreement with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to further improve implementation of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects in various states and regions of Myanmar, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has sponsored a study on Public Financial Management (PFM) between union and subnational governments in Myanmar.

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Are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Myanmar participating in regional economic integration?

Recent research by CESD, based on a survey among garment and food processing companies, has built a greater understanding of how Myanmar’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) participate in regional economic integration. CESD presented findings from their research at a regional workshop in Indonesia in January 2016, organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and ISEAS –Yusof Ishak Institute, who had also funded CESD’s research on this topic.

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State and region public finances report

CESD, together with The Asia Foundation and International Growth Centre, launched the latest research paper on sub-national governance on 6 October 2015. The paper, “State and Region Public Finances in Myanmar” is the eighth in the sub-national governance series of papers.

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Research outcomes presented at “Myanmar and the sustainable development goals” conference

A team of CESD senior researchers presented some of their recent research and publications at the Australian Myanmar Institute (AMI) “Myanmar and the sustainable development goals” conference, held at  Yangon University, 10 – 12 July 2015.

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Report: Making public finance work for children in Myanmar

CESD, in collaboration with UNICEF, has taken advantage of increased transparency of Myanmar’s national budget, developing an analysis of government budgets over four fiscal years, from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

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