Myanmar Microfinance sector explores development strategies in the light of international experience

May 10, 2013

Nay Pyi Taw - Experts from national and international organizations working on financial inclusion gather for a two-day workshop to explore how international good practices can be used to build the Myanmar microfinance sector.

Presenters include representatives from BRAC, ASA, PKSF and Safesave from Bangladesh, ACLEDA Bank from Cambodia, SIDBI from India, Bank Andara from Indonesia, Tameer Microfinance Bank from Pakistan and CARD Bank from the Philippines, as well as IFC, UNCDF, CGAP, LIFT, SDC, the Myanmar Microfinance Working Group, and the Small Scale Industries Department under Ministry of Co-operatives.

Participants include representatives of government ministries and departments, local banks and microfinance institutions, multilateral agencies and foreign missions.

In his opening address to the workshop, H.E. Dr. Linn Aung, Deputy Minister for Ministry of Finance and Revenue, said the objective of implementing microfinance is to contribute to rural development and poverty alleviation. “It needs to be actually and effectively implemented to develop the socio-economic life of the low-income people living in rural and urban areas,” he said.

It was echoed by H.E. U Than Tun, Deputy Minister for Ministry of Cooperatives, who urged microfinance institutions in Myanmar to aim for sustainable development. “As the market expands it must aim for sustainable development and not just for business investment,” U Than Tun said. As of now the eight tasks for rural development and poverty reduction are also being laid down and the development of microfinance industries is being implemented as one of the eight tasks.

The ‘Emerging Microfinance Sector in Myanmar, Regional lessons on selected issues’ workshop is jointly organized by the Microfinance Business Supervisory Committee (MBSC), representing the Ministry of Finance and Revenue and UNDP in Myanmar. The Ministry of Cooperatives and CGAP, a global knowledge center advancing financial access for the poor, are co-organisers of the workshop.

UNDP has played a groundbreaking role in supporting the Myanmar’s microfinance sector and it has been involved in the sector since 1997. A joint programme of UNDP and UNCDF was initiated recently in Myanmar to support the country’s financial sector development.

“Myanmar will need an ecosystem of institutions such as microfinance institutions, banks, and mobile operators that can offer diverse financial services to the poor. UNDP stands ready to assist all stakeholders in their efforts to strengthen the microfinance sector in Myanmar.” said Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director in Myanmar.

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