Myanmar is strategically located between India and China, two of the largest economies in the world. To take advantage of this position, the Government of Myanmar needs to implement trade policies and guidelines that are evidence driven, as well as maximises the national employment, domestic products and productivity. The constraints for the Ministry of Commerce to fully take advantage of the unique location are: a lack of trade research; using trade data to develop trade policies that are the most beneficial to Myanmar; a lack of a proper database system in which all trade related information is stored; and a lack of human and technical resources in the ministry.
This project aims to support the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) with trade research and by building the capacity of two departments of the MoC. By contributing to the trade research function of the MOC, this project aims to facilitate the formulation of trade policies that are firmly grounded in evidence.
The proposed collaboration is intended to incorporate research collaboration itself as a form of capacity building for the two departments, and specifically, by providing MOC staff with opportunities for “learning-by-doing”. Then it will supplement research collaboration by:
- Providing day-to-day support at the MOC; and
- Holding research workshops on specific topics where there have been requests for support.
The day-to-day support at the MOC is particularly helpful for organising data at the Trade Information and Research Division, which was highlighted as a priority issue by Win Myint (Director of the Trade Information and Research Division). Moreover, as requested by the Director of Planning and Statistics Division, upgrading the current trade data reporting system will also be carried out. Both forms of support are essential for systematising data on MOC policies.
This study will aid in the collection and systematising of data on customs, as well as on the various policies and activities of the MOC. It will be valuable in generating research and building the capacity of the MOC.