Myanmar to privatise 17 more state-owned units

By Xinhua

Yangon : Myanmar is privatising state-owned enterprises for effective operation and has put up 17 more such enterprises for auction.

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According to the government’s privatisation commission, 17 enterprises of the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries and Ministry of Commerce’s Agricultural Produce Trading are to be sold out through competitive bidding.

This includes an ice factory, 10 rice mills and six bran oil mills in the country’s Yangon, Ayeyawaddy and Bago divisions.

As of November this year, the commission has announced privatisation of 22 state-owned enterprises under the two ministries.

These enterprises included similar factories in the country’s Western Rakhine state and Bago and Yangon divisions.

A total of 237 state-owned enterprises out of 288 proposed by 10 ministries have been privatised in Myanmar as of November this year. The country had started the privatisation process in 1995.

The privatisation plan covering those enterprises nationalised in the 1960s was introduced in a bid to systematically turn them into more effective entities, according to the commission.

The plan is carried out by auctioning and leasing or establishing joint ventures with local and foreign investors. The enterprises covered by the plan also include textile factories, sawmills, cinemas and hotels.

Myanmar has more than 55,000 factories, of which over 53,000 are private-run, according to an official estimate.

Myanmar has also planned to privatise its largest state-run gold mine in Kawlin, northwestern Sagaing division, an official of the Myanmar Mining Enterprise-2 said.

The nearly two square kilometres Kyaukpahtoe Gold Mine, currently managed by the ministry of mines, will also be transferred to the private sector.

To encourage private sector participation, Myanmar has established 19 industrial zones across the country. A total of 9,574 private industrial enterprises are already in operation.

According to an official estimate the industrial sector contributed about 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, of which the private sector’s contribution was 92.36 percent.