Authorities are inspecting manufacturing businesses to uncover unregistered companies as a spread of unregistered small and medium businesses (SME) throughout Myanmar are thought to be undercutting local industrial production.
The Ministry of Industry’s Industrial Supervision unit’s director general U Thein Swe said private industrial businesses are wrong to think registering companies is a time consuming process without commercial benefits.
“There are advantages to being registered such as being eligible for loans and able to employ foreigners. We also share technologies with registered businesses,” he said.
SMEs are currently regulated by Myanmar’s 1990 private industrial law, while an SME Bill is being discussed at the parliament.
U Thein Swe said the government can fine businesses found to be operating without a licence under these regulations. About 50 to 60 unregistered companies are now getting registered every month, he added.
“The law invites businesses to register. If they don’t register we cannot accurately calculate the GDP of the country,” he said. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is the market value of all officially recognised final goods and services produced in a country. The statistic plays a key role the government’s monitoring of economic
progress and the implementation of development reforms.
But the government’s call for businesses to register isn’t solely based on their own administrative interests.
U Thein Swe said unregistered SMEs face increased land ownership and fraud disputes, which disadvantage local commercial production throughout the domestic sector.
“Registering businesses allows safeguard measures to be put in place, protecting trade and manufacturing licences, and protects weaker industrial sectors from excess foreign investment entering the market,” said a director of Shwe Thundayi cosmetic company.
By making businesses register, the government is attempting to unify industrial efforts and increase national productivity. The Ministry of Industry was restructured in December 2011 by integrating Ministry of Industry no. 1 and 2.
The ministry is also engaging in founding new factories and training facilities to improve or enable the production of transport vehicles, construction and agricultural machineries, and rubber-based and high tech products, officials said.