Sciaroni & Associates: Paid Articles: World Bank Group Assessment of Investment Climate in Myanmar & New Minimum Wage Set for 2015


World Bank Group Assessment of Investment Climate in Myanmar

By Nikita West, Of Counsel Sciaroni & Associates Myanmar

On October 31 2014, The World Bank Group, in partnership with UK Aid and the Myanmar Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development discussed its early findings on the investment climate in Myanmar.  The preliminary report will eventually accompany the Investment Climate Assessment for Myanmar.  U Tin Naing, Senior Minister to the President’s Office offered the opening remarks, commenting that the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Survey early findings were useful for Myanmar’s reform process.

The World Bank Group has conducted enterprise surveys in 130 countries, but this was the first survey conducted in Myanmar.  According to Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Manager, 632 owners and managers of private firms responded to the survey.  The survey focused on manufacturing and services throughout five regions in Myanmar:  Yangon, Bago, Monywa, Mandalay, and Taunggyi.

Conner Spreng, Senior Economist for the World Bank, stated that the major obstacles facing most firms were access to finance, land ownership, access to electricity and access to skilled workers.  For example, according to the Early Findings of the Enterprise Survey, Myanmar is still far behind other countries in the region regarding using bank loans for financing.  Additionally, in Myanmar – compared to China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka – only 30 percent of firms have a checking account.

In order to improve the investment climate in the public and private sector, Charles Schneider, Senior Operations Office to the IFC, stressed the importance of the Myanmar Business Forum and how its working groups can help the Government implement further positive initiatives for Myanmar’s continued growth.  (S&A are members of the MBF: natural resources and infrastructure committees).

Concurrent with the conference, World Bank Group released its   Measuring Business Regulations 2015 Report which addresses the ease of conducting business in Myanmar together with its  Economy Profile for Myanmar 2015.


Nikita West / Nikita is an American attorney with broad international experience who has done research and legal work in the United Arab Emirates, Namibia, Haiti, and Italy. Before joining Sciaroni & Associates, She was a visiting attorney for the Environmental Law Institute in Washington D.C., and practiced civil litigation. Nikita studied law in Chicago and is admitted to the bar in Illinois. She also received an LLM degree with a United Nations program in Turin, Italy. She speaks English and conversational Italian.


Sam Britton, Head of Myanmar Practice Group / Sam is an American attorney with extensive experience in the US and Asia including Japan, Thailand, Dubai, Hong Kong and China. Prior to joining the firm he worked for Baker & McKenzie in Bangkok. Sam’s expertise includes drafting, negotiation and analysis of various business transactional documents with specific focus in joint ventures, sales and purchase, real estate and IP matters. Sam is a member of State Bar of California. He reads and speaks English and Japanese.

New Minimum Wage Set for 2015

By Max Howlett and Yun Sophal

A new monthly minimum wage for workers in the garment, textile, and footwear sectors will increase to US$128 with effect from January 1st, 2015, according to Prakas No. 283 dated November 12th, 2014, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. The current minimum wage for the above workers is US$100 per month.

This Prakas has been issued subsequent to a declaration made on the same day by the tripartite Labor Advisory Council, recommending an amount of US$123 as a new minimum wage for 2015, which decision was made after a majority vote among the council members. Under the above Prakas, an additional amount of US$5 has been added to the Labor Advisory Council’s proposed rate.

There are no minimum wages determined for other sectors, but the rates specified for garment, textile, and footwear workers also have some influence in the manufacturing industry in general. As yet, there is no minimum wage for the private sector as a whole, but generally employees are paid according to their professional worth.

 Sciaroni & Associates Labor Practice Group

Obtaining good labor advice and having well-executed employment contracts will help businesses to prevent disputes, save time and cost, and preserve reputation.

Sciaroni & Associates has been heavily involved in the development of this important sector since its early stages and is a leading and trusted authority on labor matters. In addition, the firm has assisted clients in mediation, arbitration, and settlement of disputes. Members of our Labor Practice Group have also authored textbooks of the subject for Cambodian lawyers and students.

As such, we are well placed to advise and assist you on labor related matters in Cambodia, and we have represented companies, investors, embassies, and organizations in the Kingdom of Cambodia as well as individuals.

Sciaroni & Associates is a leading business and investment advisory firm serving Southeast Asia since 1993 with offices in CambodiaLaos and Myanmar.

Sciaroni & Associates assists clients in understanding the complex business conditions in those markets while efficiently identifying and resolving issues following strict international ethical standards.  Our firm provides experienced advice and seasoned business insights to many of the world’s leading companies, governments, economic think tanks, global development funds and international NGOs.

For more information please visit or contact us at. <a href=”mailto:[email protected]“>click here to contact us</a>

© Sciaroni & Associates 2014

Max Howlett Legal Director / An Australian lawyer, Max has been working in Cambodia since 1995 on a range of commercial, real estate and general legal matters. He has extensive knowledge of Cambodian law and assists many international clients with compliance issues regarding local laws and regulations. Max has a Master of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne


Yun Sophal / Sophal has extensive knowledge of Cambodian law, practice, and custom, specializing in labor law issues and labor dispute resolution with experience in legal research, analysis, evidence examination and arbitral award drafting. She has served as a Legal Officer with the Arbitration Council Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Laws in dual language-based programs from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia, and a Masters Degree in Law from the Transnational Law and Business University, South Korea. She speaks English and Khmer.