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IFC Partners with UMFCCI to Improve Food Safety Practices in Myanmar

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) to help food sector companies address and improve food safety practices. This will subsequently develop the nation’s agribusiness sector, increase exports, draw investments, and generate jobs.  

Investment in food safety management systems is a prerequisite for the growth of Myanmar’s agribusiness, a key sector for the nation’s economy. It accounts for 38 percent of gross domestic product and 23 percent of the country’s exports. 

The agreement builds on an initiative that started in November last year. IFC, in cooperation with UMFCCI, organized a public awareness event in Yangon to address food safety issues with government representatives, leading food producers, retailers, and industry experts. The aim was to underline that addressing food safety in a systemic and sustainable way has a clear business case. 

“Myanmar’s agribusiness sector is keen to adopt world class food safety management systems,” said U Ye Min Aung, Vice President of UMFCCI.  “An efficient system will ultimately benefit consumers with safer food and health. It will also help increase exports and create jobs, thus driving the economy.” 

Internationally recognized standards have a proven track record of delivering results, which include better risk management and operational efficiency, among others. IFC has over 15 years’ experience of providing Food Safety Advisory Services to agribusiness and retail clients globally. 

This work has helped 150 IFC clients from 30 countries attract $290 million in investments and generate over $230 million in new sales.  IFC also helps client companies introduce an internationally recognized food safety system and works with governments and industry experts to build local capacity through training programs and workshops. 
 
“Myanmar will join other countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam in the region, which have benefitted from IFC’s expertise in implementing internationally accepted food safety systems,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Implementation of food safety standards and practices can help food enterprises improve efficiency and cut costs, contributing to a stronger brand value and enabling Myanmar to diversify opportunities in new markets.” 

IFC’s advisory work on improving Myanmar’s food safety practices, reforming regulations, and improving the business environment in the agribusiness sector is supported by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom and the Government of Japan.   

About IFC 

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. 

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