Development of the Project Bank

Under the Notification issued on 30 November 2018, a project bank (Project Bank) will be established by the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MoPF) for the projects submitted by Myanmar government agencies (referred to as Implementing Government Agencies (IGA)), which plan to develop and implement projects.

The MoPF will determine the projects to be included in the Project Bank and establish a web-based database, which will make the Project Bank accessible by the public.

The Project Bank will include projects that IGAs plan to develop and implement relevant and appropriate action plans either with the Government’s budget, in partnership with private sector through PPP mechanisms or through transferring State-Owned Economic Enterprise (SEE), in part or in whole to the private sector through equitization or PPP mechanisms.

Project Bank is intended to have a screening tool by which projects can be assessed by reference to significant criteria such as financial viability, project risks, socio-economic effectiveness and sustainability.

Practical Implications

The notification creates clearer and more transparent pathway for investors interested in PPPs in Myanmar. To facilitate and implement PPP projects, the PPP centre (PPP Centre) will also be established. The role of the PPP Centre includes facilitiation, managing Project Bank, publishing guidelines on PPPs and monitoring PPP Projects. The PPP Centre, in cooperation with MoPF, will develop concrete criteria upon which appropriate types of Government support may be provided for each PPP project. Only PPP projects selected via a competitive tender process or Swiss Challenge tender process can seek Government support in terms of guarantee, viability gap funding, or other forms of support.

The form of PPP contracts is flexible and may be based upon Availability Payments, Build-Own-Operate (BOO), Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Build-Transfer-Lease (BTL), Build-Transfer-Operate (BTO) and Operate and Management (O&M) or other forms of PPP contracts such as Design-Build-Operate (DBO), Design-Build-Finance (DBF) and Operate-Transfer (OT) considered by the IGA, with support to be provided by the PPP Center upon request, to achieve the most appropriate risk sharing structure.

As a matter of principle, the notification says that the PPP contract shall be governed by Myanmar law and may have international arbitration.

A relevant government agency may also submit to the MoPF to include in the Project Bank a SEE for the transfer, in part or in whole, to the private sector. The PPP Center will review the plans prepared by relevant government agencies proposing to undertake equitization or apply a PPP mechanism for a SEE.

Conclusion

As the Myanmar government focuses on PPPs and promoting the private sector in national development as part of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), implementation of this notification will not only boost the confidence of the investors investing in Myanmar PPP projects through fairer competition and risk sharing with the Government, but also allow the Government to effectively facilitate and coordinate the whole PPP project process through screening, monitoring, providing support and managing the project.