Promoting Responsible Investment

Local Women carrying a fishing net in Kyauk Phyu, Rakhine state

The private sector plays an increasingly important role in the lives of Myanmar people. But business investments can have both positive and negative impacts. Local communities can experience loss of livelihoods and land, for instance, and face restricted access to critical natural resources, like    water and forests. On the other hand, businesses can  contribute to economic growth and provide new employment opportunities.

Oxfam works across Myanmar to strengthen the benefits of private sector investment for communities. Together with our partners Scholar Institute and the Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA), we are supporting a number of communities who are expected to be heavily impacted by anticipated private sector development. Where investment plans are being developed, Oxfam and its partners work closely with local communities to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities that will come with these large projects  while building greater accountability and transparency between the companies and the communities. Ultimately, we hope to ensure that investment-related decisions maximize the benefits for impacted communities, supporting them to have sustainable livelihoods and a clean environment now and into the future.

Equally important for how investment happens are the laws, rules and policies governing how investment is promoted and how companies behave. Oxfam is working with Government, Ethnic Administrations, the private sector and civil society organisations to help improve investment-related legal frameworks in Myanmar, and strengthen policies, such as the Myanmar Agriculture Development Strategy, to ensure they deliver for the majority, not just the few.