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The Role of the Accountancy Profession in Supporting Access to Finance

MICPA (the Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) hosted the Myanmar Finance Leaders Summit in Yangon on the 4th of August 2013. The conference attracted over 300 leaders in finance, accountancy, corporate governance, and capital markets.

Myanmar has been undergoing very progressive economic development and the years ahead will prove to be exciting for Myanmar. Interest in the country has been high, with MNCs and foreign investors seeking to enter the market. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, the country could quadruple the size of its economy from USD 45 billion in 2010 to more than USD 200 billion in 2030. Myanmar will also be launching its first stock exchange, the Yangon Stock Exchange in 2015 – a measure that will give firms in the country greater access to finance.

However, Myanmar needs the associated financial services sector that helps a capital market function - such as securities companies, law firms, and accounting and audit practices. As the economy grows, there is a greater need for competent finance leadership, and a robust accountancy and governance framework.

With this in mind, MICPA and ACCA hosted the Myanmar Finance Leaders Summit, a conference which addressed how building a strong finance and accountancy framework can help a country gain greater access to finance and build a stronger economy. Some of the discussions at the conference included the role of the accountancy profession in delivering effective public financial management; how an emerging economy can create greater access to finance and how creating access to finance plays a social role in elevating poverty and providing greater opportunities for the people of Myanmar.

The conference featured prominent international speakers with a wealth of experience in finance, policy, capital markets, public financial management, and international development including U Than Lwin, Deputy Chairman (2), Kanbawza Bank Ltd; Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Member of Parliament, Malaysia and Chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament of Malaysia; Professor U Maw Than, Member of the Myanmar Accountancy Council and Steering Committee Member of MICPA; Dr. Maung Maung Lay, Vice Chairman, Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI); Mr. Ahmadi Hadibroto, Board Member, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC); Mr. James Lee, Director of Finance, The Regent Singapore; Mr. Jovi Seet, Partner, PwC Singapore and Senior Executive Director, PwC Myanmar; and Mr. Reza Ali, Head of Emerging Markets – Asia, ACCA.

MICPA and ACCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January 2013 to work together to achieve and promote the highest professional, ethical, and governance standards, advance public interest in the profession and support it in Myanmar. ACCA is the first global accounting body to sign an MoU with MICPA.

U Kyaw Tin, Chairman, MICPA said, “Professional qualifications which provide a complete breadth of financial understanding create well-rounded finance professionals who have the capacity to play a key role in driving smarter decision making for sustainable growth. MICPA is pleased to be working with ACCA. The Myanmar Finance Leaders Summit is one of the many activities that MICPA and ACCA will undertake to advance the accounting and finance profession in Myanmar.”

Mr. Reza Ali, Head of Emerging Markets – Asia, ACCA added, “Capital markets play an important role in promoting economic activity in a market by facilitating access to finance, and in the macro view have far-reaching development benefits for an emerging market like Myanmar. The success of capital markets rely on a solid ecosystem. Finance professionals and accountancy bodies play an integral role in building and sustaining such systems. ACCA looks forward to working closely with MICPA to support and advance the profession in delivering public value in Myanmar.”