BIF has been operating in Myanmar since September 2013, supporting and catalysing the adoption, adaption and expansion of commercially sustainable innovations in selected markets. BIF supports market players to develop new ways of working to increase market access by the poor as producers, processors or consumers. BIF Myanmar is currently working in the garment and tourism markets and is planning to add new markets to its portfolio in the coming months.



Myanmar’s tourism potential is huge. The development of the tourism industry is set to create thousands of jobs and increase the incomes of many poor people in Myanmar.

BIF's market system analysis found that tourism could lead to further inclusive economic growth if tourists were offered a greater choice of products that could also benefit low-income communities and people. To address this constraint, BIF has just completed a series of private sector training programmes on tourism product development and innovation, and has launched an exciting initiative, the Product and Package Innovation Competition (PPIC). The competition aims to stimulate the competitiveness of the tourism industry by supporting business ideas that will contribute to a wider market system change.

The BIF tourism market strategy has identified a number of other intervention areas, including:

  • addressing the gap in the provision of tour guide training
  • improving information flow and marketing in the sector, and
  • addressing the lack of accommodation in remote rural locations.



Myanmar is the next large-scale sourcing destination for international clothing brands. The sector has recently become one of the largest export markets for Myanmar and is a significant source of employment for many people, especially women. However, to be sustainable and inclusive, this opportunity has to harness the productivity potential of workers. BIF's market system analysis found that the business case to link productivity, human resource management and workers’ welfare was still to be established in Myanmar.

As such, BIF is currently working with factories to improve productivity and human resource management systems and to evaluate the impact of the training to establish the link between productivity and worker welfare.

In addition, BIF has engaged with a number of international brands, manufacturers, and the government to enhance policy dialogue and inform strategy for the garment sector in Myanmar. To date BIF has organised and facilitated four international-Myanmar Garment Seminars in Hong Kong and Yangon.



BIF Myanmar is about to begin work in the bamboo market - more details of our work in this area will be added shortly.


Myanmar's Garment Sector: An Opportunity for Inclusive Growth

This video describes how HR and productivity training could help the Myanmar garment industry to reach its full potential.

Bamboo: Myanmar's Green Gold

A video on the potential of bamboo to generate significant benefits for enterprises, communities and the environment.

Inspiring inclusive tourism in Myanmar

A video on the potential of inclusive tourism in Myanmar.

Innovations in Inclusive Tourism

Through the Product & Package Innovation Competition, BIF supported companies to implement inclusive tourism initiatives that benefit communities. Some of these PPIC-winning products are listed below.

Increasing the provision of consultancy services to Myanmar garment factories

Supporting sustainable growth in the Myanmar garments industry by training and deploying skilled management, HR and productivity improvement consultancy services to serve factories.

Garment factory productivity and HR training

Providing productivity and HR support to garment factories to build a business case on the commercial link between worker welfare, improved productivity and profitability.

Building the business case for investing in worker welfare and productivity in garment factories

Running a randomised control trial (RCT) to strengthen the evidence for investing in HR and productivity training to improve worker welfare and increase garment factories’ profitability.

Strengthening relationships between Myanmar garment factories and buyers

Facilitating relationships to improve labour standards and develop specialised services to support industry development and growth.

Tourism Product & Package Innovation Competition

Stimulating the creation of innovative and inclusive tourism products and packages in Myanmar, to increase the competitiveness of national tour operators.
Shwedagon Pagoda

Consultation on tourist guiding in Myanmar: towards a policy change

Stakeholders are calling for change in Myanmar’s Tourist Guiding industry to improve the quality and availability of guiding services.


RCT findings from a garment factory upgrading programme in Burma

As part of its work in Myanmar's garment market, BIF provided garment factories with training on productivity and human resource management. The effectiveness of this training was measured through a randomised controlled trial led by an independent academic institution. This paper presents the findings from the RCT and associated lessons learnt which may be of particular interest to donor programmes considering a similar intervention.

BIF Myanmar inclusive tourism products map

This map provides the location and details of tourism products and packages supported with grants and technical assistance through BIF's Tourism Product and Package Innovation Competition.

How to maximise the benefits of garment factory training for your business, your workers and the industry

A 'how to' guide for garment factory managers and owners demonstrating the business case for investing in factory improvement services, and outlining some practical steps on how to implement change and access support.

BIF Toolkit - How to Set Up a Travel Hub [Myanmar Version]

Are you interested in setting up a Travel Hub? Read on! A Travel Hub is a place where visitors can get accurate information about accommodation, transportation, local activities and, where appropriate, Myanmar-wide travel. Travel Hubs are located in places that tourists typically congregate - coffee shops, motorbike rental shops or restaurants. They are designed to provide an additional stream of revenue to a business that already has a reliable client base of tourists. Furthermore, host businesses benefit from enhanced marketing, capacity building for staff and potentially becoming part of a nation-wide network.

The Business Case for Factory Improvement Services in Myanmar [Chinese language]

As part of its work in Myanmar’s garment sector, BIF provided garment factories with training and consulting services on productivity and Human Resource (HR) management. Fourteen factories participated in the training, the headline results of which are detailed in this two-page document.

The Business Case for Factory Improvement Services in Myanmar [Myanmar language]

As part of its work in Myanmar’s garment sector, BIF provided garment factories with training and consulting services on productivity and Human Resource (HR) management. Fourteen factories participated in the training, the headline results of which are detailed in this two-page document.

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