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Economic Development

Individual Documents

Title: How to Grow Burma’s Economy
Date of publication: 17 August 2016
Description/subject: UK-based author made a list of recommended reads by Bill Gates with his influential book “How Asia Works,” an analysis of success and failure in Asian economies. In his book, Studwell argues that high-performing countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China set the foundations for economic success by strengthening smallholder agriculture, subjecting industry to export discipline and pursuing a tightly controlled financial policy. Studwell spoke to The Irrawaddy ahead of his keynote speech at a conference in Naypyidaw on Tuesday on the role of government in supporting smallholder agriculture, to accelerate economic development..."
Author/creator: Sandy Barron (interviews Joe Studwell)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2016


Title: Policies for Shared Prosperity in Myanmar (English, Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 23 February 2016
Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "The November 8, 2015 elections in Myanmar marked a historic milestone in the country’s political and economic transition that began in 2011. Incoming policy makers are preparing to pick up the baton and deliver on the people’s strong aspirations for a harmonious and prosperous Myanmar. In this series of policy notes, the World Bank Group seeks to promote dialogue on critical development challenges and on options for policies and reforms that can contribute to shared prosperity for the people of Myanmar. Myanmar has strong medium-term growth potential. Efforts to open up and liberalize the economy over the past 4 years have revealed pent up demand, brought in new investments, and increased productivity from a very low base. Between 2011 and 2014 Myanmar’s economy grew at an average real rate of 7 percent per year, which is among the fastest in East Asia, and comparable to other high performing countries in their initial phase of liberalization. In the coming years, further removal of economic controls could help Myanmar to maintain a strong pace of growth. Myanmar has a real opportunity in ensuring that growth is also inclusive. This not only means sustaining a strong pace of growth, but doing so through a diversified economy that can absorb the labor force into higher productivity sectors. The agriculture sector, which suffers from low productivity, contributing on average only 10-15 percent to annual real GDP growth over the past 4 years, employs over half of the country’s labor force. The manufacturing and construction sectors on the other hand, which have the highest value added per unit of labor, employ only 10-15 percent of the labor force. Policies that can enable a structural shift to more productive and labor intensive activities could make a big dent on poverty and inequality in Myanmar. These would include expanding access to essential public services. This could enable a bigger share of the population to benefit from the agglomeration of economic activities around Myanmar’s growth poles, namely Yangon and Mandalay, which account for roughly 35 percent of national GDP. The sound governance and use of Myanmar’s natural resource wealth are also critical to inclusive growth. Around 10 percent of Myanmar’s official GDP is derived from natural resources, though some estimate unofficial trade in natural resources at more than 20 percent of official GDP. This not only concentrates wealth from non-renewable national assets in the hands of a few, but also finances conflicts, which have created vicious cycles of poverty that are geographically and ethnically concentrated. Policy reforms since 2011 have started to promote inclusion so that a growing share of Myanmar’s people can take advantage of new opportunities and benefit from economic growth. Higher tax collections from non-agriculture sectors and rising natural resource rents have enabled Myanmar to reprioritize public spending towards critical economic and social service needs. Foreign exchange, trade and investment liberalization have opened up economic opportunities and the space for investment beyond a small group of highly protected sectors. Increased public sector transparency and decentralization have started to gradually bring the state closer to the people. Given this context, how can Myanmar advance reforms to close the disparities across its geography, ethnic communities, and income groups; and to promote productivity and competitiveness? This is the question that this series of policy notes, “All aboard! Policies for shared prosperity in Myanmar,” aims to generate debate and ideas. The theme “All aboard” is meant to reflect inclusivity and imminent departure on a positive journey. The policy notes focus on six interconnected areas that are likely to be high priorities for shared prosperity (figure 1). The first is on closing the gap in access to social services for improving Myanmar’s human development outcomes. This could help to strengthen the productivity and employability of Myanmar’s current and future labor force, which is the critical input to inclusive growth and a precondition to success in all the other areas. The second policy note is on growing together by reducing poverty in rural areas. Policies to boost agriculture productivity and accelerate the delivery of essential services in rural areas, where they lag the most, could help to supply the much needed labor and food for the rapidly expanding industrial, manufacturing and service sectors. Investment in higher productivity sectors is also likely to require breaking business as usual to foster competitiveness and a dynamic environment for private sector growth across the country, which are discussed in the third policy note. These include policies that are targeted at reducing the costs of doing business and engaging in international trade. The relative impact of these could be enormous in terms of incentivizing private sector investments, expanding access to economic opportunities for rural and urban populations, and diversifying the sources of growth. Enabling these to drive major structural transformations in the economy is likely to require policy reforms in two important areas. The fourth policy note therefore looks at options to expand Myanmar’s ability for financing the future through an open, modern, and inclusive financial system. This is important not only for channeling savings to large private investments, but also to finance public sector operations and service delivery, facilitate the expansion of international trade, and enable the transfer of increased remittances to rural areas. The fifth policy note is on energizing Myanmar by enhancing access to sustainable energy for all. Myanmar’s growing economy will need more energy than is currently supplied – not only for productive sectors, but also for the delivery of public services across the country."
Author/creator: Habib Rab + team
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: World Bank
Format/size: html, pdf (English, 1.4MB-reduced version; 1.5MB-original...Burmese, 1.6MB-reduced version; 2.1MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/World_Bank-2016-02-23-All_aboard-en.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/World_Bank-2016-02-23-All_aboard-bu.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/World_Bank-2016-02-23-All_aboard-en-red.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/World_Bank-2016-02-23-All_aboard-bu-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 March 2016


Title: The Economic Development in Southern Myanmar: How Local Mestizos Create a Stable and Strong Economic Development under Obstacles
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: "...After Myanmar government led by U Thein Seinhas committed for a political and economic reform in 2011, Japan International Cooperation Agency (from now, ‘JICA’) started helping Myanmar. In fiscal year 2012, Myanmar receive 227,930 millions of Yens, considering 39% of the total figure in Southeast Asia, in a form of technical cooperation such as training, participants, experts, study terms, provision of equipment. Also, JICA started granting an ODAin 2013. (JICA, 2015) More than that, the fact that Myanmar liberalized the economy and promised for a democratic transition have loosen the tension between itself and other international players. The international institutions welcome and have more activities with Myanmar more easily. The reduction of sanction from other countries means less trade restriction and more trading promotion including tax exemption. All these leads to a significant economic growth and a chance for Myanmar to catch up with other ASEAN countries before the ASEAN community starts at the end of this year. However, just like other developing nations, the growth concentrates on a few main cities. Mandalay, the ancient capital city locating in the north of Myanmar, has its border connecting to the Southern part of China. Recently, the Chi nese government has invested in the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone or Kyaukpyu SEZ focusing on the energy and petrol industry. Thus, Chinese government built the pipeline delivering gas to Yunan province. Also, The highway was built. This highway is the ma in linkage between China and northern part of Myanmar. Chinese capital and consumer products have been flowed to Mandalay. Recently, Mandalay is one of a few cities that are popular in investors’ eye...".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Saibhorn Biboribankul
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (154)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 03 September 2015


Title: Trade, Foreign Investment and Myanmar's Economic Development during the Transition to an Open Economy
Date of publication: August 2007
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Throughout the 1990s and up to 2005, the adoption of an open-door policy substantially increased the volume of Myanmar's external trade. Imports grew more rapidly than exports in the 1990s owing to the release of pent-up consumer demand during the transition to a market economy. Accordingly, trade deficits expanded. Confronted by a shortage of foreign currency, the government after the late 1990s resorted to rigid controls over the private sector's trade activities. Despite this tightening of policy, Myanmar's external sector has improved since 2000 largely because of the emergence of new export commodities, namely garments and natural gas. Foreign direct investments in Myanmar significantly contributed to the exploration and development of new gas fields. As trade volume grew, Myanmar strengthened its trade relations with neighboring countries such as China, Thailand and India. Although the development of external trade and foreign investment inflows exerted a considerable impact on the Myanmar economy, the external sector has not yet begun to function as a vigorous engine for broad-based and sustainable development."... Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), international trade, cross-border trade, foreign direct investment, economic development, development cooperation PDF filepdf(274KB)
Author/creator: Toshihiro Kudo and Fumiharu Mieno
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE Discussion Paper 116)
Format/size: pdf (274K)
Date of entry/update: 22 April 2008