MYANMAR, A BLOSSOM PRIVATE-LED ECONOMY
“Myanmar has the potential for enormous growth. To realize this potential it is essential to create space for entrepreneurship. A vibrant private sector can generate jobs, and spur growth.”Kaushik Basu, World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.
With a multi-ethnic population of 60 million people, Myanmar is the biggest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and one of the least developed nations in the region. After one of the world’s longest civil wars and five decades under a military rule, a historic and peaceful election took place in November 2015 and brought the National League for Democracy party into power.
Long ago the main trade route between India and China, Myanmar is today located in the heart of the world’s fastest-growing region, it has abundant natural resources and it is close to a market of half a billion people.
It is still an underdeveloped economy with an untapped potential that has been subject to crushing economic sanctions since the mid-90s, but that has also recently shown record figures in its inward foreign direct investment since its democratic and economic reform started. According to the government`s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), inward FDI increased 50% from 2014 to 2015 ($8 billion in 2014/15), and was US$9.5 billion in financial year 2015/16, a dozen times the level of 10 years ago.
According to The Economist, real GDP –underpinned by large projects funded by foreign investors, will grow at 8-9% average annually in the period 2016-20. With 46 million inhabitants of working age and its early stage of economic development, there is a unique opportunity to build a suitable economy for the modern world.