Myanmar can potentially grow at 8%: WB
India may not be the only growth story in the midst of a global economic slowdown. According to the World Bank, Myanmar's economy has the potential to grow rapidly, up to around 8 per cent per year in real terms over the next 5 years. With the right policy choices, a growing economy can provide more jobs and higher incomes for the people of Myanmar, according to a series of new policy notes issued on February 23 by the World Bank Group.
All Aboard: Policies for Shared Prosperity in Myanmar explores development opportunities and reform options for Myanmar, useful for policy-makers and all persons interested in the future of the country, the World Bank said in a press release.
“Myanmar is at a historic milestone in its political and economic transition. The great opportunity for Myanmar is to turn continued strong economic growth into better lives for all the people of Myanmar,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Country Director for Southeast Asia. “Three policy directions will be key to help achieve such inclusive growth: the further opening and diversification of the economy, with a level playing field for the private sector and structural shifts to more productive and labor intensive activities; nationwide programs to achieve, over time, universal access to basic education, health, and energy services of reliable quality; and transparency and accountability in the public sector.”
The policy notes aim to promote dialogue and generate ideas on critical development challenges and options for policies and reforms that can contribute to shared prosperity for the people of Myanmar. The World Bank's Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, Axel van Trotsenburg, shared these policy notes with National League for Democracy Chairperson Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Minister of Finance U Win Shein, and Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw U Win Myint, highlighting six pathways to growth – through access to social services, reducing rural poverty, private sector competitiveness, financial inclusion, energy and public sector governance.
The six interconnected groups of policy initiatives could together strengthen overall progress towards shared prosperity. Each policy note summarizes the context and opportunities for change, including recent reforms and developments. They also highlight regional experiences and lessons for shared prosperity in Myanmar.
“Myanmar has the potential to follow a similar path of inclusive growth as other Asian countries that enjoyed long periods of rapid income growth,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Myanmar. “The country faces a long road ahead in addressing continued challenges to close disparities across Myanmar's geography, ethnic communities and income groups. The World Bank Group looks forward to continuing to support the people of Myanmar in overcoming these challenges.”
In 2015, the World Bank Group completed its first full country strategy, Country Partnership Framework (CPF), for Myanmar. The CPF, covering three-year period, outlines how the global knowledge, financing, and convening services of the World Bank Group can support Myanmar and its people in transforming their country, reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the release said. (SH)
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