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Economy: general, analytical, statistical (various sources)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "BurmaNet News" Trade/Business archive
Language: English
Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 April 2012


Title: "The Myanmar Times" (English) - Business section (items from February 2011)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 January 2013


Title: Burma Day 2005 - Selected Documents
Description/subject: Burma Day 2005 - Selected Documents... Supporting Burma/Myanmar’s National Reconciliation Process - Challenges and Opportunities... Brussels, Tuesday 5th April 2005... Most of the papers and reports focus on the "Independent Report" written for the conference by Robert Taylor and Morten Pedersen. They range from macroeconomic critique to historical and procedural comment.
Language: English
Source/publisher: European Commission
Format/size: html, Word
Date of entry/update: 06 April 2005


Title: Burmafund's Economy Page
Description/subject: Many/most of the links to US and other reports on Burma's economy are out of date, but some may still be useful.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Fund
Format/size: pdf (71K), html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Economy (burmese) ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ စီးပြားေရး- burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2013


Title: Economy of Burma
Description/subject: The Economy of Burma (Myanmar) is one of the least developed in the world, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement, and isolation. Burma’s GDP stands at $42.953 billion and grows at an average rate of 2.9% annually – the lowest rate of economic growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion.[2] Among others, the EU, United States and Canada have imposed economic sanctions on Burma. Historically, Burma was the main trade route between India and China since 100 BC. The Mon Kingdom of lower Burma served as important trading center in the Bay of Bengal. After Burma was conquered by British, it became the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia. It was also once the world's largest exporter of rice. It produced 75% of the world's teak and had a highly literate population. After a parliamentary government was formed in 1948, Prime Minister U Nu embarked upon a policy of nationalization. The government also tried to implement a poorly thought out Eight-Year plan. By the 1950s, rice exports had fallen by two thirds and mineral exports by over 96%. The 1962 coup d'état was followed by an economic scheme called the Burmese Way to Socialism, a plan to nationalize all industries. The catastrophic program turned Burma into one of the world's most impoverished countries. In 2011, when new President Thein Sein's government came to power, Burma embarked on a major policy of reforms including anti-corruption, currency exchange rate, foreign investment laws and taxation. Foreign investments increased from US$300 million in 2009-10 to a US$20 billion in 2010-11 by about 667%.[6] Large inflow of capital results in stronger Burmese currency, kyat by about 25%. In response, the government relaxes import restrictions and abolishes export taxes. Despite current currency problems, Burmese economy is expected to grow by about 8.8% in 2011.[7] After the completion of 58-billion dollar Dawei deep seaport, Burma is expected be at the hub of trade connecting Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, via the Andaman Sea, to the Indian Ocean receiving goods from countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and spurring growth in the ASEAN region..."...Contents: 1 History: 1.1 Pre-colonial era; 1.2 Colonial era (1885 - 1948); 1.3 Independence; 1.4 Military rule (1988 - 2011); 1.5 Economic liberalization (2011-present)... 2 Industries: 2.1 Garment production; 2.2 Illegal drug trade; 2.3 Oil and gas; 2.4 Gemstones; 2.5 Tourism... 3 External trade... 4 Macro-economic trend... 5 Humanitarian aid... 6 Other statistics... 7 Impact on population... 8 See also... 9 Footnotes... 10 External links.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 August 2012


Title: IDE/Jetro website
Description/subject: Search for Myanmar - more than 100 items, mainly on the economy
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE- Institute of Developing Economies / JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Journal Articles & Occasional Papers on Myanmar's economy
Description/subject: 22 articles from 2006 (titles, authors, abstracts and links to full texts) - 13 on Vietnam, 7 on Burma/Myanmar: Yangon's Development Challenges - José A. Gómez-Ibáñez and Nguyễn Xuân Thành, March 2012 ...The Exchange Rate in Myanmar: An Update to January 2012 - David Dapice, January 2012 ...Appraising the Post-Sanctions Prospects for Myanmar's Economy: Choosing the Right Path - David O. Dapice, Michael J. Montesano, Anthony J. Saich, Thomas J. Vallely, January 2012...Myanmar Agriculture in 2011: Old Problems and New Challenges - David O. Dapice, Malcolm McPherson, Michael J. Montesano, Thomas J. Vallely, and Ben Wilkinson, November 2011...The Myanmar Exchange Rate: A Barrier to National Strength - David O. Dapice, Malcolm McPherson, Michael J. Montesano, Thomas J. Vallely, and Ben Wilkinson, June 2011...Revitalizing Agriculture in Myanmar: Breaking Down Barriers, Building a Framework for Growth - David O. Dapice, Mike Montesano, Thomas J. Vallely, and Ben Wilkinson, July 2010...Assessment of the Myanmar Agricultural Economy - Vietnam Program, March 2009...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ash Center, for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2012


Title: Network Myanmar's Business pages
Description/subject: Useful material: 1. Business and Investment News... 2. Basic Documentation on Trade and Investment in Myanmar... 3. Trade and Investment Data and Statistics
Language: English
Source/publisher: Network Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2011


Title: Network Myanmar's Economy pages
Description/subject: More than 100 useful articles and reports from various sources -- academic, Myanmar Union Government, intergovernmental agencies, media etc.
Language: English, (at least 1 Burmese item)
Source/publisher: Network Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2011


Title: Publications on "Shaping economic processes"
Description/subject: Publications on "Shaping economic processes" Business and Human rights Position Paper on Business and Human Rights (2013) (pdf, 830 KB)... - Expectations of a German Action Plan This publication is also available in German (pdf, 850 KB)... Economic growth and development Economic growth and development (pdf, 150 KB) Changing course to ensure a better life for all Memo drafted by the MISEREOR focus group 'Economic growth and development' This publication is also available in Spanish (pdf, 140 KB)... Financial transactions Position paper "International taxes on financial transactions" (pdf, 144 KB) responding to global challenges - towards a fairer sharing of costs
Language: English, German, Spanish
Source/publisher: Misereor
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 March 2014


Title: Results of a Google search for Myanmar 2014 on the IDE-Jetro site
Description/subject: 277 results (June 2014). The results are not inchronological order.
Language: English, Japanese
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 June 2014


Title: Stefan Collignon's Home Page
Description/subject: Important economic analyses of Burma
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: Fiscal cloud taxes Myanmar optimism
Date of publication: 08 January 2014
Description/subject: "Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. Tax reform may not be sexy, but Myanmar's fledgling market economy is in desperate need of fiscal consolidation. A combination of well-intentioned reforms and some unsavory legacies of the old military regime have left public finances in a precarious position. If the current methods of public financing are not restructured quickly, a debt crisis is a real possibility. At present, Myanmar's public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is officially estimated at 45.7%, hardly an extraordinary figure by global standards. Even a developing country such as Myanmar, with its long history of instability and economic mismanagement, could maintain the good graces of global capital markets if public debt remained at this moderate level..."
Author/creator: Josh Wood
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


Title: Economic reform as flawed ideology
Date of publication: 24 October 2013
Description/subject: "Commentary on the scope and limits of Myanmar's recent reforms has already become trite. Those familiar with the endemic corruption and impropriety in the country's governmental and business practices have been quick to celebrate the relaxation of economic strictures, and the unexpected welcome Naypyidaw has given to new mechanisms of accountability. Hope for an end to the human-rights abuses and economic mismanagement, which has characterized the country's political economy for decades, is palpable. The reengagement of International Financial Institutions (IFIs - including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and ADB, the Asian Development Bank) in these reforms has lent weight to arguments that President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government has turned a corner. Optimists put stock in the government's contention that with a robust framework for macro and micro economic and social reforms, Myanmar can become a modern, developed and democratic nation by 2030. However, both the ideological underpinnings of this reform process - led by IFIs and embraced wholesale by Naypyidaw - and the consequences for the majority of Myanmar's population have been little discussed..."
Author/creator: David Baulk
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


Title: Myanmar’s Economic policy in Transition: Comparative Assessment & Empirical Analysis
Date of publication: June 2013
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper comparatively examines the economic policies of Myanmar in transition with other Asian countries’ experiences and test the credibility of the policies with econometric methodology. Comparative studies with other emerging economies and transitional stages offer the opportunity to examine Myanmar’s transitional policies clearly and found out that Myanmar is at the cross road and not focusing on the old pattern of developments of other’s success stories. Myanmar is definitely not focusing on the productivity of agriculture for the surplus transfer to industrialization. It assesses the development pattern of Myanmar from the theoretical perspective. Growth models mainly address the importance of saving and capitals, human capital, openness to the trade, macroeconomic stability, political stability, technological change and most importantly the surpluses transfer from agriculture to industrialization as key drivers to economic growth. Based on the Cobb-Douglas production function, this paper tests the credibility whether the economic policy reform of Myanmar is contributing much to the growth and development. It employs the time series data set from IMF staff estimates, World Bank, ADB, MOFA, and the technique of cointegration test within an Autoregressive Distributed Lag Framework (ARDL ) proposed by Pesaran (1997) . The empirical results show that the economic policies of new Myanmar government are not focusing on the right direction to realize the potential gains and last but not least, the paper shades lights on the policy recommendations."
Author/creator: Richard Takhun
Language: English
Source/publisher: (Thesis) School of Economics and Finance Curtin University of Technology
Format/size: pdf (760K)
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2014


Title: Burma’s Ethnic Violence ‘Poses Threat to Foreign Investment’
Date of publication: 11 April 2013
Description/subject: "Continued religious and ethnic violence in Burma could deter much-needed investment by fostering a “wait and see” attitude among foreign companies and entrepreneurs, according to a study of the recent spate of anti-Muslim rioting and arson in the country. “Failure to prevent the spread of sectarian violence could dampen the influx of critical foreign investment,” the briefing on Burma by British business risk consultants Maplecroft said. The report identifies the booming tourism industry as the most vulnerable, with the negative impact quickly spreading to the retail and infrastructure sectors. “[Burma] has attracted significant interest from investors since the US and EU pared back sanctions in 2012. However, stakeholders remain cautious about making significant investments in the country, preferring to wait and see how the reform process moves forward,” said Maplecroft’s principal Asia analyst Arvind Ramakrishnan..."
Author/creator: William Boot|
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2013


Title: Export-Oriented Growth Strategy for Myanmar: Joining Production Networks in East Asia
Date of publication: January 2013
Description/subject: Concluding Remarks: "For many years, the West has pressured Myanmar in the direction of democracy and respect for human rights by ostracizing its military government through measures such as economic sanctions. Now, the thick fog of military rule that has so far enshrouded the country has become clear. As Western economic sanctions have been eased or lifted, Myanmar’s products will no doubt regain access to global markets, and there will be an influx of foreign investment to this country. The Myanmar economy will become more integrated into the global and regional economies, and have the chance to realize its latent potential. Myanmar’s exports will accordingly increase, and the export goods and destination shall be diversified. To do so, the first step for Myanmar is to show its ability to host export-oriented industry. The apparel industry seems to serve as a litmus test for this. After that, to be a part of production and distribution networks for E&E industry in East Asia will be a key for Myanmar to proceed to the next stage of industrialization. Myanmar should also tap into intra-regional markets, such as China, India and Thailand, in addition to traditional export markets such as US and EU. Utilizing the regional free trade agreements and further enhancement of the connectivity with these countries is also important for the export-oriented growth strategy for Myanmar"
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO and Satoru KUMAGAI
Language: English and Burmese
Source/publisher: IDE Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No.9
Format/size: html, pdf (380K-English; 655K-Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/pdf/09.pdf (English)
http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/pdf/09_Burmese.pdf (Burmese)
Date of entry/update: 09 October 2014


Title: The fiscal year in review: 2012 - 2013
Date of publication: 31 December 2012
Description/subject: The government’s efforts to reform the long-dormant economy and tackle endemic poverty through 2011 and 2012 have failed to reach the intended targets, sources said last week.
Author/creator: Aye Thidar Kyaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2013


Title: The Rocky Road to Recovery (interview with Lex Rieffel)
Date of publication: 30 December 2012
Description/subject: "Since joining the Brookings Institution in 2002, Rieffel, a former US Treasury Department staff economist, has made Myanmar’s economic transition a focus of his policy research work. He was in the country in October and November to assess foreign aid to Myanmar.....In terms of economic revival, what are Myanmar’s most pressing needs? An economy, even a rudimentary one like Myanmar’s, is a complex system. This means that to perform at a high level, a large number of elements need to be functioning properly at the same time. Right now, it is hard to identify a single element that is functioning properly. Substantial progress has been made since March 2011 in removing obstacles to proper functioning, like ending some monopolies and abandoning the official exchange rate, but much more needs to be done to have a properly functioning electrical system, telecommunications system, banking system, land tenure system, trade regime, foreign exchange regime, etc. Furthermore, in complex systems, it is necessary for the number of properly functioning elements to grow until a “tipping point” is reached before the benefits of improvements can be easily seen. What is needed to ensure that the whole country benefits from Myanmar’s sizable natural gas reserves?.."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2013


Title: Myanmar’s Two Decades of Partial Transition to a Market Economy: A Negative Legacy for the New Government
Date of publication: December 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "Despite more than two decades of transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy, Myanmar’s economic transition is still only partly complete. The government’s initial strategy for dealing with the swelling deficits of the state economic enterprises (SEEs) was to put them under direct control in order to scrutinize their expenditures. This policy change postponed restructuring and exacerbated the soft budget constraint problem of the SEEs. While the installation of a new government in March 2011 has increased prospects for economic development, sustainable growth still requires full-scale structural reform of the SEEs and institutional infrastructure building. Myanmar can learn from the gradual approaches to economic transition in China and Vietnam, where partial reforms weakened further impetus for reforms."... Keywords: Myanmar, transition, state economic enterprises JEL classification: H61, O53, P21
Author/creator: KUBO Koji
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Discussion paper No. 376
Format/size: pdf (464K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Dp/376.html
Date of entry/update: 28 April 2013


Title: Two-Polar Growth Strategy in Myanmar: Seeking “High” and “Balanced” Development
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "The Thein Sein government of Myanmar seeks higher and balanced economic growth. This is a challenge for the government since some economic literature identifies a trade-off between higher economic growth and better regional equality, especially for countries in the early stages of development. In this paper, we propose a two-polar growth strategy as one that includes both “high” and “balanced” growth. The first growth pole is Yangon, and the second is Mandalay. Nay Pyi Taw, the national capital, will develop as an administrative centre, not as an economic or commercial one. We also propose border development with enhanced connectivity with richer neighboring countries as a complementary strategy to the two growth poles. Effects of the two-polar growth strategy with border development are tested using a Geographical Simulation Model (GSM)... Keywords: Yangon, Mandalay, economic geography, agglomeration, regional inequality, border development, population, poverty alleviation, connectivity JEL classification: F23, L67
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO and Satoru KUMAGAI
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Discussion paper No. 371
Format/size: pdf (3.5MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Dp/371.html
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2012


Title: Myanmar still a high-risk investment
Date of publication: 03 October 2012
Description/subject: "Internal debate over a pending new foreign investment law has exposed divisions between reformers and conservatives in Myanmar. How the power struggle shakes out will determine in large measure the direction and pace of the country's closely watched economic reform program. Big multinational corporations, including Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company and General Electric, have expressed initial interest in Myanmar, a market American companies were until recently banned from entering due to US government imposed economic sanctions. Even with that ban lifted, companies have remained wary about committing funds without stronger legal protection of their investments. In line with his broad reform agenda, President Thein Sein announced plans for a more liberal investment regime in late 2011. Since then the law to regulate new foreign investment has undergone several rewrites and heated debate in parliament. The new law is designed to replace the extant and outdated 1988 investment law. A first draft of the law was sent to parliament in March but was rejected by conservative parliamentarians - some with known links to the business associates of former junta leaders - as overly advantageous to foreign interests. Although full details of the legislation have not yet been made public, earlier drafts reportedly included several restrictions on foreign capital, including bans on foreign investment in as many as 13 sectors..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2012


Title: THE MYANMAR ECONOMY: TOUGH CHOICES
Date of publication: September 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "The new Government of Myanmar has astonished the world since it took office at the end of March 2011 by the pace and scope of policy changes it has introduced in a country that has underperformed most other Asian countries for decades. Not a single analyst inside or outside Myanmar before President Thein Sein’s inaugural address predicted the changes that many now label “breathtaking.” The global policy community and the media have focused heavily on the political changes and challenges, giving less attention to the economic changes and challenges than they probably deserve. This paper focuses on 21 high-priority economic issues facing the Thein Sein administration in mid-2012.".....Overview... The Myanmar Economy at the End of the 2011/12 Fiscal Year... Macroeconomic Issues... The Primary Product Sectors... The Energy Sector... The Financial Sector... Infrastructure... State-Owned Enterprises... Private Sector Development... International Trade and Investment... Multilateral, Bilateral and International NGO Aid... Endnotes
Author/creator: Lex Rieffel
Language: English
Source/publisher: Brookings Institution
Format/size: pdf (952K-OBL version; .4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2012/9/myanmar%20economy%20rieffel/09%20myan...
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2012


Title: Kyat Appreciation Calls for Liberal Controls on Imports and Foreign Exchange
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "Kyat appreciation is damaging traditional export industries National leaders of Myanmar, including President U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, emphasize that economic development should go with poverty alleviation and equitable income distribution. For these objectives, growth of the export industries of rice, pulses and beans, and garments is indispensable as they provide income opportunities for a large number of poor households. The market exchange rate under the dual exchange rate system in Myanmar has exhibited extraordinary appreciation since late 2006. The value of the US dollar in terms of the Myanmar consumption bundle has diminished to one-third of its previous level in the five-year period of 2007 to 2011. This is the sharpest appreciation among Southeast Asian currencies. There is concern that the appreciating kyat is dampening the growth of the above-mentioned traditional export sectors..."
Author/creator: KUBO Koji
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No. 4
Format/size: pdf (33K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/04.html
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Myanmar Economy Viewed at Night
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "Myanmar’s official statistics provide considerably outdated and narrowly covered data on the country’s economic and industrial situation. Data on geographical economic activities are particularly lacking. However, it is critically important for policy makers to know what the economic geography is like in Myanmar when they envisage sustainable and balanced economic development. An alternative way invented to estimate economic activities in developing countries is to use the strength and distribution of nighttime lights. It is now widely known that the strength of nighttime lights and economic activity are firmly correlated. Normally, the relationship between these two data is determined by some coefficients derived from regression analyses using ‘actual’ data and nighttime lights satellite imagery (Ghosh et al. 2010). Here, we use the nighttime lights to estimate the distribution of GDP at a district level (Figure 1), taking the national GDP as given..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No. 5
Subscribe: KUMAGAI Satoru, KEOLA Souknilanh and KUDO Toshihiro
Format/size: pdf (549K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/05.html
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Vietnam’s Experience with FDI Promotion: Implications for Myanmar (English and Burmese versions)
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "...Being both developing countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Myanmar have shared a number of similarities, including development potential. Myanmar has recently decided to implement fundamental political and economic reforms, following years under economic embargo and severe shortages. Shortages of development resources, including capital, technology and management know-how, may drive Myanmar to actively join the competition for FDI to the region. Foreign investors have quickly shown interest, with almost USD 24.4 billion of investment in the country from April 2010 - December 2011. However, the transition from a lower development level may still put Myanmar in dire need to learn from regional countries’ experiences, since they started the FDI-induced industrialization early. Vietnam’s experience with FDI attraction in the past decades could have important implications for Myanmar in developing its FDI policy. First, Myanmar needs to have a suitable ideology towards FDI promotion. FDI may constitute a good source of much-needed capital for economic development in Myanmar’s early stage. However, of greater importance are the technology transfer and other positive spillover impacts embodied in such flows of capital. Therefore, Myanmar should pay good attention to promoting such accompanied benefits, rather than the volume of foreign capital inflows alone..."
Author/creator: Tri Thanh VO and Anh Duong NGUYEN
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No. 3..... BUSINESS, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commers & Industry, Vol.14, No.9, September 2012. (Burmese version)
Format/size: pdf (English-33K; Burmese-173K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/pdf/03_Burmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: What can the Myanmar garment industry learn from Vietnam’s experience? (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: August 2012
Description/subject: "...Despite an improved international business climate surrounding Myanmar, its garment industry is still facing serious challenges inside the country, including a rapidly increasing wage rate, particularly when denominated in US dollars as a result of an acute appreciation of the local currency. Another challenge is the high production costs due to shortages of electricity and a poor transportation infrastructure. These bottlenecks have already played out negatively in hampering garment suppliers' overall export performance, particularly when compared with other major Asian garment exporters. In this context, the Vietnamese experience provides an interesting reference point. Myanmar and Vietnam are in a way similar, as both have opened up their economies and started exporting garments in the early 1990s. However, their performance since has been very different. In 2000, Vietnam's garment exports were just about double those of Myanmar. With a booming economy creating alternative job opportunities, labor shortages and wage increases in Vietnam's garment industry have been serious as well..."
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO and Kenta GOTO
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No. 2..... BUSINESS, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commers & Industry, Vol.13, No.8, July 2012. (Burmese version)
Format/size: pdf (English-40K; Burmese-2.9MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/pdf/02_Burmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Getting real about Myanmar’s development
Date of publication: 05 June 2012
Description/subject: "In December 2011, President Thein Sein urged his government to rebuild the beaten-up former capital of Yangon (Rangoon), a city of an estimated population of seven million, into a modern city like Singapore. When it comes to traffic congestion and squalid slums, Yangon has come to resemble Manila or Bangkok in recent years. In response the Minister of Industry, Soe Thein, promised flyovers at four busy intersections in the city in four months. Yangon would emulate Singapore’s infrastructure, from railway and road networks and mass transportation to sewage system and parking lots. He said that his government should apologise to the public if they cannot deliver the bridges in four months. Four months on, in April 2012, the city officials were seen taking part in the ground-breaking ceremony for the first flyover at Hledan junction. At the same time, the Ministry of Commerce has been trying to keep up with the Joneses in terms of vehicles per capita. There are 7 cars for every 1,000 Burmese citizens, compared to 270 for 1,000 Thais and 14 for 1,000 Vietnamese. It is not only that the number of cars in the country must be increased — they must look new or, at least like good second-hand cars. In September last year, the government introduced a scheme that required the owners of 20 to 40 years old vehicles to trade their cars in for newer models..."
Author/creator: Ko Ko Thett
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 July 2014


Title: Myanmar Economy in the Context of ASEAN Integration and Regional Change (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "After decades of economic isolation and deprivation, Myanmar appears on the way to economic and political reforms. Initially, there is a nagging fear that Myanmar democratic process and economic reform could be reversed at some time in the near future. But gradually it becomes increasingly clear that the reform is here to stay with a caution that there would be some detours and setbacks along the way. Reform success would not be easy and how bumpy the road ahead will depend crucially on whether political reform can be entrenched through economic development that only economic reform can bring. Myanmar political and economic changes occur in the midst of ASEAN economic integration and regional change. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is scheduled to be completed in 2015 which is based on the four pillars of a single market and production base, a competitive region, a region of equitable development and a region connected to the global economy. Since the inception of the AEC blueprint in 2007, a great deal of integration measures have been agreed and implemented. Trade liberalization in services, investment and freer movement of capital have made significant progress while liberalization of trade in goods is practically completed. This liberalization and de-regulation have been accompanied by trade and investment facilitation, standardization of customs procedures towards ASEAN Single Window, standards and conformance and mutually recognized agreement (MRAs). As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar has agreed and initiated the required measures and domestic change as required by the AEC blueprint to achieve the AEC by 2015..."
Author/creator: Hank LIM, Senior Research Fellow Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA)
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: IDE-JETRO Policy Review on Myanmar Economy No. 1.....BUSINESS, Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commers & Industry, Vol.12, No.7, July 2012 (Burmese version).
Format/size: pdf (English-40K; Burmese-804K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Brc/PolicyReview/pdf/01_Burmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 September 2012


Title: Trade Policies and Trade Mis-reporting in Myanmar
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: While the trade statistics of Myanmar show surpluses for 2007 through 2010, the corresponding statistics of trade partner countries indicate deficits. Such discrepancies in mirror trade statistics are analyzed in connection with the ‘export-first and import-second’ policy provisioning import permissions on permission applicants possessing a sufficient amount of the export-tax-deducted export earnings. Under this policy, the recorded imports and exports of the private sector have been maintaining equilibrium, whereas discrepancies in the mirror statistics have fluctuated. This suggests that traders adjusted mis-reporting in accordance with the supply and demand of the export earnings"... Keywords: Myanmar, Trade Policies, Mis-invoicing, Smuggling
Author/creator: KUBO Koji
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Developing Economies (IDE DISCUSSION PAPER No. 326
Format/size: pdf (193K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Dp/326.html
http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Dp/pdf/326.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: Myanmar at the Crossroads: Rapid Industrial Development or De-industrialization
Date of publication: 01 January 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "The purpose of this study is to identify potential agents of change in Myanmar society that can facilitate rapid industrialization and recommend ways the international community can support private sector development by aiding such groups. The historical enquiry in Part I suggests Myanmar‟s lack of success in industrialization is largely due to an inward looking political elite with a predisposition towards State-led development rooted in nationalism stemming from the colonial period. The hybrid economy, which is neither socialist, mixed economy nor market oriented, created by partial economic reform and reversals since 1988 has two implications for the current situation. First, the new president in his promotion of the economic reform agenda is not constrained by policy formulation capacity: economists have had many years to consider ways to re-establish transition to market oriented economy. Second, the very existence of a hybrid economy reveals the presence of powerful interests vested in the status quo. Implementation capacity is the main issue and two prospective scenarios are outlined: de-industrialization should the president fail in his mission and the initiation of rapid industrial development should he succeed. Part II takes cognizance of current dynamics in the world economy as well as noting the development paths of successful economies in the region. Myanmar‟s factor endowment is reviewed in the light of the „resource curse‟ and the economic reform agenda is outlined, with outward orientation and private sector-led development emphasized. Industrial development hinges on the Biz-15 (the country‟s best-connected businessmen with their large family-owned conglomerates) aligning their interests with SMEs: they stand to vastly increase their fortunes by building and operating the modern infrastructure essential for a competitive and dynamic SME-populated manufacturing exports sector, and also by facilitating “anchor” FDI from MNCs. Such fortunes, commensurate with those in the region, would be justified if the Biz-15 can raise the rate of progressive change acceptable to their political patrons so Myanmar‟s 60mn population can all prosper. In Part III, I recommend the international community support a major study by a supply chain manager working with Biz-15 members to explore strategies for the growth and integration of a nascent export processing sector in Myanmar into the China-centric Asian supply chains to rich country markets."
Author/creator: Stuart Larkin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Network Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (711K)
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012


Title: Restructuring the State Budget System for Disinflation and Exchange Rate Unification in Myanmar
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "The installment of a new government has augmented the prospect for implementing disinflation and exchange rate unification in Myanmar. A close look at the state budget shows that the reform of the budget system for state economic enterprises (SEEs) is essential. Reforms need to hold the replacement of controlled prices including the official exchange rate with market prices in SEE operations, and the separation of the SEEs from the state budget. But separating the SEEs from the state budget will necessitate careful planning to cope with SEE bankruptcies which would imposes another fiscal burden on the government. Therefore, economic viability must be a criterion for the continuation oftheir operations."... Keywords: Myanmar, state economic enterprises, disinflation, exchange rate unification
Author/creator: Koji KUBO
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Developing Economies (IDE DISCUSSION PAPER No. 320
Format/size: pdf (258K) 29 pages
Alternate URLs: http://ir.ide.go.jp/dspace/bitstream/2344/1109/1/ARRIDE_Discussion_No.320_kubo.pdf
http://hdl.handle.net/2344/1109
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: BURMA’S ECONOMY: MISMANAGEMENT AS USUAL
Date of publication: 04 November 2011
Description/subject: "• Following the nominal transition to civilian rule, the regime maintains the State Peace and Development Council’s (SPDC’s) oppressive economic policies. • The military continues to control the bulk of the budget, with no improvement in transparency. One quarter of the 2011-2012 budget is designated for the military. Additionally, the “Special Fund” law grants the Commander in Chief of the military access to unlimited discretionary funds without having to be accountable. • The regime maintains a dual exchange rate system in order to siphon off funds into private accounts, starving the national budget of official revenue and inflating the fiscal deficit. • A process of privatization that began in late 2009 has facilitated the transfer of key economic assets in the hands of cronies while lining the pockets of regime officials. The privatization has resembled a “fire sale” to cronies that include those blacklisted by various governments. Meanwhile, economic competition remains severely constricted. • Despite the suspension of the Myitsone dam project, numerous large scale infrastructure projects continue to spur tensions in ethnic areas, cause massive displacement, and threaten the environment. The projects are not subject to public oversight and provide little benefit to local communities or the economy as a whole. • As a result of increased foreign investment through large scale infrastructure projects, the fall of the US dollar, and the dual exchange rate system, the kyat has inflated in value, hurting export-oriented sectors. • The regime continues to confiscate land and ignore the property rights of Burmese citizens in favor of foreign investors and cronies..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Altsean-Burma
Format/size: pdf (92K)
Date of entry/update: 18 November 2011


Title: Business as Usual
Date of publication: September 2010
Description/subject: Real economic change in post-election Burma is about as likely as a herd of white elephants, say experts... "Burma’s current military rulers will continue to run the economy for their own benefit even after the country comes under a more civilian form of government following this year’s election in November. A child plays while his parents take a nap beside their roadside vegetable stall in Rangoon. That’s the conclusion of a number of economists and financial policy experts who have been monitoring Burma in the lead up to the election. They foresee little real change that would benefit ordinary people. Although the current financial year will show improvements, these will be “driven mainly by investment in projects in the energy and petroleum industries, particularly by Chinese firms,” concludes the latest assessment of Burma by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). “Excluding these sectors, however, the domestic economy will remain sluggish,” according to the EIU report. “The government’s revenue base remains small, and it will continue to spend heavily on large projects that benefit the military regime.” The EIU report, published in August, reaches similar conclusions to other economists and researchers who have been analyzing Burma in the months leading up to the election. A recent study by the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), a Washington-based think tank funded by the US Congress, said that natural gas exports to Thailand continue to be the main source of income for Burma’s economy, yet “the junta has devised ingenious mechanisms to siphon these funds but has spent relatively little on improving the quality of life for most Burmese.” “Using a system of multiple exchange rates, the junta deprives the government coffers of hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” said the USIP report. “Unsurprisingly, the resultant large fiscal deficits have been financed by printing money, which has led to persistently high inflation.” The most somber assessment of all, by Australian economist Sean Turnell, suggests that in spite of growing gas exports, the standard of living in Burma is actually declining..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 July 2012


Title: The Economy of Burma/Myanmar on the Eve of the 2010 Elections
Date of publication: May 2010
Description/subject: Summary: * The government of Burma is undergoing a critical transition: Before the end of 2010, the military regime that has ruled the country since a palace coup in 1998 will hold an election based on a constitution drafted in a nondemocratic process and approved by a referendum in 2008. The referendum fell far short of global standards of credibility and the election is likely to yield a government that neither the antimilitary movement nor the international community views as legitimate. However, the constitution and election also may offer opportunities for further international involvement that began in the wake of Cyclone Nargis in 2008. * Burma's lagging economic performance--socioeconomic indicators placed it among the world's most impoverished in 2000--is due to a simmering internal conflict based on ethnic and religious differences. Successive military regimes after the failure of Burma's parliamentary government in 1962 have managed to further alienate the population and monopolize the benefits of Burma's abundant natural resources. Growth-disabling economic policies and brutal suppression of dissent since 1988 have caused an exodus of political and economic refugees estimated to be in excess of 3 million. * However, Burma occupies a strategic space in the Southeast Asian region. It is a major supplier of natural gas to Thailand and could be a major agricultural exporter, as it was before World War II. Also, Burma is arguably the greatest obstacle to the 2015 integration objectives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and its internal conlict contributes to tension between China and India. * There is a glimmer of hope that the next government will consider economic policies conducive to sustainable economic growth, thereby improving the environment for political reconciliation. If so, the challenge for the international community will be to find ways to support economic policy changes in this direction that do not trigger a backlash from the country's military rulers. Though difficult, it may be possible to accomplish this through a patient economic strategy that involves more nuanced use of sanctions and effective collaboration with other actors in the region, particularly ASEAN... About the Report: This report examines the economy of Burma at a crucial moment in Southeast Asia's most troubled country. A low-intensity conflict based on ethnic and religious differences has simmered since independence in 1948. The country's military rulers have been waging an existential struggle with a democratic movement led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi since they repudiated her party's election victory in 1990. Before the end of 2010, an election will be held that is more about transferring power to a new generation of military officers than making a transition to civilian rule. To focus attention on the economic dimension of peacebuilding in Burma, this report draws on the discussion at a day-long workshop sponsored by USIP's Center for Sustainable Economies. The workshop brought together experts on key aspects of Burma's economy and employees from congress and U.S. government departments and agencies directly concerned with U.S. relations with Burma. The workshop sessions focused on macroeconomic policy, the extractive sectors, agriculture, the private sector, trade and investment, and the narcotics economy. Professor Joseph Stiglitz led the concluding session on a more productive agrarian economy.
Author/creator: Lex Rieffel
Source/publisher: United States Institute of Peace
Format/size: pdf (454K)
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2010


Title: Can Economic Reform Open a Peaceful Path to Ending Burma’s Isolation? (English and Burmese)
Date of publication: 10 March 2010
Description/subject: Summary: "After decades of domestic conflict, military rule and authoritarian governance, Burma’s economy could provide a viable entry point for effective international assistance to promote peace. Doing so would require a detailed understanding of the country’s complex and evolving political economy. The lingering income and distributional effects of the 2008 Cyclone Nargis, anticipated changes associated with the new constitution and the 2010 elections and the Obama administration’s decision to devote more attention to Burma suggest that the time is ripe for the creative application of economic mechanisms to promote and sustain peace. Looming challenges could derail Burma’s prospects for economic and political stability. These challenges include irrational macroeconomic policies, failing to ensure all citizens enjoy benefits accrued from natural resources, endemic corruption, a flourishing illicit economy, a dysfunctional financial system and critical infrastructure bottlenecks. Failure to address these problems would frustrate peacebuilding efforts. A conflict sensitive economic strategy for Burma would focus on effective capacity-building, sustained policy reform, progressive steps to reduce corruption, fiscal empowerment of subnational authorities and prudent natural resource management. Success in these areas requires unwavering political will for sensibly sequenced policy improvements by domestic actors and finely targeted support from Burma’s international partners." .....လယ္ယာက႑အတြက္ ေႂကြးၿမီျပႆနာမ်ား ေျပေလ်ာ့ေစမွသာ ျဖစ္ႏိုင္ေပလိမ့္မည္။7 စီးပြားေရး အခြင့္အလမ္း မရွိျခင္းႏွင့္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ဖိႏွိပ္ထားျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ရည္ရြယ္ခ်က္ႀကီးမားၿပီး၊ ပညာတတ္ၾက သည့္ ႏိုင္ငံသားမ်ား အေျမာက္အမ်ား တိုင္းျပည္ျပင္ပသို႔ ထြက္လာေနၾကသည္။ ႏွစ္ေပါင္း(၂၀) အတြင္းတြင္ ျပည္ပသို႔ ထြက္လာသူ ခန္႔မွန္း (၃)သန္းမွ် ရွိႏိုင္ပါသည္။ ထိုင္းႏိုင္ငံသို႔ ဓာတ္ေငြ႕တင္ပို႔ေရာင္းခ်မႈမွ ႏိုင္ငံျခားေငြ အေျမာက္အမ်ား ၀င္မလာမီ၊ မူးယစ္ေဆး၀ါး (ဘိန္းျဖဴႏွင့္ မီသာအမ္ဖီတမင္း) ေရာင္း၀ယ္မႈမွ ၁၉၉၀ ခုႏွစ္မ်ား ေႏွာင္းပိုင္းတြင္ ႏိုင္ငံျခား၀င္ေငြ အမ်ားဆံုး ရရွိခဲ့သည္ဟု ခန္႔မွန္းၾကသည္။ ၿပီးခဲ့သည့္ႏွစ္မ်ားတြင္ ဘိန္းထုတ္လုပ္မႈ သိသိသာသာ က်ဆင္းသြားခဲ့သည္။ သို႔ေသာ္လည္း ေမွာင္ခိုစီးပြားနယ္ပယ္တြင္းသို႔ ေငြမာမ်ား စီးဆင္း၀င္လာေနမႈက သိသိသာသာရွိေနေသးၿပီး၊ အင္အားေကာင္း အာဏာရွိေနသူမ်ားမွတဆင့္ အစိုးရမူ၀ါဒမ်ားအေပၚ လႊမ္းမိုးသက္ေရာက္ႏိုင္မႈ ရွိေနပါသည္။ အျခားေမွာင္ခိုစီးပြားနယ္ပယ္တစ္ခုမွာ ႀကီးထြားလာေနသည့္ တ႐ုတ္လူမ်ဳိးမ်ား၏ အခန္းက႑ ပင္ ျဖစ္သည္။ တ႐ုတ္နယ္စပ္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ အခ်ဳိ႕အစိတ္အပိုင္းမ်ားတြင္ တ႐ုတ္ ရီမင္ဘီေငြကို လွည့္လည္သံုးစြဲေနၿပီး၊ ၿပီးခဲ့သည့္ ႏွစ္မ်ားအတြင္း ေျမာက္ဖက္ေဒသမ်ား ၊ ျပည္နယ္မ်ားတြင္ တ႐ုတ္လူမ်ဳိး တစ္သန္းေက်ာ္ တရားမ၀င္ ၀င္ေရာက္အေျခခ်ေနထိုင္ခဲ့ၾကပါသည္။ ဤျဖစ္ေပၚ တိုးတက္မႈမ်ားက ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၌ သံုးစြဲေနသည့္ ေငြေၾကးအမ်ဳိးမ်ဳိးေၾကာင့္ ေပၚေပါက္လာရသည့္ ျပႆနာမ်ားကို အားျဖည့္ေပးၿပီး၊ ႏိုင္ငံအဆင့္ မကၠ႐ိုစီးပြားတည္ၿငိမ္မႈတစ္ခုလံုးကိုပါ ထိခိုက္လာဖြယ္ အေၾကာင္း ရွိေနပါသည္။
Author/creator: Lex Rieffel and Raymond Gilpin
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: United States Institute for Peace
Format/size: pdf (162K - English; 553K - Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.usip.org/files/resources/PB%2014%20Burmese%20version.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: Natural Gas Export Revenue, Fiscal Balance and Inflation in Myanmar
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "While natural gas exports have brought a large amount of foreign currency revenue to the Government of Myanmar, their contribution to reducing monetization of the fiscal deficit and disinflation has been obscure. The immediate reason is that under the country's dual exchange rate system, the revenue is converted at the grossly overvalued official rate which undervalues it in terms of the local currency by 1/200. However, devaluation would only improve the fiscal balance and not reduce the excess money supply since the central bank cannot sterilize the impact of the foreign reserve increase. As a policy reform to utilize the revenue for disinflation, this study proposes deregulation of the strict controls on foreign exchange."... Keywords: Myanmar, Disinflation, Natural Resource Exports, Dual Exchange Rates
Author/creator: Koji KUBO
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies (IDE), JETRO
Format/size: pdf (495K)
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010


Title: Tollgates upon tollgates: En route with extortion along the Asian Highway (Field Reports)
Date of publication: 05 October 2009
Description/subject: "As the town of Myawaddy on the Thai-Burma border has grown through increased trade, so too have efforts by local military forces to extract revenue from the workers, traders and travellers who pass through it. With increasing exploitative and military pressures in the surrounding rural areas, many local villagers have also joined the ranks of those seeking economic refuge—or just opportunities to work or buy and sell goods—in town and across the border. Villagers in the area live under a motley patchwork of political and military authorities that operate over 20 checkpoints along the Asian Highway between Myawaddy and Rangoon. At each checkpoint transport trucks and passenger vehicles must pay tolls while travellers may be searched and forced to give 'donations' or 'tea money' to inspecting soldiers. Fixed tolls and ad hoc extortion are used to support the checkpoint itself and the military personnel controlling it. This report includes information collected in August and September 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Field Report (KHRG #2009-F17)
Format/size: pdf (354 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f17.html
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


Title: Junta’s Piggy Bank Full as Economy Sinks
Date of publication: March 2008
Description/subject: Economists predict a gloomy economy for Burma in 2008, but that won’t stop the generals from selling off the country’s natural resources... "The Burmese military government’s incompetence and outside influences will further undermine Burma’s economy in 2008, experts forecast—but the generals should be able to keep their bank accounts topped up. High global oil prices, financial mismanagement and the continuing aftershock of last year’s military crackdown will all conspire to make life harder for Burma’s already hard-pressed population...
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Who’ll Clean Up the Mess?
Date of publication: November 2007
Description/subject: The inheritors of years of junta mismanagement will face a hard task rebuilding an economy wrecked by incompetence, corruption and greed... "The income from Burma’s great natural resource reserves is wasted on costly vanity projects while the population goes hungry and the economy sinks deeper into chaos. That’s the verdict of economists monitoring the impoverished Southeast Asian country, which erupted in mass street protests in the wake of devastating domestic fuel price rises. The military regime running Burma owes the World Bank and International Monetary Fund about US $3.5 billion, but has failed even to respond properly to a proposal by the two institutions to benefit from a debt relief scheme. “Myanmar could not be assessed [for the scheme] due to lack of available data,” says a World Bank-IMF report. “The authorities indicated that at present Myanmar will not be participating in the initiative and regret that they will not be able to provide the required data to undertake the assessment of their indebtedness.” In other words, Burma’s economic management is a shambles, said economist and Burma specialist Sean Turnell of Australia’s Macquarie University. “Burma’s economic miasma is the product of 45 years of inept economic mismanagement under the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) and its predecessors,” said Turnell, in a special report of Burma Economic Watch he has compiled in the wake of the public protests and military crackdown of recent weeks..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2008


Title: Burmas Minderheiten leiden unter Raubbau an Edelsteinen und Gold - Kritik am Schweigen deutscher Juweliere
Date of publication: 15 October 2007
Description/subject: Allein der Handel mit Rubinen und anderen Edelsteinen habe der staatlichen Firma "Myanmar Gems Enterprise" nach offiziellen Angaben zwischen April 2006 und März 2007 Einnahmen in Höhe von 297 Millionen US-Dollars verschafft. Dreimal im Jahr lade Myanmar ausländische Händler zu Edelstein-Auktionen ein. Bei der letzten Versteigerung im März 2007 seien Steine im Wert von 185 Millionen US-Dollars umgesetzt worden. Damit sei die Ausfuhr von Edelsteinen neben dem Handel mit Teak-Holz sowie mit Erdöl und Erdgas, der bedeutendste Devisenbringer des Landes. Gemstones
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: DIE AKTUELLEN POLITISCHEN, WIRTSCHAFTLICHEN UND SOZIALEN RAHMENBEDINGUNGEN IN BURMA
Date of publication: October 2007
Description/subject: Ãƒï¿½hnlich der Entwicklung der politischen Verhältnisse lassen sich auch in der wirtschaftlichen Ordnung bemerkenswerte Parallelen zwischen der vor- und der postkolonialen �ra in Burma beobachten. Am auffälligsten ist dabei die Tradition einer dirigistischen Wirtschaftspolitik. Soziale Verhältnisse; History of Economy; Social conditions
Author/creator: René Hingst
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung
Format/size: Html (28k)
Alternate URLs: http://www.boell.de/alt/de/05_world/5317.html
http://www.boell.de/downloads/hingst_burma2003.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 October 2007


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


Title: Burma Economic Review 2005-2006
Date of publication: June 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta claimed a 12.2 % growth in the Burmese economy in 2006 but international sources say differently; they forecast a slim growth of 2 to 3 % rise. Production and exploration in the oil and gas sector is active, but the rest of economy remains weak. Agriculture suffers from poor productivity, with output below potential. Manufacturing is constrained by inadequate quantity and quality of inputs, due to problems of imports and power shortages. Weak Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth reflects poor prospects for consumption and investment. In October 2005, the SPDC increased eight folds the state-subsidized petrol prices. This prompted higher prices for basic commodities. Inflation returned to double digit rates. Monetary policy has not addressed the inflationary pressures. Interest rates remain unchanged since 2001, despite high inflation. But the SPDC increased the interest rates by two per cent points to 12 per cent on 16 April 2006. Real rates are likely to be negative. Prices for important commodities soared in the wake of junta’s decision to raise public-sector salaries in April 2006. Rice and fuel prices remain high. Official data do not reveal the full extent of inflation reaching 14.3 % in December 2005 and 11 % in early 2006. Based on the official data series, the Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) estimates the annual inflation to average over 21 % in 2006.The true rate of inflation could be 50 %. Strong growth in both narrow money supply (M1) and quasi-money (comprising time, savings and foreign exchange deposits) contributed to a 26.8 % year-on-year expansion in broad money supply (M2) at the end of May 2006. The junta demands credit from the Central Bank, which it uses to fund its budget deficit. Total outstanding credit of the junta was 2.5 trillion kyat (nearly US$440 billion at the official exchange rate, or US$1.9 billion at the free-market exchange rate) by May 2006, an increase of 28 %. The state budget remained unbalanced with substantial deficits during much of the 1990s. Fiscal deficits are financed automatically by credit from the Central Bank, a source of domestic inflation and instability in the economy. The Junta's state expenditures are disproportionately allocated on items that deny sustainable development of the people or the nation. Defense, ceremonies and rituals, festivals, inspection tours, meetings and seminars, building physical infrastructure-roads, railways, bridges, dams, monuments, museums, shiny office complexes and fancy airports, represent wasteful consumption or constitute expensive capital outlays, undertaken without proper feasibility studies and environmental impact assessments, and unclear, uncertain and dubious returns on investment. Chronic state budget deficits contribute to rapid monetary growth and everspiraling inflation. In order to recover the budget deficit, the junta-increased taxes and collected money and forced people to labor for developmental projects such as construction of roads, dams, and bridges. The junta continues to control, command, and centralize Burma’s people and the economy. Exchange rate distortions favor a few at the expense of many. Fiscal deficit comes at the expense of social spending which has been reduced far below necessary levels. At the same time, financing the fiscal deficit through central bank credit is one underlying factor of persistent high inflation. The nation’s tax revenue remains buoyant, rising by 28.1 % year on year in nominal terms in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2005/06 (April-March). Total tax revenue reached 292 billion kyat during this period (around US$50 billion at the inflated official exchange rate, or US$225 million at free-market exchange rate). Although revenue is still rising, growth has slowed since 2004/05, when revenue expanded by 77 % year on year for the whole fiscal year. This in part reflects a correction after an increase in average import tariffs, imposed in mid-2004, brought a 424 % year-on-year surge in customs tax fell by 15.1 per cent year on year to 16.2 billion kyat. A clamp-down on corruption among customs officials in recent months may be part of an effort to boost revenue from customs tax. Other sources of tax revenue expanded in the first 11 months of 2005/06. Profit tax jumped by 49 per cent year on year, slightly ahead of commodities and services tax (which rose by 47 per cent) and income tax (11 per cent)1. 2 Total public-sector deficit reached 6 % of GDP for 2004/05. Heavy losses by the state-owned enterprises (SOE) typically accounted for over 60 % of the overall deficit. The SPDC’s fiscal position is also weighted down by high off-budget spending on the country's huge armed forces. The budget position is unlikely to have improved in 2005/06 and 2006/07 (the current fiscal year), owing to the junta's expansionary fiscal policy. The junta's decision to relocate many government offices to a huge new administrative complex at Naypyidaw, 320 km north of Rangoon, imposed heavy costs. In addition, in April 2006 the junta raised salaries for around 1 million civil servants and military officers by between 500 and 1,200 per cent. The black market is estimated to be as big if not bigger than the official economy. Published statistics on foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the black market and unofficial border trade. Burma's trade with Thailand, China, and India is rising. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, better investment and business climates and an improved political situation are needed to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism. No new foreign direct investment projects have been approved in recent months. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) approvals totaled a meager US$35.7 million for the first 11 months of 2005/06, down from US$158.3 million for the whole of 2004/05. It is possible that the data do not capture some small FDI flows, such as those by Thai and Chinese firms in small projects along the border with Burma. International tourist arrivals totaled 320,275 in 2005, up by 5 % year on year, according to data from the Central Statistical Organization (CSO). Although arrivals rose, the pace of growth slowed compared with 2004 (rose 11.6 per cent). The slowdown reflected a 5.6 % year on year drop in arrivals by air, to 145,959, around 46 % total arrivals. Total international reserves reached US$951 million at the end of June 2006, according to data from the IMF. Reserves increased sharply in the first quarter of the year, surpassing US$900 million for the first time, before rising further in the second quarter. The main reason for the improvement in the overall balance-of-payments position and international reserves has been the rise in exports, which have been driven by strong growth in exports of natural gas. The official kyat exchange rate remains artificially inflated. The exchange rate like the rest of the junta system does not reflect the reality of the monetary system. The free-market exchange rate of kyat to US$ was 1,350:US$1 in July-October 2006, having recovered from kyat 1,450:US$1 at the end of April, which also put pressure on prices. There has been a mild appreciation of the kyat since then. The ratio of the parallel rate to the official rate is nearly 200:1. The kyat came under pressure earlier this year owing to fears that a pay rise for civil servants would sharply push up prices. However, strong gas exports have boosted international reserves, thereby helping the kyat to stabilize. The little-used official exchange rate is fixed against the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) special drawing rights (SDR) unit. The official rate held steady at around kyat 5.9:US$1 by August 2006.
Author/creator: Sein Htay
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Fund (NCGUB)
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ncgub.net/mediagallery/download.php?mid=20070523134011574
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2007


Title: Rangoon Bets on Business
Date of publication: May 2006
Description/subject: Burma's former capital is still the country's commercial hub... The sudden relocation of Burma's capital may have sent government officials and Burmese civil servants moving north to Pyinmana, but for those involved in business Rangoon is still the center of Burma's commercial universe. The new capital's largest port and its main airport. While Pyinmana remains cut off from the outside world, the former capital has direct international flights to such cities as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei..."
Author/creator: Clive Parker
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: Energy Security in Asia: China, India, Oil and Peace
Date of publication: April 2006
Description/subject: Report to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs..."India and China are both characterized by a tremendous increase in energy consumption, of which an increasing share derives from imports. Very rapid economic growth always makes it difficult to arrive at a sound balance between demand and supply, and this tends to generate waste, bottlenecks and insecurity. Although both countries are trying hard to provide appropriate energy, increase their energy efficiency, and diversify their sources of supply, they are becoming increasingly dependent on imported oil, and the Persian Gulf is set to remain their predominant source of oil in the coming decades. Instability in the Middle East thus poses a serious challenge to the security of China and India, just as it does for Japan, the US and many European countries. The question of maintaining a stable supply of fossil fuels poses several security challenges. One is to boost one's own production, another to diversify one's sources of import, and a third to secure the transportation of oil and gas on vulnerable sea routes; or over land through pipelines that depend on long-term strategic relationships with the producing countries. In China and India a heightened awareness of the geopolitical implications of energy supply and demand has given energy issues an increasing prominence both in their domestic and foreign policies. However, it is difficult to say if this leads to more tension in their foreign relations or if instead it pushes them towards increased international cooperation. Plans are certainly being made for future possible ‘resource wars', but emphasis is presently being put on economic competition, and on seeking to maximise each country's position on the international energy market. Then again, such increasing resource competition may contribute to raising the stakes of conflict in areas where national jurisdiction has not been resolved (East China Sea, South China Sea), and also in some of the energy exporting countries. Burma is one such country, in which the energy security dynamics of India and China are played out, and this is detailed in an appendix to the report. The report is based on available literature, online energy data, and communication with Indian and Chinese researchers. We have used country reports and statistics provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA), statistics, forecasts and analyses by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), unpublished academic papers, books and articles by Indian and Chinese researchers, and reports by several European and American analysts. Based on our assessments of the energy security strategies and interests of the major players in the region, the report outlines three scenarios for the future of international relations in Asia. The first, called ' is the most positive and also, in our judgment, the most likely. The second scenario, ', presents a possible embargo against China, and is perhaps the least likely, at least in the near future. The third scenario, ' presents the nightmare scenario of a full scale ' with global impact and serious consequences for India and China. The situation in Iraq, and especially the ongoing developments with relation to Iran's nuclear programme, force us to say that this scenario is not just a fantasy fiction, but a real possibility, even in the short term. The final section of the report offers suggestions as to implications of the outlined scenarios for Norwegian foreign policy formulation. Four areas of cooperation that would improve energy security in China and India, as well as globally, are identified: 1) support for the promotion of energy efficiency, 2) assistance in the development of clean coal and gas technology for electricity production, 3) a campaign for engaging the world's great powers in a major research effort to develop transportation technologies that do not depend on oil, 4) assistance in the nomination and promotion of Indian and Chinese candidature for IEA membership..."
Author/creator: Stein Tønnesson and Åshild KolÃ¥s
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
Format/size: pdf (185K)
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2007


Title: Stunted and Distorted Industrialization in Myanmar
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: Abstract: "More than 15 years have passed since Myanmar embarked on its transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one. The purpose of this paper is to provide a bird-eye’s view of industrial changes from the 1990s up to 2005. The industrial sector showed a preliminary development in the first half of the 1990s due to an “open door” policy and liberalization measures. However, a brief period of growth failed to effect any changes in the economic fundamentals. The industrial sector still suffers from poor power supplies, limited access to imported raw materials and machinery, exchange rate instability, limited credit, and frequent changes of government regulation. Public ownership is still high in key infrastructure sectors, and has failed to provide sufficient services to private industries. What the government must do first is to get the fundamentals right."... Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), transitional economy, industry
Author/creator: Toshihiro KUDO
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Developing Economies, Discussion Paper No. 38
Format/size: pdf (547K)
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2006


Title: Rich Periphery, Poor Center: Myanmar's Rural Economy
Date of publication: March 2004
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper looks at the case of Myanmar in order to investigate the behavior and welfare of rural households in an economy under transition from a planned to a market system. Myanmar's case is particularly interesting because of the country's unique attempt to preserve a policy of intervention in land transactions and marketing institutions. A sample household survey that we conducted in 2001, covering more than 500 households in eight villages with diverse agro-ecological environments, revealed two paradoxes. First, income levels are higher in villages far from the center than in villages located in regions under the tight control of the central authorities. Second, farmers and villages that emphasize a paddy-based, irrigated cropping system have lower farming incomes than those that do not. The reason for these paradoxes are the distortions created by agricultural policies that restrict land use and the marketing of agricultural produce. Because of these distortions, the transition to a market economy in Myanmar since the late 1980s is only a partial one. The partial transition, which initially led to an increase in output and income from agriculture, revealed its limit in the survey period."...There are 2 versions of this paper. The one placed as the main URL, which also has a later publication date, seems to be longer, though it is about 30K smaller.
Author/creator: Ikuko Okamoto, Kyosuke Kurita, Takashi Kurosaki and Koichi Fujita
Language: English
Source/publisher: IDE ( Institute of Developing Economies) Discussion Paper No. 23
Format/size: pdf (213K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.econ.yale.edu/conference/neudc03/papers/1d-kurosaki.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003


Title: A Comparative Perspective (Book Review)
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "An Indonesian scholar compares the development experiences of Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. Priyambudi Sulistiyanto’s Thailand, Indonesia and Burma in Comparative Perspective reflects on the 1990s debate on "Asian values." His study of the three economies looks at whether authoritarian governments—sheltering policy-making from social pressures—promote rapid economic development or whether development is best achieved through democratization and a robust civil society. The author shows that the old debate was over-simplified, especially when defined as a choice between the Western "neo-classical" market model and the social-economic dirigisme of East Asian states..."
Author/creator: Donald M. Seekins
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 January 2004


Title: Behind Burma’s Economy - An Interview with Zaw Oo
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "Zaw Oo is one of the directors of the Washington-based think-tank, The Burma Fund. In a written reply to The Irrawaddy, he discussed sanctions and some of the factors behind Burma’s economic uncertainties... Question: For years, experts have warned that Burma’s economy is teetering on collapse and many now expect that tougher sanctions enacted by the US will deliver the final blow. Others say the informal economy and border trade will keep Burma afloat. What is your assessment? Answer: In Burma, we have a sizeable informal economy that parallels the official economy. Sanctions hit the official side of the economy and hit the government hard. Sanctions have a negligible impact on the informal economy, where most Burmese make a living. Therefore, sanctions have damaged some of the government’s main income sources but spared the wider population. Because of the large informal sector, we won’t see the economy collapse in the near term..."
Author/creator: Zaw Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 January 2004


Title: Current Economic Conditions in Myanmar and Options for Sustainable Growth
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: Abstract: In this paper, an extensive report on the economy of Myanmar prepared in 1998 is supplemented by more recent reports as of fall 2002 (included as appendices). The economy of Myanmar is one of the poorest in South East Asia. Despite relatively rapidly growth during the 1990’s, per capita income by 1998 was little higher than in the middle 1980s. Inflation rates are high, the currency value has fallen sharply, and Myanmar has one of the world’s lowest rates relative to income of government revenue and non-military spending. Agriculture in Myanmar has an unusually high share (59%) of GDP. Despite a high reported growth rate, yields for most food crops have remained stagnant or dropped. Poor price incentives and credit systems constrain agricultural production. As of 1998, farm wages are barely enough to provide food, with nothing left over for clothing, school fees, supplies, or medicine. Environmental problems including deteriorating water supply and diminishing common property resources further impact the poor. Industry suffers from limited credit, fluctuating power supplies, inflation and exchange rate instability. A possible bright spot is offshore gas potential. However, much of the expected revenue from offshore gas development may already have been pledged as collateral for expenditure prior to 1998, and thus will go primarily to service debt. Recent evidence summarized in a paper by Debbie Aung Din Taylor (Appendix 3) indicates that most people in rural areas are much worse off today than a decade ago. Decline in agricultural production is aggravated by severe degradation of the natural resource base. River catchment areas are denuded of forest cover, leading to more frequent and severe flooding. Fish stocks and water supplies are diminishing. These trends are pervasive and reaching a critical level. Assistance is urgently needed to provide the rural poor. Sustained international attention is needed to reverse the current rapid decline of economy and environment.
Author/creator: David Dapice
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University
Format/size: pdf (83,7K)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2004


Title: Chronic Slum: Burma’s Fiscal Disaster
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "Burma’s tottering economy is suffering from a tax system crippled by corruption and desperately in need of reform... Many of Burma’s citizens do not pay tax. In fact, Burma has one of the world’s lowest ratios of tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The ratio has declined since the mid-1990s, as reports from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) indicate. Government revenues or taxation were at 7.8 percent of GDP in 1997-98 but dropped to a low of 2.3 percent in 2000-01. The ADB attributes the decline to a relatively slow increase in tax receipts. But government officials at the Finance and Revenue Ministry have quietly admitted to The Irrawaddy that the drop is mainly the result of overestimating the GDP, part of the regime’s propaganda drive to gloss over the nation’s economic woes. Failing state economic enterprises and growing public sector imports, notably defense imports, have left the junta with a large fiscal deficit. So now the question is: How can it attract new revenue or new taxes to fill the growing holes in the budget?..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Price rises bite into impoverished Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 January 2003
Description/subject: YANGON, Jan 26 (AFP) - "Condemned by western governments for its poor human rights record, shunned by foreign investors and international financial institutions, military-ruled Myanmar and its impoverished people are suffering from spiralling inflation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: AFP
Format/size: html (12K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Economic Anomalies
Date of publication: 08 January 2003
Description/subject: January 08, 2003—"During Burma’s time as a Socialist state, citizens were prevented by foreign exchange proceed laws to possess any foreign currency. Minor adjustments were made to this situation after 1988 when the military junta allowed a number of businessmen to open foreign currency accounts at two state-owned banks: the Myanma Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) and the Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB)..."
Author/creator: Danu Maung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Commentary Archive
Format/size: html (12K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Befreiung des Handels aus den Fängen des Militärs
Date of publication: January 2003
Description/subject: Burma: Fairer Handel, ›Deglobalisierung‹ und andere Alternativen? Eine Diskussion von Walden Bellos Konzept der De-Globalisierung und Lokalisierung angewandt auf Burma. Warum sind die Ideen der globalisierungskritischen Bewegung derzeit auf Burma nicht anwendbar? key words: anti-globalisation, fair trade, military / state economy, neo-liberalism,
Author/creator: Alfred Oehlers, Deutsch von Gudrun Witte
Language: Deutsch, German, English
Source/publisher: Südostasien Jg. 19, Nr. 1 - Asienhaus
Format/size: pdf (51K - English)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/Globalisation_Oehlers.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 January 2004


Title: BURMA COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDE FY2002
Date of publication: 2003
Description/subject: "This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at Burma's (Myanmar's) commercial environment, using economic, political and market analysis. The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community. Country commercial guides are prepared annually at U.S. embassies through the combined efforts of several U.S. Government agencies..." 1. Executive Summary... 2 Economic Trends and Outlook -Government Role in the Economy -Major Trends and Outlook -Major Sectors -Balance of Payments -Infrastructure... 3 Political Environment � -Brief Synopsis of Political System -Nature of Bilateral Relationship with the United States -Major Political Issues -Business Policy -Scope of Sanctions... 4 Marketing US Products and Services � -List of Newspapers and Trade Journals -Advertising Agencies and Services -IPR Protection -Need for a Local Attorney... 5 Leading Sectors for US Exports and Investment... 6 Trade Regulations, Customs and Standards -Barriers to Trade and Investment -Trade Regulations... 7 Investment Climate/US Investment Sanctions -US Investment Subject to Sanctions -Status of Investment -Executive Order -Sanctions Regulations... 8 Trade and Project Financing -Description of Banking System -Foreign Exchange Controls Affecting Trade -Availability of Financing -List of Banks... 9 Business Travel -Travel Advisory -Visas, International Connections -Customs, Foreign Exchange Controls... 10 Economic and Trade Statistics: Appendix A: Country Data; Appendix B: Domestic Economy; Appendix C: External Accounts - Trade and Payments; Appendix D: Investment Statistics; 11 US and Country Contacts... Bibliography.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Commercial Service
Format/size: html, pdf (276K)
Date of entry/update: 18 July 2003


Title: Economic and Social Chaos of the State
Date of publication: 26 December 2002
Description/subject: " Burma has come to resemble the former Soviet regime, and we are presently witnessing the same economic and social chaos. The Burmese junta continues to build up its military, despite agreeing to peace with 17 ethnic armed groups. Needless infrastructure projects have been launched one after another, while people in the streets are saying: "Who needs these roads and dams? You can’t eat them or buy food for us."... It seems from the regime’s perspective that the nation’s economic and social problems can be solved by pampering white elephants in their elaborately decorated stables at Min Dharma Hill..."
Author/creator: Danu Maung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Commentary Archive
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Sowing disorder: Support for the Burmese junta backfires on China
Date of publication: November 2002
Description/subject: "In the early 1990s China’s sale of arms to Burma played a crucial role in keeping the Burmese military in power. But this support for the generals in Rangoon is now backfiring, as many of the negative consequences spill over the border into China, writes Andrew Bosson. While China has generally taken a passive stance towards international efforts to pressure Burma to improve its rights record, it would be in Beijing’s best interests to push Rangoon towards economic and political reform, he argues. The relationship between Burma and China has been harmful to both countries, especially following the Chinese arms deals which preserved the junta in power and locked Burmese political and economic life into a stasis from which it has yet to emerge. The generals seem to have very little idea of how a modern economy functions and are essentially running the country as they would an army. Military expenditures continue to take up about 60 percent of the national budget. Thus it comes as no surprise that the economy is in an advanced state of failure. China also has been damaged economically: Burma’s lack of access to economic development assistance and its collapsed economy leave a gaping hole in the regional development projects the impoverished provinces of southwest China so badly need. China also suffers from the massive spread of HIV/AIDS, drug addiction and crime that have accompanied the massive quantities of heroin being trafficked from Burma into Yunnan Province. The growth of the drug economy in Burma may be traced directly to the lack of the necessary economic and political remedies, which is an indirect result of China’s intervention..."
Author/creator: Andrew Bosson
Language: English
Source/publisher: China Rights Forum Journal 2002-03
Format/size: pdf (140K)
Alternate URLs: http://iso.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision%5fid=3346&item%5fid=3345
Date of entry/update: May 2003


Title: A Complete State Failure?
Date of publication: September 2002
Description/subject: "Crisis" has become a popular byword in any description of Burma. The country�s economic calamities have now led to social instability and havoc. Basic commodity prices have doubled since late August. Ongoing closures of border crossings with Thailand has compounded the shortage of goods and forced consumer prices to spiral out of reach for many people in Burma. Even in Rangoon, individuals have to line up for cooking oil until late at night. Some sleep in queues while waiting to buy small rations..."
Author/creator: Editorial
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10. No. 7, September 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma's Economic Blues
Date of publication: August 2002
Description/subject: Although reports from the military government paint a rosy picture of Burma as a prosperous modernizing nation, numerous signs indicate that the country�s economy is in dire straits. ... When reading Burma�s state-run newspapers, however, it is sometimes hard to remember that Burma is one of the most impoverished nations on the globe. Leafing through the pages of the regime�s principal mouthpiece, the New Light of Myanmar, the reader is swamped with articles detailing the implementation of countless development projects�including new hospitals, dams and schools�that the ruling generals in Rangoon say lend credence to their mission of building a new and prosperous nation..."
Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 6, July-August 2002
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: THE ECONOMY & WOMEN'S LABOUR (Chapter from "Gathering Strength")
Date of publication: January 2002
Description/subject: OVERVIEW; THE ECONOMY; DECISION-MAKING & THE FAMILY INCOME; CULTURAL STEREOTYPES REGARDING WORK; RURAL WOMEN; FORCED LABOUR; EDUCATION & WORK OPPORTUNITIES; WOMEN IN THE PAID LABOUR FORCE; THE CIVIL SERVICE; THE INFORMAL SECTOR; THE PRIVATE SECTOR; LACK OF INFORMAL & PRIVATE SECTOR REGULATION; THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY; FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS;
Author/creator: Brenda Belak
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia
Format/size: PDF (979K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar - Daten 2001/2002 - Wirtschaftsdaten
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Auszug aus dem Wirtschaftshandbuch Asien-Pazifik des Ostasiatischen Vereins e.V. (OAV) Wähle "Myanmar" auf der Seite "Länderinfo". Choose country "Myanmar" on the site "Länderinfo". possibly 2002
Language: Deutsch
Source/publisher: Ostasiatischer Verein e.V.
Alternate URLs: Kontakt zu Foren für informellen Austausch mit Unternehmern für Mitglieder http://www.oav.de/index.php3?t=5&r=2
Adresse OAV Repräsentanzbüro in Rangoon http://www.oav.de/index.php3?t=2&r=6#myanmar
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma's economic crisis deepens
Date of publication: 19 November 2001
Description/subject: The price of vegetables has doubled. Burma has not escaped the economic fall-out from the attacks on the United States and Washington's war on terrorism. The fall in consumer confidence in America will also affect Burma's exports to the US, while the general downturn in international travel will have an adverse impact on Burma's tourist industry. The latest symptom of financial crisis has been a run on the country's large kyat notes. "No one wants to hold thousand or five hundred kyat notes for fear that the government is planning to withdraw them from circulation," said a Burmese businessman...
Author/creator: Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: BBC
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma’s Great Depression
Date of publication: September 2001
Description/subject: "Burma is in the grips of a national depression, and unless something is done to treat it soon, a full recovery could become nearly impossible. Everybody suffers from depression at some time in life. Intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure and rejection can afflict us all, even though we each handle our own difficult experiences differently. Even entire nations can experience depression. In 1929, the United States plunged into the Great Depression, which lasted a decade. This event was more than just a profound economic slump: It left a lasting mark on America’s national psyche. It also demonstrated that even enormous power offers little protection against the mood of the times. No country is invulnerable to the vicissitudes of life; but if a country is fundamentally strong, it can emerge even stronger from the experience of depression. In the case of Burma, however, the onslaught of depression has been relentless. The country’s people have suffered under the effects of misrule for decades, and still cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. Especially since the mid-1970’s, the lot of the average Burmese has worsened almost day by day, so that now they are at their lowest point ever..."
Author/creator: Maung Maung Oo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 7
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: The Dilemma of Stalled Reforms
Date of publication: September 2000
Description/subject: "Myanmar's economic reforms are constrained by the domestic political situation... This paper explores Myanmar's political and economic background in the context of stalled reforms. It finds that Myanmar's economic development is constrained by the domestic political situation, which has in turn been linked to sanctions on trade, investment and aid imposed by Western Europe and the United States. The paper states that further reforms are still required, as the previous round of reforms failed to redress problems such as: * High inflation * Persistent fiscal deficit * Widening trade deficit * Chronic foreign exchange shortage * A drastic fall in foreign investment * Inefficient state economic enterprises (SEEs) * Low value-added production... The paper notes: * The current military government is endeavouring to institute a new political order, while at the same time attempting a smooth transition from a closed to an open market economy. * The fundamental premise is that these broad political and economic reforms should not compromise the three principal main national causes including national sovereignty... The paper concludes: * Conflict between the NLD and the government and the resulting political impasse is the main obstacle for further reforms. * The realization of Myanmars reforms will depend on whether the government and the opposition can be reconciled..."
Author/creator: Tin Maung Maung Than
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for South-East Asian Studies (ISEAS) via Eldis
Format/size: pdf (80K) 40 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Dilemmas-TMMT.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Models Wanted
Date of publication: June 2000
Description/subject: Burma's ruling generals and educators of the country's future economic elite appear to have different ideas about the most appropriate model for Burma's economic development.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma & Globalization
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: Aung Thu Nyein explores the possible positive and negative impact that the process of globalization may have on Burma. While globalization has the power to weaken the regime, its may also work against efforts to rebuild Burma in the future. He points out that this aspect of globalization is under scrutinized by the opposition.
Author/creator: Aung Thu Nyein
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Who to Believe?
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: Burma's economy could hardly be in better shape, argue the generals who run the country. But a growing chorus of international economists, foreign and local businessmen, and ordinary Burmese begs to differ.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: What Went Wrong?
Date of publication: January 2000
Description/subject: Dr. Myo Nyunt, an economist who has worked with the United Nations, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, examines the fate of regimes that fail to recognize and respond to the forces of globalization.
Author/creator: Dr Myo Nyunt
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Why Do Poor Countries Choose Low Human Rights? Some Lessons from Burma
Date of publication: 17 November 1999
Description/subject: Revised Inaugural Lecture at the Faculty of Economics Freie Universität Berlin. JEL-Keywords: Social Norms, Law, Rights, Money, Credit, Economic growth, Development, Poverty, Burma, Thailand. JEL-Classification: K10, K19, O11, O12, O16, Z13. Theoretical explanations about human rights or democracy and economic development have long been dominated by the so-called Lipset-hypothesis, in which levels of democracy and human rights area function of prosperity. However, cross-country evidence seems to indicate that multiple equilibria are more probable than a simple linear relationship. This paper explains the occurrence of low human rights equilibria as the result of a collective choice, where individuals take into account the prevailing consensus in society. This consensus is based on specific cognitive models and the related conceptions of justice. Modern societies are structured by debtor-creditor relationships in a monetary economy, while traditional societies are dominated by a safety-first principle rooted in the subsistence economy. Modern society requires a system of rights, including human rights, to ensure protection of the individual against interference by the collective. By contrast, the subsistence ethics of traditional societies privilege a holistic approach in which the collective guarantees the survival of the individual. In this context, the validity of human rights is less apparent. A collective choice of low human rights can be seen as an adverse selection by risk-averse agents, or as an insurance premium against individual precarity. These conclusions were derived from an analysis ofBurma's society and economy. In general, the transition to a sustainable democratic regime with better respect for human rights would require a profound restructuring of the economy with a properly functioning monetary economy.
Author/creator: Stefan Collignon
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma, Country Commercial Guide, FY 1999
Date of publication: September 1998
Description/subject: Report prepared by the U.S. Embassy, Rangoon, released September 1998.Chapter I -- Executive Summary Chapter II -- Economic Trends and Outlook; Chapter III -- Political Environment; Chapter IV -- Marketing U.S. Products and Services; Chapter V -- Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports; Chapter VI -- Trade Regulations and Standards; Chapter VII -- Investment Climate; Chapter VIII -- Trade and Project Financing; Chapter IX -- Business Travel; Chapter X -- U.S. and Country Contacts; Chapter XI -- Bibliography.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US State Dept.
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: FOREIGN ECONOMIC TRENDS REPORT: BURMA, 1997
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: "This report is a public document, prepared in June 1997 and released in September 1997 by American Embassy Rangoon. All statistics in this report are unofficial Embassy estimates, not official U.S. Government statistics. That is, they are compiled and reviewed only by Embassy officials, not by U.S. Government officials in Washington, even though they largely originate from the Government of Burma, from the governments of Burma's trading partners, or from such international financial institutions as the IMF and World Bank, as indicated by source notations in the appended statistical tables, and by the section on sources and data. Similar reports are prepared and distributed to the public annually, separately or as part of an annual Country Commercial Guide, by most American embassies throughout the world, in compliance with standing instructions from, and following a standard format specified by, the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce. This report is intended chiefly for economists and financiers; except for its first section, "Major trends and outlook," it is highly technical and sometimes redundant, intended to serve largely as a reference work...I. Economic trends and outlook:- -- Major trends and outlook: -- Major trends; -- 1996/97 economic performance; -- Economic outlook... -- Principal growth sectors: --Tourism; -- Defense; -- Agriculture: -- Paddy (unmilled rice) cultivation; -- State procurement of paddy; ; -- Rice exports; -- Beans and pulses... -- Remaining structural issues in the agricultural sector; -- Living conditions in the agricultural sector; -- The government's role in the economy: -- Historical background; -- The extent and limits of economic liberalization since 1988; -- Fiscal developments; --Non-financial expenditures; -- Non-financial receipts; -- Fiscal balances; -- External financing; -- Domestic financing; -- Errors and omissions; -- Monetary developments; -- The exchange rate regime; -- Exchange rate movements; -- Recorded money supply growth; -- Recorded money supply composition; -- Recorded domestic credit and domestic reserves; -- Recorded net foreign assets (foreign reserves); -- Aggregate price inflation; -- Balance of payments; -- Merchandise trade data and balances; -- Recorded merchandise exports; -- Recorded merchandise imports; ; -- Non-factor services trade; -- The overall trade balance; -- Unrequited private transfers (workers' remittances); -- Foreign direct investment; -- Other recorded cash financial inflows: grants, loans and other; -- External debt, debt service, arrears and debt relief; -- Aggregate external accounts: the flow of funds; -- Errors and omissions: unrecorded external flows; -- Narcotics exports and other foreign exchange rents and their real exchange rate effects; -- Infrastructure situation; -- Human infrastructure: education and health; -- Physical infrastructure; -- Use of uncompensated labor in infrastructure projects; -- Major infrastructural projects; II. Political environment; -- Nature of the bilateral relationship with the United States; -- American concerns: human rights violations, narcotics exports; -- U.S. Government activities and policies; -- Private investment, trade and travel; -- U.S. direct investment in Burma; -- U.S. exports to Burma ; -- U.S. imports from Burma; -- Travel and migration; -- Major political issues affecting the business climate ; -- Brief synopsis of the political system, schedule for elections, and orientation of major political parties; Note on sources, data and method; -- Recent improvements in publicly available economic data; -- Remaining flaws in the publicly available economic data; -- The statistical basis and methodology of this report; List of commonly used abbreviations... Appendix: Statistical Tables; --Table A: Socio-economic profile; -- Tables B.l.a - B.3.c: National income accounts (GDP and GNP); -- Table C: Aggregate price indicators; --Tables D l.a-D.6: Balance of payments accounts; -- Tables E.l.a - E.2: Monetary accounts; -- Tables F.I - F.2.b: Flow of funds accounts; -- Tables G.1.a-G.6: Public sector finance accounts.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Embassy, Rangoon
Format/size: pdf (979K) 152 pages
Date of entry/update: 30 May 2005


Title: La destruction de l'économie birmane par les militaires
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: "...La plupart des signes d'alerte précoce d'une déstabilisation radicale sont présents en Birmanie. Ils comprennent le déclin de l'économie, des dépenses disproportionnées pour la défense, une armée surdimensionnée et peu disciplinée, des violations généralisées des droits de l'Homme, l'accroissement de la polarisation des revenus, la dégradation de l'environnement et la guerre civile. La décision des dirigeants de l'armée en 1988 de rechercher des solutions militaires aux problèmes politiques, d'abandonner la tentative de gouverner en équilibrant les forces intérieures du pays et de chercher à la place des soutiens militaires et financiers de l'extérieur pour imposer leur ordre au peuple birman, a mal tourné. Les rentrées financières attendues ne se sont pas matérialisées. Après avoir liquidé les actifs disponibles de façon immédiate et après avoir échoué dans ses projets économiques tels que les exportations de riz et l'Année du Tourisme, le Slorc est à nouveau proche de l'insolvabilité. Si le Slorc ne peut pas écarter l'option militaire prise en 1988 et s'engager dans d'authentiques négociations tripartites avec l'opposition politique et avec les organisations des groupes d'ethnie non-birmane et demander ensemble une assistance internationale, une nouvelle détérioration économique et une déstabilisation aggravée semblent probables. Un scénario pourrait être une désintégration générale du pays en une mosaïque de seigneurs de la guerre et de troupes ethniques rebelles, en étendant le système déjà pratiqué dans les territoires frontaliers. Les implications de ce scénario doivent être prises au sérieux par le Tatmadaw, qui prétend maintenir l'unité nationale, mais aussi par les voisins de la Birmanie et par la communauté internationale."
Author/creator: David Arnott
Language: French, Francais
Source/publisher: Relations Internationales & Stratégiques No. 27, Automne 1997.
Format/size: pdf (119K)
Date of entry/update: 24 August 2003


Title: Once the Ricebowl of Asia
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: "The Burmese military's linked objectives, expanded military control of the country and large-scale international investment to pay for it, are mutually incompatible. Following their suppression of the 1988 Democracy Movement, the generals decided to increase the size of the armed forces from 186,000 to 500,000 in order to have a permanent military presence in most parts of the country. This involved up to US$2 billion of arms imports, mainly from China, a large recruitment drive and a reordering of the military command structure. Lacking the necessary funds to pay for military expansion following the failure of the previous regime's economic autarchy (and/or seeking a credible source of income to launder the revenues from Burma's illegal exports, mainly heroin), the junta opened the country to international investment, but the increased militarisation of the state and the military's continued stranglehold on the main sectors of the economy impeded the economic liberalisation and institutional reform needed by investors. In the civil war, the enhanced capacity of the re-armed and enlarged Burma Army allowed it to move from a strategy of seasonal combat to one of occupation. However, lack of discipline and the low level of soldiers' pay have led to the army living off the land, destroying the local economy, carrying out massive violations of human rights, further alienating the local population and creating refugee flows to neighbouring countries. The combination of a sinking economy, a large, badly-paid army and a tradition of warlordism could lead to a break-up of the country into a number of fiefdoms run by regional commanders and ethnic chiefs. Such a scenario should be taken seriously by the Tatmadaw, the neighbours and the international community..." Published in French as "La destruction de l'economie birmane par les militaires" though it was originally written in English with the title "Once the Ricebowl of Asia".
Author/creator: David Arnott
Language: English
Source/publisher: Relations Internationales & Strategiques No. 27, Automne 1997.
Format/size: html (52K)
Alternate URLs: Download: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/ricebowl98.rtf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma is Now Facing Its Worst Economic Crisis
Date of publication: August 1997
Description/subject: In the early 1990s Burma seemed on the verge of an economic boom, but gross economic mismanagement and a vastly overvalued currency have brought the country's economy to its knees.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 4-5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The New ASEANS: Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia & Laos.
Date of publication: 20 June 1997
Description/subject: This 1997 report was published by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The 70-page section on Burma is divided into 3 chapters: "Perpetuating the Military State" which among other things contains a few pages on the legal system which provide good background for the economics section; "Arrested Economic Development" and "Politicised business". The latter looks at trade, in particular between Australia and Burma. The analysis is useful but, given the 4-5 years since it was written, somewhat outdated.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Australian Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Format/size: PDF (2943K)
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


Title: Foreign Exchange Certificates: Who Really Benefits?
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: "Visitors to Burma notice that everyone, even trishaw peddlers, want to be paid in U.S. dollars -or coupons called FECs, or Foreign Exchange Certificates. After all, the local currency known as kyat is hyper-inflated and loses value almost daily. As one Burmese told the author, the successful mohinga [soup with noodles] seller down the street "buys gold every evening because she's afraid of the money." The FECs are an attempt by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to overcome that lack of confidence in the currency - and provide a linchpin for a supposedly "open-market economy" as a medium of exchange and a store of value..."
Author/creator: Kyi May Kaung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate" Vol. IV, No. 2, March/June 1997
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interview With Professor Khin Maung Kyi
Date of publication: June 1997
Description/subject: In January 1996, a group of Burmese economists began a series of discussions on Burma's economy. Their report, "Economic Development of Burma: A Vision and a Strategy," was recently presented to a select body of peers at the Center for International Private Enterprise in Washington, D.C. Professor Khin Maung Kyi, one of the leading members of this research group, speaks to Burma Debate about his views on the report.
Author/creator: Khin Maung Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. IV, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The New ASEANS: Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia & Laos (Executive Summary)
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: A useful overview of the longer PDF document of the same name.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Australian Fept of Foreign Arffairs and Trade
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: WTO Ministerial Conference Singapore 1996
Date of publication: 1996
Description/subject: Statement by H.E. Lieutenant-General Tun Kyi, Myanmar Minister for Commerce
Language: English
Source/publisher: WTO
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010


Title: Myanmar-- Policies for Sustaining Economic Reform
Date of publication: 16 October 1995
Description/subject: Important report, which criticises the SLORC's economic and social policies, including paddy procurement policies."A significant program of economic reforms has been instituted in Myanmar since the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) assumed power in late-1988. This shift in economic policies followed almost a quarter century of economic decline during which the prevalent development paradigm was termed " the Burmese way of socialism " . Under that model, economic development was to be achieved through rapid industrialization and self sufficiency, and led by the State Enterprise (SE) sector. Economic performance under that policy regime was poor. During 1962-77, real GDP growth barely kept up with population expansion and, as a result, living standards stagnated. Investment levels remained low, agricultural output grew slowly, and the economy grew more inward looking. The initial attempts at economic reform in the mid-1970s succeeded at first but could not be sustained due to macroeconomic and structural factors, which were reflected in widening budget and current account deficits, rising inflation, and stagnant agricultural output and exports. Faced with these serious external and internal imbalances in the early-1980s the Government's stabilization attempts relied on tightening import controls, cutting public investment, and demonetization but were ineffective in reversing the economic decline. Following the anti-government demonstrations of 1988, the SLORC assumed power and announced that many key aspects of the earlier model would be abandoned in its economic reform program. With over seven years having elapsed since those reforms were initiated, it is an opportune time to take stock. Specifically, this report examines the impacts of the policy changes, with a view to identifying the areas in which progress has been made, as well as the gaps that still remain in the program. This analysis would then underpin the report's recommendations concernng areas in which additional reforms are required and how these measures should be phased. Keywords: Economic growth; Economic reform; Economic stabilization; Government role; Policy making
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Bank
Format/size: Text (456K)or PDF (8416K) Page.
Alternate URLs: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/10/16/000009265_3961019103423/Re...
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSServlet?pcont=details&eid=000009265_3961019103423
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Country Commercial Guide, Burma (Myanmar) June 1995
Date of publication: June 1995
Description/subject: This Country Commercial Guide (CCG) presents a comprehensive look at Burma's commercial environment through economic, political and market analyses. The CCGs were established by recommendation of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), a multi-agency task force, to consolidate various reporting documents prepared for the U.S. business community. Country Commercial Guides are prepared annualy at U.S. Embassies through the combined efforts of several U.S. governement agencies.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Prepared by U.S. Embassy Rangoon, Burma Yangon, Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2010