World Bank Optimistic About Myanmar Outlook Though Problems Persist

YANGON, January 30, 2017 – "Myanmar’s economy will grow an average of 7.1 percent per year in the next three years, as inflation pressures are expected to ease up and private and public investments in infrastructure services and non-commodity sectors, such as light manufacturing and hospitality, are forecasted to rise", according to a World Bank report released today.

Policies to sustain stable and inclusive growth are critical for creating more opportunities for people to earn and have better jobs in Myanmar,” said World Bank Country Manager for Myanmar Abdoulaye Seck“They are also important for reducing the high inflation that impacts the poor the most adversely.”

But the ADB (Asian Development Bank), while also giving a generally heathy outlook does provide some caveats:

"Risks to Myanmar’s economic outlook include thin external and fiscal buffers, the capacity of the government to maintain reform momentum, ethnic and sectarian tensions, and vulnerability to bad weather."

AMC's own analysis however adds that there is significant, downwards pressure on any healthy outlook due to neglected infrastructure projects.

The downwards pressure factors include:

  • Lack of adequate capacity at the main sea ports
  • Likely worsening of electric power capacity sufficiency
  • Poor conditions of the national highway system
  • Lack of massive public transportation projects
  • Insufficient large scale drainage projects in flood prone regions
  • Lack of provisions for disaster relief
  • General burdens to business incurred through cost of corruption
  • Lack of serious initiative to streamline business permits
  • Likelihood of dramatic increase in labour costs from 2017 and beyond
  • Likelihood for labour actions increasing in answer to sluggish approval for wage increases
  • Inadequate governmental and banking mechanisms to control Inflationary pressures
  • Financial services sector still not able to achieve breakout strategies