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publication November 25, 2019

Myanmar - Economic Transition amid Conflict: A Systematic Country Diagnostic


Myanmar – Economic Transition amid Conflict is the second Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) by the World Bank since it reengaged with Myanmar in 2012. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities to accelerating poverty reduction and fostering more inclusive and sustainable growth in Myanmar.

Since 2011, a historic triple transition has been ongoing in Myanmar—from a planned to an open market economy, from military to civilian rule, from conflict to peace.

Myanmar’s opening delivered immediate economic gains, and high expectations of continued progress. The economy grew at the extraordinary rate of 7 percent annually between 2011 and 2017. Poverty halved between 2005 and 2017, and living standards vastly improved.

But disparities are widening, both driven by and fueling persisting conflicts. Economic reform momentum has not been steady, with second-generation reforms lagging. Environmental risks challenge further progress.

The SCD, in line with the spirit of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP), calls for deeper reforms and greater state institutional capacity to revive and sustain progress towards a more peaceful and prosperous Myanmar. It suggests three interrelated pathways and a cross-cutting theme to achieve this:

Pathway 1: Strengthening economic and financial sector management to sustain growth and job creation

Pathway 2: Building inclusive institutions and human capital for all to foster peace and shared prosperity

Pathway 3: Managing natural endowments sustainably and building resilience for long-term prosperity

Cross-cutting: Reforming public institutions for effective and equitable policy implementation

The report benefited from consultations with a variety of stakeholders in the country. It provided the analytical basis for the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework, launched in May 2020.