NAY PYI TAW, July 12, 2018 – At a high level gathering here today, Myanmar Government officials and World Bank representatives discussed the government’s commitment to an ambitious reform agenda to ensure the country’s inclusive and sustained growth. Organized by the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the World Bank Myanmar, the conversation focused around constraints related to policy consistency and implementation and the best ways to address them.
Central to the conversation was the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, which is currently being finalized and sets out a comprehensive approach to push for immediate reforms, crucial to boost Myanmar’s economic performance.
“As stated in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan, economic stability and strengthened macroeconomic management are an indispensable prerequisite for peace, security and other goals of sustainable development,” said H.E. Maung Maung Win, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Finance. “The MSDP is well timed to mobilize all necessary resources to pursue this goal of bringing stability to our nation.”
The event provided a forum to exchanges ideas around recent economic analysis and policy recommendations laid out in the World Bank’s May 2018 Myanmar Economic Monitor (MEM), entitled “Growth Amidst Uncertainty.”
According to the MEM, Myanmar’s economy experienced a broad-based increase in real GDP growth, from 5.9 percent in 2016/17, to 6.4 percent in 2017/18. The report indicates a favorable outlook with growth expected to increase to 6.8 percent in 2018/19 and other economic variables set to improve, but warns about downside risks, including uncertainty in global trade and commodity prices.
“Myanmar has the potential to grow even faster than its current rate,” said Gevorg Sargsyan, World Bank Myanmar Head of Office. “The MSDP provides the framework to realize this potential by building human and physical capital and by harnessing this nation’s innovative and creative power, including by mobilizing a dynamic private sector.”
The MEM also indicates that some risks have intensified, related to concerns over the slow pace of reforms and limited progress in addressing the humanitarian crisis in the Rakhine State. In addition, there remain perceptions of bureaucratic inefficiency, centralized decision-making, and emerging protectionism.
Moderated by Dr. U Khin Maung Nyunt, Senior Research Fellow at the Myanmar Development Institute, the discussion allowed meaningful exchanges among a wide range of senior government officials from various ministries and agencies.
About the Myanmar Economic Monitor
The MEM is a periodic analysis of economic developments, economic prospects and policy priorities in Myanmar. The publication draws on available data reported by the Government of Myanmar and additional information collected as part of the World Bank Group’s regular economic monitoring and policy dialogue. The full report can be downloaded here.
About the World Bank Group in Myanmar
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. After a review of the World Bank Group’s first strategy for Myanmar in 30 years, the strategy has been extended to 2019, to continue to help strengthen the country’s programs and reforms that will promote growth in rural areas, invest in basic social services to provide better nutrition, health and education services, build infrastructure and create more and better jobs. For more information, please visit https://www.worldbank.org/myanmar, https://www.facebook.com/WorldBankMyanmar/.