Myanmar’s Economic Progress

Twilight before new year| photo – december sun/
Twilight before new year| photo – december sun/

The Myanmar Economic Monitor (MEM), released in November 2013, reports that growth in 2012/13 was strong at 6.5 percent driven mainly by strong performance in gas production, services, construction, foreign direct investment, and commodity exports. It also indicates that the outlook in the short to medium term remains positive although there are risks, both on the domestic as well as external fronts. It also reports that inflation has been on the rise in recent months, reaching 7.3 percent in August, on account of increasing food costs and housing rental costs. The MEM further observes that in recent months the nominal and real effective exchange rates have been depreciating which helps to make Myanmar’s exports more competitive. However, these indicators appear to have started appreciating in August, which could erode Myanmar’s export competitiveness.

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The MEM also notes that the various reforms recently undertaken by the Government and planned reforms appropriately focus on improving the environment for business in the country. These include the removal of import and export licensing requirements on some 600 products, the approval of new regulations on foreign investment to provide greater clarity to some aspects of the new Foreign Investment Law enacted last year, the granting of licenses to private insurance companies for the first time in 50 years, and the enactment of the anti-corruption law, just to mention a few. more…