The Struggle Ahead for the Myanmar Economy

Jared Bissinger’s recent article in Foreign Policy is the most comprehensive discussion of the current Myanmar economy that I have read. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this area.

But be prepared, it is not all that optimistic.

Many analysts recently have dubbed Burma as the new “Asian Tiger.” However, as Bissinger details, the external economic environment and internal economic policy make this comparison flawed in many respects.

Historically, Burma has been a commodity based economy — agriculture, timber, minerals, gems, etc. Current economic policy in the country and international business interests are mostly focused on these segments. Commodity based economies tend to have boom-bust business cycles and in the long run experience declining national income.

Bissinger points out what is needed to shift the focus of policy in Myanmar to create more sustainable economic growth and all the benefits that growth could provide after 50 years of decline.

I would be happy to discuss this article further with anyone who has an interest.


Click here to read the full article in Foreign Policy
“Think Again: Burma’s Economy”
By Jared Bissinger
18 September 2012

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