Day 3: Country Session – Myanmar

The Myanmar country session included a wide-ranging discussion on the Myanmar garment sector, natural resource development, trade and banking sectors and civil service reforms. Professor Rocco MacChiavello chaired the session, and country economists Mari Oye and Andrea Smurra gave background presentations on opportunities for future research, while Dr Tin Htoo Naing of CEES Myanmar covered reforms in the Myanmar garment sector.

Garment is historically often the first sector where countries learn how to manage and run large firms, MacChiavello said. Researcher Rory Creedon also demonstrated a working tool for managing garment import-export data which IGC is now using in a joint project with the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association.

The second area of the presentation focused on natural resources. Myanmar has a wealth of resources including oil and gas, jade, timber, and hydropower potential – how the revenues from these will be collected, managed, and divided with subnational governments presents a crucial area for Myanmar’s sustainable development.

Finally, Andrea Smurra covered trade policies and banking sector reforms. Fixing policies in loosening interest rate regulation and the requirement of 100% collateral on loans could offer an avenue to increasing growth.

Myanmar policy stakeholders in the discussion included Dr Tin Maung Than, Director at the Myanmar Development Resource Institute, and Daw Khin Lay Myint, Deputy Director General of the Myanmar budget department.

By Mari Oye, Country Economist, IGC Myanmar