JICA Research Institute

Research

Issues and Challenges for Economic Development in Myanmar

Past Research Projects

In the late 1990s there was an expectation that the government of Myanmar would adopt an open economic policy. In anticipation, JICA conducted a study titled “Myanmar Economic Structural Adjustment," targeting the period 2000 to 2003, which produced policy recommendations for the government in the areas of social and economic development. Myanmar officials were oriented toward introspective policies, however, due in part to a China-backed power change occurring inside the government. Consequently, none of the suggestions were effected and Myanmar increasingly become alienated from the rest of the world, especially the West. The country continues with a development approach that is dependent on natural gas, while internally, inequalities in income distribution grow. This study analyzes the present situation in Myanmar, where economic and social stagnation prevail in the face of great potential. It offers suggestions for improving the living standards of the Myanmarese people, for freeing the general public from anxiety about their lives, and for creating a situation in which the people's capabilities can be deployed for the development of their unique culture.

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