The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday remained bullish on Myanmar's economic prospects as it believes the country will achieve 6.8 per cent growth in fiscal 2014 compared to 5.5 per cent last year.
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday remained bullish on Myanmar's economic prospects as it believes the country will achieve 6.8 per cent growth in fiscal 2014 compared to 5.5 per cent last year.
The boost will be fuelled by strong export earnings from resources such as gas, hydropower and the boom in tourism.
After 2014, the Myanmar economy will grow seven to eight per cent annually through 2030, said ADB's vice president Zhao Xiaoyu.
The ADB predicted Myanmar, the rising star in Asia, will continue to shine if it maintains its growth momentum despite the challenges it will face as the country is well-positioned to accelerate its development.
The two key ways in which Myanmar can do that is to capitalise on its natural resources and enhance its potential in services and tourism.
Speaking to international and local participants at a convention centre in Naypyidaw, ADB encouraged Myanmar to establish greater linkages with neighbouring countries to boost its economic growth.
Increased cooperation can help Myanmar maximise its benefits through trade liberalisation and financial cooperation among the ASEAN members.
The ADB believed that with proper planning while implementing wide-ranging reforms, Myanmar will soon be able to attain the status of a middle-income nation.
Mr Zhao said: "Regional economic cooperation and integration offers significant opportunities to Myanmar. To capture these opportunities, however, the government must create an enabling and open environment. This, in turn, requires the establishment of regulations that provide good governance and transparency without restricting economic activity. These are the elements that can forge entrepreneurship and a vibrant private sector."
Myanmar has acknowledged the need to open its economy and has drawn up both long- and short-term plans to draw in foreign money.
Dr Kan Zaw, Myanmar's minister for National Planning and Economic Development, said: "The significant changes are taking place in order to ensure the creation of an investment-friendly climate, attractive towards potentially beneficial and responsible investments. With such developments, the interest towards Myanmar from foreign investors and interested parties is also growing exponentially."
Myanmar nationals said they are encouraged by the positive outlook on the country but many want to see how policies are executed because they have yet to see the full effect of the government initiatives.
Myanmar, which has a total area of 678,500 square kilometres, is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world. It is somewhat smaller than the U.S. state of Texas and slightly larger... ... More