Economy

Alison Vicary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Myanmar (previously Burma) is a country with an estimated population of 51.4m. in 2014, according to provisional government figures. The census undertaken in March 2014 provided greater precision regarding the size of the population, which previously varied between 50m. and 60m. Organization of the census, as is often the case in Myanmar, was controversial. Myanmar has a history of arbitrary, opaque and poor policymaking, ongoing political and ethnic conflict, and brutal oppression by different incarnations of military rule, responsible for the very low gross domestic product (GDP) per caput. Life expectancy is low, and infant and child mortality are high even for a poor country. Less than one-third of the population has access to the electricity grid, which is often unreliable. Per caput consumption of electricity is less than one-half that of Bangladesh and lower than in Cambodia. Road density is low and in many places of poor quality, especially in rural areas, where road collapses and closures are common. Infrastructure is of inferior quality. The rule of law is weak, property rights are not defined and protected, and institutions are underdeveloped. Corruption and bureaucratic restrictions are endemic and an impediment to local and foreign investment. The transfer in 2006 of all government services to the new capital city, NayPyi Taw, about 350km away from Yangon (previously Rangoon), the former capital and commercial centre of the country, exacerbated these difficulties. The domination of important sectors by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with opaque revenue dispersion, and cronyism in access to resources and business opportunities continues to constrain the development of the private sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Far East and Australasia 2016
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Pages683-689
Number of pages7
Edition47th
ISBN (Print)9781857437904
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    Vicary, A. (2015). Economy. In The Far East and Australasia 2016 (47th ed., pp. 683-689). New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.