Myanmar: economy

Alison Vicary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


After nearly 30 years in government that had made Myanmar
(previously Burma) the poorest country in South-East Asia,
the military was faced with massive internal dissent and so
allowed economic and political reform to begin in the 1990s.
The reform process has been troubled, protracted and sometimes
violent, and the nature of the changes illustrated the
poor skillset and the self-interest that governed the military
junta’s transformation of the ‘Burmese Way to Socialism’ to a
more market-based economy. The lengthy economic reform
process continued with the quasi-democratic Government,
headed by retired Gen. Thein Sein, that took office at the
beginning of 2011. The most significant recent event in the
political reform process—and possibly for liberal economic
reforms—was the electoral victory of the National League
for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, in November
2015. For many years the NLD had been the country’s most
well-known, persistent political opposition, which had battled
for democratic change ever since it was denied power by the
military Government after winning its first election in 1990
(see Myanmar’s Path to Lower-income Status, below).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Far East and Australasia 2018
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781857438819
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameThe Far East and Australasia


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