Myanmar: economy

Alison Vicary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Myanmar (previously Burma) is a country with a history of
arbitrary, opaque and poor policymaking, ongoing political and
ethnic conflict, and brutal oppression by different incarnations
of military rule, all 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 onethird 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 the bureaucracy
and most government services to the new capital city, Nay Pyi
Taw, about 350 km away from Yangon (previously Rangoon),
the former capital and commercial centre of the country,
exacerbated these difficulties. The liberalization process that
began with the dismantling of the socialist command economy
in the 1990s has created an economy that is now dominated by
military-controlled ‘state-owned’ enterprises (SOEs) and large
conglomerates that have had privileged access to resources.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Far East and Australasia 2017
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameThe Far East and Australasia


Dive into the research topics of 'Myanmar: economy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this