Regional Cooperation Key to Myanmar's Development - ADB President

News Release | 7 February 2013

NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR - ADB reconfirms its commitment to Myanmar's development, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda said today in a meeting with Myanmar President U Thein Sein.

"I have come here today to reaffirm our long-term commitment to support Myanmar in addressing its development challenges and achieving its aspirations," Mr. Kuroda said during his first visit to Myanmar since full ADB operations resumed last month. "We are determined to help accelerate inclusive growth, create income opportunities, bridge rural-urban gaps, and more closely integrate Myanmar within a region that is now the most dynamic in the world."

Myanmar can benefit from regional cooperation in several ways: as a member of the Greater Mekong Subregion, Myanmar can find advantages in initiatives that promote physical connectivity, whether power grids or in building economic corridors. An open economy also brings greater access to new markets, resources, and investments that would otherwise be unavailable.

Myanmar will become Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2014, is already a member of the World Trade Organization, and will benefit when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into being in 2015.

Greater immersion in regional cooperation initiatives will also allow for more effective mobilization of public and private savings in equities, bonds and insurance. The ASEAN+3 Asian Bond Markets Initiative holds much potential for Myanmar.

In addition, the promotion of regional public goods - which addresses common issues ranging from disaster relief to health epidemics - can bring substantial benefits both for Myanmar as well as its neighbors.

ADB is deeply involved in regional cooperation and integration throughout Asia, providing technical advice, economic monitoring and analysis, and financial support to initiatives in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia.