Historic changes have occurred in Myanmar starting from 2010, with the general election followed by establishment of a civilian government. The new government, which took office in March 2011, has taken steps to solidify national reconciliation and build good governance in Myanmar. It also focused on the speedy improvement of economic and social well-being of the people of Myanmar. Accordingly, the Framework for Economic and Social Reforms (FESR) has been drafted in order to push the ongoing reforms forward and to accelerate Myanmar’s greater integration into the international community. Policies emphasize on agro-based industrial development, equitable sharing of resources among the regions and the states of the country, promoting local and foreign investments, effective implementation of people-centered development, and poverty reduction. Key measures under the FESR include (i) land reform; (ii) improvement of access to credit; and (iii) creating job opportunities.
Reforms also take place in economic and financial policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. These reforms are jointly monitored by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Significant reforms in the financial sector include adoption of the managed float exchange rate system in April 2012; unification of exchange rate; and enactment of the new Foreign Exchange Management Law, through which all restrictions on the current payments and transfers for international transactions are lifted.
The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) is trying to develop a foreign exchange market, liberalize the banking system and improve payment system. To further improve the banking system, new banking laws are under preparation (comprising the Central Bank Act and the updated Financial Institutions of Myanmar Law). The CBM is improving its monetary policy framework in collaboration with the IMF. To improve access to finance, SME financing and microfinance projects are being encouraged. On the fiscal front, reforms have been taken to improve public finance management, increase transparency and accountability in the budget process, and allocate more resources to the social sector. Broad-based reforms are taking place in taxation, state economic enterprises and pension practices as well. Myanmar witnesses other important reforms such as trade sector liberalization with the recent lifting of trade restrictions, and enactment of a new Foreign Investment Law.
Yin Yin Mya
Deputy Director General, Central Bank of Myanmar
Stephen P. Groff
Vice President, ADB
H.E. U Than Nyein
Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar
H.E. U Win Shein
ADB Governor and Union Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue
Director Asia & Pacific, IMF
H.E. Dr. Kan Zaw
Union Minister of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development
Moderator: Victor Mallet