Policy reforms stimulated economic growth in Myanmar last year and are expected to drive further development during the forecast period. Inflation is projected to remain moderate. Improved economic prospects have sparked a surge of interest from foreign investors. Achieving the country’s potential depends on maintaining momentum on the government’s reform agenda.
Growth in Myanmar's gross domestic product (GDP) quickened to an estimated 6.3% in fiscal year 2012 (ended 31 March 2013) compared with an average of 5% in the previous 5 years. The pickup reflects business optimism buoyed by the government’s steps since 2011 to liberalize the economy and prospects for further reform. A modest slowdown in agricultural growth in FY2012, partly reflecting floods in August 2012, was more than offset by increases in industrial output and services.
(Official national accounts data are available only on an annual basis with a 2-year lag and they show considerably higher rates of GDP growth, which are inconsistent with correlates of growth such as energy use.)
|Selected Economic Indicators (%) - Myanmar||2013||2014|
Current account balance
(share of GDP)
Source: ADB estimates.
Economic growth is forecast to rise gradually to 6.5% in FY2013 and 6.7% in FY2014. Projections assume the government will maintain momentum on policy reform over the medium term.
Growth will get a lift from the European Union’s proposed reinstatement of preferential access for Myanmar’s exports under the Generalized System of Preferences and the United States’ suspension of its ban on imports from Myanmar. Two large gas fields, Shwe and Zawtika, are expected to come online in FY2013, more than doubling gas production and raising exports to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Thailand. Higher gas exports, greater access to international markets, and faster economic growth in key markets such as the PRC will support growth in exports. Visitor arrivals are likely to post further large gains.
Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook 2013. Manila.