Myanmar in Transition: Opportunities and Challenges

Publication | August 2012

Emerging from five decades of economic and political isolation, Myanmar today shows good potential for inclusive growth.

It could be the next rising star in Asia if it can leverage its rich endowment of resources. The country's key strengths and opportunities include:

  • Large youthful population - providing an attractive labor force for foreign investment
  • Rich supply of natural resources and inputs for agricultural development
  • Potential of renewable energy, notably hydro power
  • Investment opportunities in a range of sectors, including tourism and telecommunications
  • Strategic geographic location between the region's emerging giants and able to benefit from Asia's integration

But the country is currently one of the poorest in Asia and faces many challenges. To sustain the recent development momentum, Myanmar could aim for a growth trajectory that is inclusive, equitable, and environmentally sustainable. This special report is ADB's first major assessment of the country since it began political and economic reforms in 2011. It examines the country's strengths and weaknesses and highlights the challenges and risks. The key for development lies in prioritizing the necessary actions and introducing the requisite reforms.

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Executive Summary
  • Myanmar in Transition
  • Changing External Environment
  • Strengths, Constraints, Opportunities, and Risks
  • Implications for Myanmar's Economic Transition
  • References