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Myanmar: Transport Sector Initial Assessment

Institutional Document | October 2012

This transport sector assessment highlights development issues and strategic assistance priorities of the Government of Myanmar and ADB, with a focus on rail, roads, urban transport, water transport, port, and civil aviation.

This initial assessment of Myanmar's transport sector provides an overview of the key challenges and opportunities facing the country in this area, highlights the country's Government plans for addressing priorities, and describes the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) initial steps for re-engaging in the sector.

Based on this review and assessment of Myanmar's transport sector, it is proposed that ADB's initial support for the sector should include three interrelated phases:

  • preparation of an in-depth sector assessment, strategy, and road map to further strengthen ADB's understanding of the transport needs, challenges, and constraints, and to identify - in partnership with the government - priority areas for support;
  • provision of technical assistance in the form of policy advisory services, planning, institutional capacity building and training, and project pre-feasibility studies. Technical assistance in these areas will be first step toward restructuring and strengthening the sector, and recasting responsibilities among the six ministries currently in charge of the subsectors; and
  • preparation, financing, and implementation of infrastructure investment projects.

Indeed, the second and third phases would adopt parallel approaches to ensure that institutional capacities are aligned with the requirements to prepare and implement development projects efficiently and effectively. To achieve this alignment, the first set of transport investment projects will be selected on the basis of their ability to:

  • deliver priority development outputs quickly and visibly;
  • incorporate simple project designs and straightforward implementation procedures;
  • have no major negative impacts on resettlement, environment, and/or ethnic minorities;
  • be scalable and replicable; and
  • provide hands-on training and relevant experience to staff in implementing agencies.

The challenges and opportunities facing Myanmar's transport sector are immense. By preparing this initial assessment, ADB has taken the first step to deepen its own knowledge of the sector in order to formulate a strategic approach for future development assistance. ADB also hopes that this initial assessment informs and inspires other development partners to coordinate and collaborate in strengthening the role and capacity of Myanmar's transport sector in contributing to sustainable economic and social development.

The assessment will be revised periodically based on new information to reflect the evolving development partnership between Myanmar and ADB.


  • Sector Assessment: Context and Strategic Issues
  • Sector Strategy: Steps for Reengaging in the Sector
  • Appendix: Overview of Transport Sector Organizations