NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR  — Strategic investments and new initiatives in the transport sector can propel Myanmar to reach its high growth potential and reduce poverty and inequality, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) policy note.

The Myanmar: Transport Sector Policy Note presents a comprehensive review of the country’s transport landscape and identifies interventions that can be implemented in the short, medium and long term. High impact infrastructure investments will enable the Government of Myanmar and other key stakeholders to put the transport sector on a self-sustaining development path. 

“Myanmar’s future is full of great potential,” said Bambang Susantono, ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development. “The new government is ready to make use of its abundant and innate resources to eradicate poverty and ensure growth for everyone. This includes providing access to a modern and safe transport system for all.” 

Twenty million people, or about half the rural population, live in villages without access to an all-season road in Myanmar, which trails its Southeast Asian neighbors in transport infrastructure. The report notes that $45 to $60 billion is required in transport investments by 2030, and these should be coupled with streamlining institutions and strengthening cross-ministerial collaboration. 

The in-depth study provides policy frameworks and subsector reviews that will provide policymakers, donors, and private investors the opportunity to help prioritize transport investments for railways, river transport, rural roads and access, trunk roads, and urban transport. Thematic reports on road safety and road user charges are also part of the study. 

The study was released at a policy discussion attended by U Thant Sin Maung, Minister of Transport and Communication; U Win Khaing, Minister of Construction; Winfried Wicklein, ADB Country Director in Myanmar; Hideaki Iwasaki, ADB Director for Southeast Asia Transport and Communications Division; Tyrrell Duncan, ADB Technical Advisor for Transport; and Mr. Susantono.  

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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