Long-term vision needed for Myanmar’s economy to prosper
MYANMAR is still poor and has not made meaningful economic progress, a leading economist says, with administrative issues and government mismanagement a key obstacle to market growth.
Addressing a crowd of hundreds at the “Myanmar Beyond 2016: Obstacles and Opportunities” economic forum on November 5, president of the Myanmar Institute of Economic Graduates Association (MIEGA) U Tin Win Aung, said policies and development initiatives by leaders and policymakers have, so far, come to naught.
“A very common phenomenon with the failure of economic development is not having the capacity, and using the wrong implementation, administration and management,” he said.
U Tin Win Aung said that rather than government intervention in all sectors, the government ought to foster a private-sector-driven economy.
“It’s a time to change the idea that economic development can only be made by the government itself,” he added. With regards to the NLD’s 12-point economic policy, associate fellow of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Singapore U Tin Mg Mg Than says it would be premature to form judgments.
“The policy structure will be more clear after six months. This is just where the government is going and their priorities, which is very generally declared,” he said.
U Tin Mg Mg Than said it is necessary to have cooperation between the private sector and government, in order to meet longer-term economic goals.
“We focus on paddy and rice as the national export products, but need to consider other agribusinesses by drawing up strategies. This move will need support of both the government and the private sector,” he said.
Taking time will ensure fewer mistakes, said U Tin Mg Mg Than, recognising that many in Myanmar feel impatient at the pace of change under the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led government.
“People here want quick change as they waited for a far long time in the past for economic development. It is not easy for the government to make a quick transition. We can see the change after late 2011 under U Thein Sein’s government as well.”
The white paper “New Myanmar Beyond 2015: the need for paradigm shift” will be submitted to the parliament and government office this year, U Tin Win Aung said.
He said the aim of the paper is to look back on Myanmar’s history, economic development, management and mismanagement, and look onward with these lessons in mind, to a future – he hopes – will be full of clear policy direction and cohesive long-term strategies.