Investors, businesses losing confidence in Myanmar’s economy

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Myanmar’s economy has seen better days, say critics of the government. Pictured: Maha Bandoola Park in central Yangon © Arno Maierbrugger

Impatient with the sluggishness of the economy, local and foreign investors are losing confidence in the Myanmar government’s economic policies, according to a June 29 report on The Irrawaddy, an online news site focused on Myanmar.

It said a majority of investors and business people are unhappy with the pace of economic reform and blame it on a lack of direction by the National League of Democracy (NLD)-led government of Aung San Suu Kyi after two-and-a-half years of its administration.

The report refers to a survey by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry that shows that short-term positive business sentiment has fallen from 73 per cent in 2016 to 49 per cent this year, with a majority of business people citing the lack of clear economic policy from the government.

“The economy is really slow. The government doesn’t know how to deal with the problem. They need to listen to advice from the experts,” said Than Lwin, a senior advisor to Kanbawza Bank and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.

 “They don’t choose the right people for the right positions. The government has a trust problem. They don’t rely on people who have a proven ability in business and finance in the country. They don’t take advice from them either,” he said.

In July 2016, four months after taking office, the NLD government issued a twelve-point economic manifesto aimed at supporting competition and increasing the vibrancy of the private sector, privatising certain state-owned enterprises, and improving infrastructure development and the agriculture sector.

The manifesto also outlined a policy for creating job opportunities and encouraging foreign investment, as well as overhauling the financial system to help small and medium enterprises thrive in the market. But many investors have become disappointed, as the government has been slow to honour those pledges.

However, people close to the government argue that the new administration inherited an economy that had been devastated by decades of mismanagement and global isolation, and it would take time to get it right.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar’s economy has seen better days, say critics of the government. Pictured: Maha Bandoola Park in central Yangon © Arno Maierbrugger

Impatient with the sluggishness of the economy, local and foreign investors are losing confidence in the Myanmar government’s economic policies, according to a June 29 report on The Irrawaddy, an online news site focused on Myanmar.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar’s economy has seen better days, say critics of the government. Pictured: Maha Bandoola Park in central Yangon © Arno Maierbrugger

Impatient with the sluggishness of the economy, local and foreign investors are losing confidence in the Myanmar government’s economic policies, according to a June 29 report on The Irrawaddy, an online news site focused on Myanmar.

It said a majority of investors and business people are unhappy with the pace of economic reform and blame it on a lack of direction by the National League of Democracy (NLD)-led government of Aung San Suu Kyi after two-and-a-half years of its administration.

The report refers to a survey by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry that shows that short-term positive business sentiment has fallen from 73 per cent in 2016 to 49 per cent this year, with a majority of business people citing the lack of clear economic policy from the government.

“The economy is really slow. The government doesn’t know how to deal with the problem. They need to listen to advice from the experts,” said Than Lwin, a senior advisor to Kanbawza Bank and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.

 “They don’t choose the right people for the right positions. The government has a trust problem. They don’t rely on people who have a proven ability in business and finance in the country. They don’t take advice from them either,” he said.

In July 2016, four months after taking office, the NLD government issued a twelve-point economic manifesto aimed at supporting competition and increasing the vibrancy of the private sector, privatising certain state-owned enterprises, and improving infrastructure development and the agriculture sector.

The manifesto also outlined a policy for creating job opportunities and encouraging foreign investment, as well as overhauling the financial system to help small and medium enterprises thrive in the market. But many investors have become disappointed, as the government has been slow to honour those pledges.

However, people close to the government argue that the new administration inherited an economy that had been devastated by decades of mismanagement and global isolation, and it would take time to get it right.

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