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Myanmar could be Asia's 'rising star': IMF

Sule Pagoda stands in the downtown area of Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday, Nov 20 - PHOTO : BLOOMBERG

Reforms embarked up by Myanmar will help the country facilitate strong and inclusive growth that reduces poverty, says IMF.
Myanmar could become Asia's next economic engine if it enacts vast reforms, the IMF said yesterday, signaling the country could receive a Fund monitoring program in 2013.
An IMF mission visited Myanmar November 5–22, 2012, to hold discussions on macroeconomic policies that could support the authorities’ ambitious reform program over the next year. It reached an understanding that could form the basis of a possible Staff-Monitored Program1 during January-December 2013.
"With a commitment to strong reforms, Myanmar has the potential to vastly improve the living standards of its people and emerge as Asia's next rising star," IMF mission chief in Myanmar Meral Karasulu said in a statement.
“Myanmar has embarked on a historic set of reforms to modernize and open up its economy. Managed well, these reforms will facilitate strong and inclusive growth that reduces poverty,” Meral said.
Praising the rapid strides made by the government over the last two years, IMF said, the reforms have started bearing fruit.
“Growth is expected to accelerate to around 6¼ percent in FY2012/13, bolstered by foreign investment in natural resources and exports of commodities. Inflation has declined rapidly and should remain moderate at around 6 percent next year. Meanwhile, the exchange rate has been stable in recent months, with international reserves increasing to US$4 billion,” IMF said
“The financial sector is being gradually modernized, starting with partial deposit rate liberalization and the relaxing of some restrictions on private banks. This year’s fiscal budget was debated in Parliament for the first time, yielding increased spending in critical areas such as health, education, and infrastructure. Laws to support the development goals of the government have been passed, including on land reforms, microfinance, and foreign investment. Discussions on clearing Myanmar’s external arrears are also progressing,” IMF said.
Despite the positive developments, IMF said, the country has to go a long way. “Myanmar remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, with economic development stymied by many distortions. On the macroeconomic front, the government’s overarching priorities are two-fold: to maintain stability during the transition process, and to build the modern tools and institutions necessary to manage a rapidly changing economy.
Meeting these challenges will hinge on implementing a core set of policies, as emphasized by the government’s own economic plans. Commitment to such reforms and sound economic management would also facilitate a successful resolution of arrears, which is crucial for Myanmar to re-engage with the global community and ensure debt sustainability,” the international body said.

Posted by BCJP on Friday, November 23, 2012. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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