Myanmar 'set to build on gains'

Myanmar is confident that its competitiveness will improve next year as it capitalises on its reforms and its assets such as human resources, according to presidential economic adviser Zaw Oo.

The challenge, however, is not how to make a big jump in its global competitiveness ranking, but how to sustain the progress it has made, he said.

Among Myanmar’s advantages are its strategic location, connected to two major economies, China and India, while its people are hard working, sincere and competitive, he said. These are among the things the country will fully utilise to boost its competitiveness.

Adding to these qualities, the government is implementing constructive policies with the support of many international organisations. All these will enable Myanmar to improve competitiveness quickly, he said.

The country will also provide opportunities for its people to enhance their efficiency and productivity, Zaw Oo said on the sidelines of a seminar titled “Assessing Asean’s Readiness by Country: Opportunities, Concerns and Preparedness towards the AEC in 2015″ co-hosted by Krungthep Turakij newspaper, Siam Commercial Bank, Thammasat University and the Thailand Research Fund. It was held at the Dusit Thani Hotel.

According to the “Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014″ of the World Economic Forum, Myanmar is ranked 139th among 148 economies. After decades of political and economic isolation, the March 2011 elections have brought profound changes to the country, the WEF noted. The government has embarked on an ambitious process of reforms to improve the country’s economic landscape and prospects by leveraging Myanmar’s extraordinary assets, which include an abundance of natural resources, very favourable demographics, and a strategic location at the heart of Asia.

Myanmar was included in the WEF competitiveness ranking this year for the first time. It is ranked 141st in two pillars – infrastructure and institutions, the second of which shows the strength of government agencies. Its ranking in the macroeconomic-environment pillar is 125th, while it is ranked 111th in the health and primary education pillar.

Myanmar is Asean’s lowest-ranked nation on all the pillars except market size. In technological readiness, it even ranks last among all 148 economies studied.

Zaw Oo noted that Myanmar had reformed quickly in many areas, especially politically, and it was making sure that the economic and social reforms could catch up and that all these reforms would benefit the people.

Myanmar’s comprehensive reform framework consists of four pillars: political, economic and social, public administration, and private-sector development. These are the foundations Myanmar will build on to move the country forward, he said.

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Myanmar 'set to build on gains'
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