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Stunted and Distorted Industrialization in Myanmar

Discussion Papers


October 2005


More than 15 years have passed since Myanmar embarked on its transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one. The purpose of this paper is to provide a bird-eye's view of industrial changes from the 1990s up to 2005. The industrial sector showed a preliminary development in the first half of the 1990s due to an "open door" policy and liberalization measures. However, a brief period of growth failed to effect any changes in the economic fundamentals. The industrial sector still suffers from poor power supplies, limited access to imported raw materials and machinery, exchange rate instability, limited credit, and frequent changes of government regulation. Public ownership is still high in key infrastructure sectors, and has failed to provide sufficient services to private industries. What the government must do first is to get the fundamentals right.

Keywords: Myanmar (Burma), transitional economy, industry
JEL classification: L60, O14, P20

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