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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 2-04c
Myanmar at the Crossroads: Searching for New Initiatives in Myanmar Issues


More than 15 years have passed since Myanmar embarked on its transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one. However, its move to a market economy has stalled since the mid-1990s. Although the Myanmar economy experienced a brief period of growth in the first half of the 1990s, it failed to effect any changes in the economic fundamentals, resulting in mounting structural problems and difficulties.

At the same time, the international community had been divided into two factions, i.e. pro-sanctions vs. pro-engagement. The Western governments not only suspended aid provisions but also imposed trade embargos, while neighboring countries including China, India and ASEAN advocated increased political and economic cooperation with the regime in Yangon. Both approaches seem to have proved ineffective by now.

Our study attempts to draw a comprehensive picture of Myanmar's problems by analyzing not only economic and social issues such as poverty, food, energy, infrastructure and the business environment but also international relations. All these problems and issues are intricately intertwined with each other. Only a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Myanmar's issues might make it possible for the international community to assist its future socioeconomic development.


December 2005 - March 2007


Members of the Research Project

KUDO Toshihiro
IDE Research Fellows and University Professors