Myanmar's Foreign Exchange Market: Controls, Reforms, and Informal Market

Co-publication with Other Foreign Publishers


This is the first book dedicated to the scrutinization of Myanmar's unofficial foreign exchange market, its roots in restrictive administrative controls on foreign exchange and international trade, and its effects on the country’s economic performance. This book integrates vast pieces of records and data with first-hand information from extensive fieldwork to create an overall picture of the chaotic but seemingly efficient foreign exchange market in Myanmar, a transitional economy in Southeast Asia whose economic systems had been less known due to its isolation until recently. This book illustrates how the unofficial foreign exchange market emerged during the country’s transition to a market-based economy, how informal currency deals proliferated under restrictive controls, and why they persist despite the significant economic reforms since 2011. Refuting the conventional wisdom of foreign exchange policy reforms, this research clarifies path-dependent features of foreign exchange market systems, and it discusses possible solutions for modernizing economic systems. This book is highly recommended to readers who seek an in-depth analytical narrative about informal economic activities and foreign exchange policy reforms in a fragile state.


■ Myanmar's Foreign Exchange Market: Controls, Reforms, and Informal Market
■ by Koji Kubo
■ 126pp
■ Published in 2018
■ ISBN978-981-13-1788-0


1 Introductory Chapter: Myanmar’s Foreign Exchange Market-Controls, Reforms, and Informal Market

2 Piecemeal Reforms in the 1990s and Forex Market Segmentation between State and Private Sectors

3 Unofficial Forex Market and Informal Economic Activities under Exchange Restrictions on the Private Sector

4 Import Controls, Natural Resource Booms, and Extraordinary Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in 2007–2011

5 Foreign Exchange Market Reform since 2011: Linkage between the Official and Unofficial Markets

6 Informal Currency Deals and New Official Customer Dealing: Who Chooses Which?

7 Concluding Chapter: Prospects for Modernizing the Foreign Exchange Market