Friday, July 19, 2013

Jump-starting development In Myanmar before aging of population

Scoop (New Zealand): Myanmar faces a crucial few years to come to ignite economic growth and embark on a higher, more sustainable and more equitable development trajectory. The challenge is even more important as the country’s population will start ageing in 2017, says the Multi-dimensional Review of Myanmar: Initial Assessment which was launched by the OECD and UNESCAP in Yangon today at an event supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

“Myanmar is at a crossroad: it has to capitalise on its numerous assets and seize the momentum for development. The demographic dividend needs to be reaped now and the potential of the economy lifted by productivity-enhancing reforms ", said OECD Development Centre Director Mario Pezzini. “Otherwise, Myanmar risks getting old before the incomes and living standards of its people can significantly improve.”, added M Pezzini.

Recent economic growth in Myanmar has been relatively low for its level of income. The OECD’s medium-term growth forecasts indicate that without structural change the economy can grow at an average of 6.3% over 2013-17, somewhat below the government’s 7.7% target for 2013-2015.

The report finds that Myanmar needs to build up institutional and social capital, as these are the key constraints preventing the country from reaping the benefits of its abundant natural resources, relatively well-trained labour force, favourable geographic location and rich cultural heritage. These assets could form the foundation of a multi-pronged development strategy. Improved institutional capital – the legal and regulatory frameworks as well as the country’s institutions and bodies – will be vital if the country is to meet its development targets....

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