Country Report Myanmar September 2017

Country Report Myanmar September 2017

  • September 2017 •
  • Report ID: 2557341

Outlook for 2017-21

  • Myanmar's democratic transformation will continue under the National League for Democracy (NLD). However, the army's political clout and the deep ethnic and religious fissures will limit more rapid democratisation.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi will steer policy as Myanmar's de facto leader via her key cabinet posts and as "state counsellor"-an overarching position created solely for her. Her tight control over the NLD is unlikely to be challenged in 2017-21.
  • The security situation in some border regions will remain fragile as a peace deal with ethnic minority armed groups is unlikely to be secured during the NLD's term. However, the centres of business and government are not at risk,
  • Myanmar will continue to boast one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects real GDP growth to average 7.2% a year in the forecast period, driven in large part by strong investment activity.
  • Compared with 2012-16, inflation will be more stubborn on average in 2017-21, at 7.8% per year, owing to sustained currency weakness, the continued monetisation of the fiscal deficit and strong domestic demand-pull pressures.
  • The current-account deficit will more than double in size, as a percentage of GDP, by 2021 on the back of a widening trade gap. Strong inflows of foreign investment will help to mitigate significant balance-of-payments strains.


  • On August 24th amendments to the 2013 Telecommunications Law were passed by parliament-retaining, but softening, Article 66(d). The controversial article has been used to charge more than 90 people for online defamation.
  • Shortly after the Kofi Annan-chaired Advisory Commission on Rakhine State released its recommendations for government action in the troubled state on August 24th, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group, launched co-ordinated attacks on security posts across northern Rakhine.
  • According to a spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency, 123,600 refugees have crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar since military operations were ramped up in Rakhine from August 25th.
  • On September 7th India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, concluded a three-day visit to Myanmar. The two governments signed a number of agreements, including on maritime security and surveillance. No compromise was reached on India's trade barriers against Myanmar's beans and pulses.
  • According to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism's latest annual data, tourists spent US$2.2bn in 2016, up from US$2.1bn in 2015. The number of arrivals recorded dropped by close to 40%, to 2.9m in 2016, primarily because the figures no longer include day-trippers.


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