Myanmar on brink of worst economic downturn amid nationwide conflict

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mandalay, myanmar. 30th august, 2019: traditional local market al mandalay streets

Mawlamyine, November (30)

The armed conflict has spread to almost the entire country as a result of the revolutionary forces’ balanced activities along with Operation 1027 of the Three Brotherhood Alliance, which was launched in the last week of October.

The fighting between the junta army and the revolutionary forces has halted border trade, cut off trade and transportation, and drastically impacted the import and export sectors.

According to statement from the Military Council’s Trade Department, the value of exports exceeded 16,600 million US dollars in fiscal years 2022–2023, while imports surpassed 17,300 million dollars.

According to an economic expert, “Because of the current fighting, Myanmar’s economy does not see any improvement, and the expansion of the fighting area may further affect the economy.”

According to the estimate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the economic growth rate of Myanmar in 2023 is only 2 percent, which may reach the lowest position compared to other countries in the ASEAN region.

According to the OECD’s 2023 report on the economic development of Southeast Asia, China, and India, the value of GDP decreased due to a decrease in private consumption caused by Myanmar’s political turmoil.

Myanmar’s GDP showed signs of decline during the military coup in 2021, and it increased by 2% in 2022, but the same rate is expected in 2023 and is omitted for 2024.

According to a businessman, “Myanmar’s economy has shrunk repeatedly due to the current fighting and the wrong policies of the military council, and it has not been easy to recover.”

The military council has restricted banking services, which are vital to the economy, causing most businessmen to have difficulty withdrawing money due to nationwide fighting.

On the other hand, severe power outages, high fuel and raw material prices, and high general costs, including transportation, all have a significant impact on businesses.

At least 34 foreign companies have ceased operations and left Myanmar in the more than two and a half years since the military coup, with the rapid rise in inflation.

According to data from the research organization ISP-Myanmar, the value of investment leaving the country is more than four billion US dollars, which has had a great socio-economic impact on the grassroots.

The World Bank announced early this year that Myanmar’s economy, which has stagnated since the military coup, has not yet recovered, and occasional wrong policies have permanently harmed the country’s economy.

News-Than Lwin Times

Photo -CJ

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