Dec 6, 2012

Myanmar likely to be Asia’s next financial hub

Myanmar is likely to become the next financial hub in Asia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a recent statement.

"With a commitment to strong reforms, Myanmar has the potential to vastly improve the living standards of its people and emerge as Asia's next rising star," IMF mission chief in Myanmar Meral Karasulu said.

IMF said there is a possibility of a staff-monitored programme next year that would jointly monitor progress on the government's own reform plans.

Karasulu, who met with Myanmar's finance minister, central bank chief and other senior officials, said the government has made rapid strides in reforms to modernise the economy since it seized power in 2011.

"However, the government recognises there is still a long way to go," she said.

IMF also said the Myanmar government will be focusing on continuing to unify the foreign-exchange rate, strengthening the central bank, and improving revenues to fund its development needs.

In May, IMF published its first report on Myanmar in decades, calling on authorities to step up reforms to enhance the business and investment climate, including modernising the financial sector and liberalising trade.

Myanmar is still one of the poorest countries in Asia after decades of economic mismanagement and isolation under army rule.

Source: IMF Press Release No.12/453