Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted that Myanmar's economy will continue to grow strongly due to ongoing policy reforms. The predictions came in Asian Development Outlook 2013 released on April 9.
"The outlook for the Myanmar economy is the brightest it has been for decades with investment, exports, tourism, and business optimism all on the rise,” said ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee. “However, this positive outlook could be at risk if the forward momentum of policy reforms falters or if recent tensions escalate further.”
Cancellation of debt by ADB and the World Bank; increased foreign investment; and, a surge in tourism have been key factors in the economy's growth.
Sixty-two foreign firms were granted investment approval in April-December 2012.
GDP growth was estimated at 6.3 percent in 2012. This is in comparison to five percent in the previous five years and the report forecasted economic growth to rise gradually to 6.5 percent in 2013 and 6.7 percent in 2014.
Inflation is expected to average 5.1% in 2013, which is well below recent highs, says the report.
However, the report also said that, “In spite of expected higher receipts from exports and tourism, the current account deficit is projected to widen as import growth accelerates, reflecting higher investment and measures to lift foreign exchange restrictions.”