This chapter includes the following articles.
A series of political and economic reforms have led to the lifting of most international sanctions since 2012. While it may take many years of intensive foreign investment and rapid growth to catch up to other south-east Asian countries, Myanmar has exceptional potential for a country in its income range. Agriculture, fishing and forestry is the country’s largest sector, contributing 30.5% to Myanmar’s GDP in FY2012/13. Manufacturing is the second-largest sector, accounting for 19.9% of GDP in FY2012/12, followed by retail and wholesale trade with 19%, transport and communication with 13.3%, and mining with 6.1%. Since a historic reform process began in 2010, foreign investment has been pouring in, driving annual growth to more than 8%, according to IMF estimates. There are good reasons to believe the economy will continue to enjoy exceptionally strong growth in the years ahead. In the short term, much will depend on the outcome of the national elections, which are due in autumn 2015. This chapter contains interviews with U Soe Thane, Minister of the President’s Office; Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA); and U Set Aung, Chairman, Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ). It also includes a viewpoint from John Kerry, US Secretary of State.