Economy of coup-wracked Myanmar to contract 18%: World Bank


Volunteers help provide a coronavirus (COVID-19) patient with extra oxygen in the town of Kale, Sagaing Region, Myanmar. - Reuters

BANGKOK/YANGON, July 26 (AFP): Myanmar's economy is expected to shrink by 18 per cent in 2021, the World Bank said Monday, as a result of massive unrest following a military coup and a resurgent coronavirus outbreak.

The country has been in turmoil since the military took power in February and launched a bloody crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 900 people according to a local monitoring group.

A mass civil disobedience movement has also paralysed the economy, with many banks shuttered and authorities unable to issue bills or collect taxes.

Already weakened by the coronavirus pandemic, the economy is "expected to contract 18 percent" in the Myanmar fiscal year ending in September, the lender said.

Shutdowns, strikes and internet blackouts have reduced liquidity and constrained the banking sector, it said, with the local kyat currency depreciating by around 23 percent against the United States dollar.

The contraction would mean Myanmar's economy is "around 30 percent smaller than it would have been in the absence of COVID-19 and the military takeover", it said.

The proportion of the country's population living in poverty was "also likely to more than double" by the beginning of 2022 compared with 2019 levels, it added.

Investors piled into Myanmar after the military relaxed its iron grip in 2011, paving the way for democratic reforms and economic liberalisation in the country of more than 50 million people.

Since the putsch, several foreign investors have suspended operations or pulled out completely.

Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor announced earlier this month it was selling its Myanmar subsidiary, which is one of the leading operators in the country, with 18 million mobile phone customers.

The junta has justified its power grab as a means of protecting democracy, alleging electoral fraud in November's election, won by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. - AFP
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

World Bank , Report , Myanmar , Economy , Down 18%

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Ringgit to stabilise against the US dollar next week
Number of Hong Kong private and semi-private schools increasing tuition fees nearly doubles
EU unveils Indo-Pacific strategy, and admits US’ new ‘Aukus’ alliance came as a surprise
Evergrande says six execs redeemed investment products in advance
JKJAV: 238,002 Covid-19 vaccine jabs given on Friday (Sept 17)
Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Friday (Sept 17)
Singapore: 934 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in country, highest since April last year - only one imported case on Friday (Sept 17)
Indonesia to reopen Bali for international visitors in October as govt announces 3,835 new Covid-19 cases on Friday (Sept 17)
Thailand govt eyes wider opening of economy as it reports 14,555 new Covid-19 cases on Friday (Sept 17)
Philippines take more virus measures as country logs 20,336 new Covid-19 cases and total rises to 2,324,475

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers