SINGAPORE (July 9): While most countries plunge into recession caused by Covid-19, Myanmar, with its relatively insulated economy, will still experience growth this year. However, the projected growth rates will be the lowest since the military junta handed over powers to U Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government in 2011 and a subsequent economic boom took place.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Myanmar is projected to grow 6.4% this year, although it will be down 1.8 percentage points from 2019. The Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) offers a more conservative forecast of 2.5%. Interestingly, these projections come despite its shuttered borders, worsening conflict in its Rakhine State, a collapse in tourism and dimmer prospects of foreign direct investments.

Between Mar 24 and May 20, Myanmar implemented a lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. Unsurprisingly, unemployment increased as many factories stay shut. On April 27, the country’s Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry launched a Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP), where it introduced strategies such as the injection of monetary stimulus, allowing improvements to investment trade and the back sector, easing impact of the pandemic on employees and households, promoting innovative products and strengthening healthcare systems.

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