Singapore, Jan 30 (EFE).- The World Bank Monday forecasted 3% growth for Myanmar’s economy, warning that a worsening conflict would hamper the military-ruled country’s economic activities.
The expected moderate growth rate for the current fiscal year, which ends in September, is similar to the previous year. However, the GDP dropped by 18% in 2021.
“Although business conditions improved toward the end of 2022, the recent economic indicators are mixed,” said World Bank Myanmar country director Mariam Sherman.
The World Bank released a report on Myanmar, “Monitoring Burma’s Economy: Navigating Uncertainty.”
The report pointed out that Myanmar’s GDP was likely to remain
13 percent below its pre-COVID-19 and coup levels.
The bank noted that risks included a worsening conflict and a potentially more challenging global environment.
Economic activity remains affected by the conflict, power cuts, and changing regulations.
Currency depreciation, global inflation, and logistical restrictions have “sharply” raised import costs.
“While conflict remains, families suffer from insecurity and violence,” Sherman said.
“Firms, particularly those in the agriculture sector, are experiencing higher costs and delays. Funding for critical health and education services is falling, and lack of trust in public services is increasing.”
The World Bank official said such problems would “hinder Myanmar’s long-term economic prosperity.”
The military seized power from an elected government in February 2021.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says the regime has arrested thousands of people, including top civilian government leaders, since the coup, with the military lethally responding to pro-democracy protests and killing more than 2,900 people.
The coup plunged Myanmar into a deep political, economic, and social crisis, which has aggravated armed ethnic conflicts raging in the country for decades.
The army controls barely a quarter of the country.
Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, opened to foreign investment in 2011 when the democratic transition began.
The nation has experienced rapid growth since then, which plummeted after the coup that overthrew the government led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. EFE