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Myanmar’s Moment: Unique Opportunities, Major Challenges

By McKinsey Global Institute  •  June 10, 2013

Executive Summary

Myanmar is a highly unusual but promising prospect for businesses and investors—an underdeveloped economy with many advantages, in the heart of the world’s fastest-growing region. Home to 60 million inhabitants (46 million of working age), this Asian nation has abundant natural resources and is close to a market of half a billion people. And the country’s early stage of economic development gives it a “greenfield” advantage: an opportunity to build a “fit for purpose” economy to suit the modern world.

Managed well, Myanmar could conceivably quadruple the size of its economy, from $45 billion in 2010 to more than $200 billion in 2030—creating upward of ten million nonagricultural jobs in the process. Myanmar’s moment: Unique opportunities, major challenges, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, discusses the challenges of meeting this ambitious goal and points to several areas that could help unlock high growth.

The report finds that if current demographic and labor-productivity trends continue, Myanmar could grow by less than 4 percent a year. But it has the potential to grow by 8 percent a year if it accelerates the rate of annual labor-productivity growth, to 7 percent, from 2.7 percent—a difficult but not unprecedented feat (exhibit).

Download the full report here.

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This post is in: Aid, Economy

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