Htet Tayza discusses recent figures which suggest that Myanmar received over US$1 billion in development loans during the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.
Online news source Nation Multimedia recently reported that Myanmar’s Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development has released its latest annual report. This shows that the South-East Asian country received in excess of US$1 billion in development loans from China, Japan, South Korea and international organisations such as the World Bank in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.
According to the report, Myanmar’s government used these funds to aid infrastructure development. Projects initiated included the construction of sub-power stations and upgrades to the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure and railroad sections. Also, the report indicated that Myanmar used over US$480 million in funds from global organisations to bankroll 115 development projects in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.
A significant portion of development loans came from global organisations. The World Bank, which provides loans to developing countries, supplied US$141.5 million in loans to The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, the Myanmar Economic Bank and the Auditor General’s Office.
Meanwhile the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which combats world hunger through low-interest loans, provided Myanmar US$18.7 million to develop its agricultural sector. Furthermore, the country received US$60 million from the Asian Development Bank, which promotes economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. These funds were utilised to extend power distribution projects in Myanmar regions such as Yangon, Magway and Mandalay.
Myanmar also received millions of dollars’ worth in development loans from regional partners in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year. China, the world’s largest growing economy, provided US$20 million to aid the construction of the 40-mile-long Athoke-Pathein power grid and sub-power station. Meanwhile, South Korea provided US$200 million in loans for both the construction of the Taunggo-Kamarnat sub-power station and the purchase of agriculture equipment.
However Myanmar’s largest regional partner in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year was Japan. The East Asian nation supplied over US$628 million for several projects. This included the development of dams in the western Bago region of Myanmar, the extension of Yangon’s Lagonepyin water supply project and upgrades to the Yangon-Mandalay railroad and Thilawa-Thanlyin road.
The Asian Development Bank released a report in 2014 on Myanmar’s growth prospects. It noted that full realisation of the South-East Asian nation’s economic potential could drive annual gross domestic product (GDP) expansion as high as 9.5% by the year 2030. This level of growth could spur Myanmar’s annual GPD per capita up from US$900 at present, to US$5,000 by 2030.
However, the Asian Development Bank argued that Myanmar must upgrade infrastructure and invest in human capital to achieve sustained economic expansion. Specifically, they warned that Myanmar must improve its power, transport and information technology infrastructure. The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development’s report indicates that Myanmar is taking the necessary steps to enable long-term economic growth.