• Van Nun Lian
Since the 2011 reforms, rapid transformations and widespread changes are taking place in Burma. The country is moving towards in search for stability, peace, prosperity, and development by making political and economic reforms. Politically, Burma is on the process of democratisation, national reconciliation, ceasefire and ending ethnic armed conflicts in the country. Economically, it is at a crossroad where it is accelerating the process of modernisation, industrialisation, urbanisation, and progression. As it opens its economy to the world, Burma becomes the fastest growing economy in ASEAN countries. With rich natural resources, the government’s ambitious programs and liberal economic policies, it attracts foreign countries to trade with Burma and doing investment in the country which further give economic growth and boom.
This paper examines two distinct paths and models for economic development, namely the liberal development model which is based on market economy, free trade, privatisation, liberalisation, and the minimisation of state interference in the economy. This is contrast with the Chinese development model where the government is perceived and used as the regulator, initiator, stimulator, and the manager of economy. In addition, although the Chinese model allows the exercise of market economy, the government takes control of markets in a certain degree. Regarding its current economic development, societal systems, and geographical location, choosing and applying the appropriate model is essential to achieve needed developments in the country. Hence, Burma is facing the developmental dilemma and perplexity where it has to choose the suitable development model for its growing economy and societal changes.
The analysis reveals that China is the main source of economic development in Burma. Although its presence is significantly enormous, it faces challenges from the EU and U.S as they offer Burma a liberal model to economic development. After both the EU and U.S have lifted their economic sanctions on Burma and allowed Burma to export its goods and products under GSP program, its trade with EU and U.S is growing since 2011. However, the findings of this thesis show that the volume of Burma-China trade and Chinese investments are the driving forces and keys factors to Burmese economy. Debatably, this paper also argues that the Burmese economy is dependent on its relationship and trade with China to some degree. Thus, the conclusion is that as a conflictual and ethnic diverse country with weak institutions, poor infrastructures, human capitals and markets, the Chinese model is a suitable path to improve the quality of life of all Burmese citizens and to increase further economic growth and development in the country.
Publication date31 May 2018
Number of pages60
ID: 280112710