Myanmar’s financial sector still weak, say experts

Myanmar’s financial sector is still weak compared with other economic development sectors, said experts from home and abroad at the Seminar on Myanmar’s Economic Transition; Issues and Options held in Yangon on Nov 30.

Tin Win Aung, chairman of Myanmar Institute of Economic Graduate Association said, “One of the weak sectors among others is the financial sector despite economic reforms in the country. It’s left behind other economic development sectors. It’s a big issue. We need to find solutions how to reform it,”

The experts pointed out that another downgrading sector is the agriculture although the country’s GDP growth rate is expected to reach 8.5 per cent in the fiscal year 2013-14.

“To pick up Myanmar’s financial sector, a financial inclusion is needed. According to data we collected, the country has less ability to do so. We found that less people use banks and take loans from them. we need to change them,” said professor Sean Turnell from Australia’s Macquarie University, who attended the seminar.

“For example, Myanmar migrant workers working in Thailand only use the Hundi remittance system. They do not use the banks. I have no updated data. But the 2005 calendar year data showed that Myanmar workers abroad remitted US$ 300 million a year to home. We need to take them on to the right path,” he continued.

At present, Myanmar’s financial sector mobilizes insufficient capital for transformational development, says Mr Turnell at the seminar.

Meanwhile, the banks’ efficiency at converting deposits into loans is similarly problematic, 49 per cent in Myanmar, 80 per cent global average, and 60 per cent in developing countries, he noted.

Source: ASIA ONE

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