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Policy Brief 14-11

Managing Myanmar's Resource Boom to Lock in Reforms

by Cullen S. Hendrix, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Marcus Noland, Peterson Institute for International Economics

April 2014


Myanmar is in the midst of a long and difficult multifaceted transition, involving political liberalization, economic reform, and the resolution of multiple long-standing civil conflicts. The country has a history of ethno-religious conflict and separatism. Civil-military relations are muddy, and business-military-state relations are similarly opaque. An ongoing natural resource boom, and the blessings and curses that come with it, further complicates these developments. Given the country's evident institutional weaknesses, external policy anchors could play a critical role in this transition. Hendrix and Noland address the possible role for such international precommitment mechanisms—in particular, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)—in Myanmar's growing extractive sector.

Data disclosure: The data underlying this analysis are available here [xlsx].

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Book: Confronting the Curse: The Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance May 2014