The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms & Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Myanmar steps backward in time

Never ending time
Photo: Getty Images

The country’s lost decade appears to be assured: the military coup hit the financial system and the economy – and it is scaring away many investors.

US president Joe Biden marked the first anniversary of Myanmar’s coup by slapping fresh sanctions on its military government in February. But sanctions aside, the real threats to Myanmar’s economy are internal: its self-imposed disruption of the banking system, financial markets and trade are pushing tens of millions of people deeper into poverty.

This southeast Asian nation had become the toast of frontier-market investors thanks to its democratic awakening in recent years. But when Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won the general election in 2020 by a landslide, the military alleged that voting was rigged and seized power in a coup in February 2021. Since then, many investors have fled, while others are looking for ways to bail out.

Kim Edwards, the World Bank’s senior economist for Myanmar, says gross domestic product is now at least 30% smaller than it would have been without the double-whammy of the coup and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The absence of a strong rebound in the economy over the coming year will continue to be hugely damaging to livelihoods, which for many have been under severe strain since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020,” Edwards says.

The only good news for Myanmar’s military, led by Min Aung Hlaing, is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now dominates the global headlines, diverting attention away from what is going on in Myanmar.


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?


William Pesek is a freelance contributor for Asiamoney, based in Tokyo.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree