Myanmar became a full member of SASEC in February 2017, following several years as an active observer. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal formed the project-based partnership in 2001. Maldives and Sri Lanka joined SASEC in May 2014.

Myanmar's National Comprehensive Development Plan (NDCP) A Prosperous Nation Integrated Into the Global Community 2030 envisions a prosperous country integrated into the global community, supported by strategic thrusts in economic development, environmental protection, and the strengthening of governance and public institutions. In view of the changing global and regional economy, Myanmar intends to focus on integration into the global economic system, emphasizing institutional and policy changes, and implementing sectoral and regional strategies.

SASEC Technical Assistance in Myanmar

ADB-financed technical assistance has supported SASEC activities in Myanmar to help advance the country’s engagement in regional cooperation activities, including under the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) framework. Myanmar has actively participated—first as observer, and then as full member—in SASEC regional technical assistance projects that have supported regional cooperation forums, knowledge-sharing initiatives, and capacity building.

Trade Snapshot

Direction of Intra-regional Trade

The value of Myanmar's merchandise exports and imports trade with other SASEC countries, using International Monetary Fund data from 2023, is captured in the tables below.

Myanmar's 6th largest import source worldwide is India, with imports at $520 million. Its 24th largest import source is Bangladesh, valued at $36 million.

India and Bangladesh are among Myanmar's largest export destinations—India is Myanmar's 4th largest export market, with exports valued at $1018 million. Bangladesh is Myanmar's 22nd largest market, with exports from Myanmar at $106 million.

Myanmar Trade - Import

Source: IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, accessed December 2023

Myanmar Trade - Export

Source: IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, accessed December 2023


Logistics Performance Index (LPI)

Myanmar's overall LPI score for 2018 is 2.3. The country saw an improved score in timeliness (2.91 from 2.85) and a dip in its scores in the five other categories. It scored 2.28 in logistics competence and 2.20 in both international shipments and tracking and tracing. In 2018, Myanmar ranked 137 out of 168 economies.

Myanmar LPI 2018

Source: World Bank LPI (accessed May 2023)

Note: The LPI overall score reflects perceptions of a country's logistics based on six core dimensions: (i) efficiency of customs clearance process, (ii) quality of trade- and transport-related infrastructure, (iii) ease of arranging competitively priced shipments, (iv) quality of logistics services, (v) ability to track and trace consignments, and (vi) frequency with which shipments reach the consignee within the scheduled time. The scores for the six areas are averaged across all respondents and aggregated to a single score using principal components analysis. A higher score indicates better performance.

Economic Outlook

Asian Development Outlook

Myanmar's gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to remain low at 1.2% in fiscal year (FY) 2024 and 2.2% in FY2025, due in part to a decline in agriculture and trade disruptions. Inflation is forecast to stay high in FY2024 at 15.5% and lower in FY2025 to 10.2%.

Source: Asian Development Outlook, April 2023 (ADB)
Myanmar Economic Monitor

Myanmar's real GDP is projected to grow by 1.0% in FY2024-2025, due to a large part to constraints on access to labor and electricity. Projected shortages in foreign currency and energy production will likely affect the manufacturing sector. Consumer price inflation is forecast to remain high in FY2024-2025 at 18%.

Source: Myanmar Economic Monitor, June 2024 (WB)