Myanmar military takes responsibility for economic crisis

Subscribe

imageForex20 minutes ago (Sep 30, 2021 05:02AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People are seen at a market after army seized power in a coup in Yangon, Myanmar February 2, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) – Myanmar’s ongoing economic problems were caused by “outside factors” and two waves of COVID-19 infections, but the military government takes full responsibility and is working hard to address them, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Speaking after the kyat currency hit new lows this week, the ruling military council’s spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the central bank had been unable to meet local demand for dollars.

Myanmar’s currency has lost more than 60% of its value since the beginning of September, driving up food and fuel prices in an economy that has tanked since a Feb. 1 military coup.

“The government is working its best to solve this situation as best as possible,” Zaw Min Tun told a regular news conference.

“As it is happened under this government, the current government will have to take responsibility.”

Many gold shops and money exchanges have closed in Myanmar due to the turmoil, while the slumping kyat has been a hot topic on social media networks, where users on Thursday posted images of panic-buying of fuel, or gas stations closing due to shortages.

Rising prices of goods and fuel have posed major challenges to previous military governments in Myanmar, with the cost of cooking gas among the triggers of a monk-led “Saffron Revolution” in 2007.

Zaw Min Tun said the economy had worsened due to outside factors as well as the coronavirus, but did not specify what those were.

“We have responsibility to build it back,” he said of the economy.

The World Bank predicted on Monday the economy would slump 18% this year and Myanmar would see Southeast Asia’s biggest contraction in employment.

In August, the Central Bank of Myanmar tried tethering the kyat 0.8% either side of its reference rate against the dollar, but abandoned that earlier this month as pressure on the exchange rate mounted.

Myanmar military takes responsibility for economic crisis

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.