Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Economics

Myanmar: A Blueprint for International Development?

Myanmar: A Blueprint for International Development?
Photograph by SIME/eStock Photo

I was never a good footballer. Besides an innate lack of ability, there was another reason for my ineptitude: The best footballers don’t chase madly after the ball as I did. They anticipate where the ball is going and move there. So it should be with international development.

Much is being made of the reopening of Myanmar to the global economy. Barely a week goes by without another multinational announcing a commitment to invest in the country. At the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting last month, Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent compared the opening of the company’s first Myanmar bottling facility to the fall of the Berlin Wall. That’s a grand vision. But really, what does all this economic development mean for a country with a population of 60 million mostly rural people, 76 percent of whom lack access to electricity and more than 90 percent of whom lack access to a mobile phone?