Monday, 20 March, 2023

Myanmar’s economy resilient despite sanctions on military rule: BIPSS Seminar

Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) President Maj. Gen. (Retd) Muniruzzaman has said the military takeover in Myanmar in February 2021 was a “key strategic issue” in the region with ramifications that were no longer confined to Myanmar.

Moderating a roundtable he, however, said a country like Myanmar, with sufficient economy and energy resources, can tackle sanctions easily and can be in isolation for a long time because of its strong economic basis.

The think-tank BIPSS organised the roundtable titled “Two Years of Military Rule in Myanmar: Ramifications for the Future” in Dhaka on Tuesday.

East West University’s Assistant Professor Parvez Karim Abbasi said despite multiple challenges, including the coup, COVID-19, armed insurgency, conflict, and sanctions the Myanmari economy is still afloat.

Abbasi attributed it to remittances from Thailand, resource extraction industries, and investments from Singapore, China, and Hong Kong.

He further addressed the impact of the emerging nuclear issue, where Myanmar is pursuing nuclear power, and its impact on Bangladesh, as well as the Burma Act.

Brig Gen M Sakhawat Hossain, a senior fellow at the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance, NSU, stated that the National Unity Government (NUG) mentioned the Rohingya as their people and pointed out that the issue of 1.2 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has become a severe problem for the economy and security of the country.

His speech was concerned with the issue of the Burma Act and whether it will bring any ray of hope or not.

Brig Gen Shahedul Anam (retd), a former associate editor of The Daily Star, mentioned Myanmar is getting support from India and China because of the significant interdependence, according to a media release of BIPSS.

He said the global sanctions are not affecting Myanmar because of their worthy ability.

He also said in this stage, where two years of this military coup have passed, Bangladesh should not take any such action, which will ultimately give a justification for the Rohingya crisis.

The roundtable was attended by diplomats stationed in Dhaka, defence personnel and students.