Economists warn that although the super rich in Myanmar may get richer, the gap between the rich and poor may grow wider in the next 10 years.
Currently there are only 40 people in Myanmar who own more than US$ 30 million in personal wealth. By 2022 the super rich will increase to 307 according to Wealth-X, a global leader on ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals.
This is in a country still considered one of the poorest in East Asia, according to the World Bank, with an estimated GDP per capita of between US$ 800 and US$ 1,000.
“At the moment, the gap between the rich and the poor of Myanmar is the highest in the world,” said the economist Dr. Aung Ko Ko.
“The existence of the gap between the rich and the poor depends on the country’s policy of income distribution. If the country is depending on selling the country’s resources such as oil and gas, the gap may continue to exist,” he added.
As the government embarks on a series of political and economic reforms, foreign investors and capital are pouring in as companies vie for lucrative contracts in new hotel businesses, construction, natural gas and energy. Myanmar looks set to embrace the economic growth witnessed by the emerging Southeast Asian economies in the early 90’s.
However, economists fear that if Myanmar fails to rethink some of its economic policies on how to balance the distribution of income, the rich will only grow richer while the poor will grow poorer. Such income inequality can lead to political instability and lower growth in the future. Continue reading “Gap may widen between rich and poor in Myanmar – Economists”