IMF sees Myanmar as Asia's next economic bright spot

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Bernama) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently commended Myanmar's economic reform efforts, saying that the nation has the potential to become the next economic bright spot in Asia, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

"The new government is facing a historic opportunity to jump-start the development process and lift living standards," the Washington-based body said in a statement released earlier this week after a consultation with Myanmar.

"Myanmar has a high growth potential and could become the next economic frontier in Asia, if it can turn its rich natural resources, young labour force, and proximity to some of the most dynamic economies in the world, into its advantage," the global lender said.

An IMF mission headed by Meral Karasulu visited Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon between Jan and 25.

Karasulu noted that Myanmar's recent reform efforts "go in the right direction."

The Asian country "would benefit from broader consultation with stakeholders and using the best international practices distilled from other countries' experiences," the mission head said.

The IMF has projected Myanmar's real gross domestic product to grow about 5.5 percent this fiscal year and 6 percent next fiscal year.