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Ms. Meral Karasulu and Mr. Sergei Dodzin

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

Mr. Koshy Mathai, Mr. Geoff Gottlieb, Mr. Gee Hee Hong, Sung Eun Jung, Jochen M. Schmittmann, and Jiangyan Yu
China’s trade patterns are evolving. While it started in light manufacturing and the assembly of more sophisticated products as part of global supply chains, China is now moving up the value chain, “onshoring” the production of higher-value-added upstream products and moving into more sophisticated downstream products as well. At the same time, with its wages rising, it has started to exit some lower-end, more labor-intensive sectors. These changes are taking place in the broader context of China’s rebalancing—away from exports and toward domestic demand, and within the latter, away from investment and toward consumption—and as a consequence, demand for some commodity imports is slowing, while consumption imports are slowly rising. The evolution of Chinese trade, investment, and consumption patterns offers opportunities and challenges to low-wage, low-income countries, including China’s neighbors in the Mekong region. Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., Myanmar, and Vietnam (the CLMV) are all open economies that are highly integrated with China. Rebalancing in China may mean less of a role for commodity exports from the region, but at the same time, the CLMV’s low labor costs suggest that manufacturing assembly for export could take off as China becomes less competitive, and as China itself demands more consumption items. Labor costs, however, are only part of the story. The CLMV will need to strengthen their infrastructure, education, governance, and trade regimes, and also run sound macro policies in order to capitalize fully on the opportunities presented by China’s transformation. With such policy efforts, the CLMV could see their trade and integration with global supply chains grow dramatically in the coming years.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In recent years, China has topped the list of destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) among developing and emerging market countries. But has its stellar performance come at the price of reduced FDI elsewhere in Asia? Generally, no, argues a new IMF Working Paper, although Singapore and Myanmar may be exceptions.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economic growth remains strong, but macroeconomic imbalances have increased significantly over the past year. Real GDP growth for FY2014/15 (April–March) is estimated to have reached 8.5 percent. The fiscal deficit increased to 3 percent of GDP in FY2014/15, while credit to the private sector continued to grow strongly at 35 percent (year over year) in March, albeit lower than in FY2013/14. The current account deficit widened to more than 6 percent of GDP, largely reflecting a rapidly rising trade deficit. The Myanmar economy is set for strong growth in 2015 amid signs of overheating. The economy is expected to grow by 8.5 percent, reflecting strong growth momentum and expansionary macroeconomic policies.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance (TA) report on Myanmar presents outcomes and priority recommendations of mission on external sector statistics (ESS) for the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Intensive hands-on training provided to the DICA through peripatetic TA missions have effectively contributed to building up capacity for DICA compilers, which have gradually materialized and translated into successful foreign direct investment surveys (FDIS) conducted last year. Data coverage has significantly improved through inclusion of FDI in oil and gas sector, which is one of the largest FDI recipients for Myanmar. In order to further enhance the coverage of Myanmar’s FDI statistics, the mission advised the DICA to extend the coverage of FDIS to incorporate new companies and FDI in power generation sector. The mission also assisted DICA officials in updating the annual FDIS survey forms, making alterations to the previous year’s survey forms to capture additional information as requested by DICA management.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar's economic growth remains strong, but macroeconomic imbalances have increased significantly over the past year. Real GDP growth for FY2014/15 (April-March) is estimated to have reached 8.5 percent. The fiscal deficit increased to 3 percent of GDP in FY2014/15, while credit to the private sector continued to grow strongly at 35 percent (year over year) in March, albeit lower than in FY2013/14. The current account deficit widened to more than 6 percent of GDP, largely reflecting a rapidly rising trade deficit. The Myanmar economy is set for strong growth in 2015 amid signs of overheating. The economy is expected to grow by 8.5 percent, reflecting strong growth momentum and expansionary macroeconomic policies.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

2017 Article IV Consultation - Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Myanmar