2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Myanmar


2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Myanmar

Fund Relations

(As of December 31, 2018)

Membership Status: Joined on January 3, 1952; Article XIV.

General Resources Account:

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SDR Department:

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Outstanding Purchases and Loans: None

Latest Financial Arrangements:

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Overdue Obligation and Projected Payments to the Fund1 (SDR Million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

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Implementation of HIPC Initiative: Not Applicable

Implementation of Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI): Not Applicable

Implementation of Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR): Not Applicable

Exchange Rate Arrangement

The kyat had been pegged to the SDR at K 8.5057 per SDR since May 2, 1977. On April 1, 2012, the authorities replaced the official peg to the SDR with a managed float. The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) started daily two-way multiple-price foreign currency auctions with technical assistance (TA) provided by the Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM). The auctions provided a mechanism for the market to determine an exchange rate that the CBM could use to set its new reference rate. However, in 2016 problems in operating the auction led to a sharp decline in traded auction volumes. In 2018, the CBM made progress in allowing market forces to play a bigger role in determining the exchange rate. The FX reference rate largely followed a formula consisting of a weighted average of FX interbank and bank-customer market rates, with occasional small deviations. As a result, the exchange rate depreciated by 14.5 percent between April and December. The CBM also abolished the trading band (reference rate +/- 0.8 percent) in August 2018, which clarified the current system and should lead to an increase in the volume and representativeness of the formal market. The CBM issued on February 4, 2019, a formal regulation announcing the transaction-based exchange rate, as the new reference rate. The CBM reserves the right to intervene to moderate excessive exchange rate volatility in the foreign exchange market. The de jure exchange rate arrangement is classified as managed float, and the de facto exchange rate regime is classified as other managed, effective April 20, 2018.

Myanmar continues to avail itself of transitional arrangements under Article XIV, although it has eliminated all Article XIV restrictions. Myanmar has made significant progress toward satisfying Article VIII obligations. However, Myanmar maintains a Multiple Currency Practice subject to the IMF’s jurisdiction under Article VIII, Section 3. The authorities have removed the exchange restriction arising from the tax certification requirement for transfers of net investment income abroad by revising the relevant provision in the new investment law and rules and by confirming that the practice conforms with the new provision.

Article IV Consultation

Myanmar is on the standard 12-month Article IV consultation cycle. The last Article IV consultation discussions were conducted on November 29- December 13, 2018 in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. The Executive Board concluded the 2018 Article IV consultation on March 15, 2019.

Technical Assistance

Myanmar is one of the largest recipients of IMF technical assistance (TA). Delivery is through a mix of resident advisors; regional advisors based in the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT) and short-term HQ and expert missions. The key areas of focus are:

  • Central Banking: a resident foreign exchange advisor and a monetary operations advisor based in CDOT provided frequent responsive advice, supported by HQ missions. In addition, regular expert missions were conducted in order to assist the CBM strengthen its accounting framework and systems.

  • Financial Sector Supervision: work in this area is led by a resident advisor in Yangon supported by HQ and expert missions. AML/CFT TA is delivered by HQ staff and short-term expert.

  • Revenue Reform: a resident tax administration advisor is supported by HQ and expert missions aimed at modernizing the Internal Revenue Department (IRD), including to support the preparation of a Medium-Term Revenue Strategy. A resident custom advisor supports the Myanmar Customs Department (MCD) on compliance measurement, management control, risk Management and the development of MCD audit and anti-smuggling strategies. Work on tax policy is delivered through HQ missions, and include the preparation of the new income tax law (LEG) and modernization of the tax regime for extractive industries.

  • Public Financial Management: the focus is on capacity development of the Treasury Department, following its establishment in September 2014, which was led by PFM advisors based in CDOT and supported by HQ and expert missions. Work on public investment management, budgeting and fiscal risks from PPPs is delivered through HQ missions.

  • Statistics: the work plan in this area has been developed following a multi-sector diagnostic mission in 2013. As a result, external sector and government finance statistics advisors have taken up duties in CDOT and expert visits continue to assist in the development of price statistics. A rebased CPI was released in August 2016.

  • Macroeconomic Management: an advisor based in CDOT leads the work on developing a macroeconomic framework and other analytical tools, which is closely integrated with the broader IMF training program.

In all areas, the IMF coordinates closely with other development partners. In the financial sector, the IMF team has assisted the Central Bank of Myanmar in developing a framework for coordination of international technical assistance.

Resident Representative

Mr.Yasuhisa Ojima has been the Resident Representative of the country and stationed in Yangon, since September 2015.

IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT)

Mr. David Cowen, Director, has headed the office since September 2015. CDOT (formerly TAOLAM) provides technical assistance and training in macroeconomic management and statistics, supported by resources from the Government of Japan and the Bank of Thailand. Currently, six TA advisors are based in the office, covering public financial management (PFM), monetary and foreign exchange operations, macroeconomic management, government financial statistics, and external sector statistics for Myanmar, as well as Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., and Vietnam under most of CDOT’s capacity development projects.

Myanmar: Key Technical Assistance by the Fund During 2018

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Relations with Other International Financial Institutions

World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/myanmar

Asian Development Bank: https://www.adb.org/countries/myanmar/main

Main Websites of Data

Central Statistical Organization (www.csostat.gov.mm)

Consumer Price Index

Myanmar Statistical Information Service (www.mmsis.gov.mm)

National accounts

Population census

Labor and employment

Socioeconomic survey

Household income and expenditure survey

Ministry of Commerce (https://www.commerce.gov.mm)

Foreign trade

Statistical Issues

As of January 31, 2019

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Myanmar: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance

(As of January 31, 2019)

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Daily (D), Weekly (W), Monthly (M), Quarterly (Q), Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

Any reserve assets that are pledged or otherwise encumbered should be specified separately. Also, data should comprise short-term liabilities linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means as well as the notional values of financial derivatives to pay and to receive foreign currency, including those linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means.

Officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes, and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds), state and local governments, and State economic enterprises (SEEs).

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis-à-vis nonresidents.


When a member has overdue financial obligations outstanding for more than three months, the amount of such arrears will be shown in this section.