Pete Silvester - Re-configuring economic development approaches
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  • In 1962, Myanmar – then Burma – underwent a military coup, and the military junta severed the country’s political and economic ties to the outside world. For over two decades Burma took on a centralized, controlled economy, headed by an autocratic and corrupt dictatorship. Separatist territories and nationalities in Myanmar’s ethnically distinct states at the fringes of the country have since struggled against the central government through decades of civil war and armed conflict. In the following 30 years, as per capita GDP in the rest of Asia grew in multiples, Myanmar stagnated, barely growing at all. (In 1988, the Burmese authorities showed signs of relaxing control as the government declared it now a market-based economy and General Ne Win, the socialist who had been in power since 1962, stepped down and were followed by mass protests by civil society and students demanding democratic reform. However, hopes political transition ended abruptly in a brutal crackdown of student protests on August 1988, shortly after which democracy leader DawAung San SuuKyi was put under house arrest and many more dissident Burmese were imprisoned. For the next decades, until 2011, Myanmar would be ruled by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), led by General U Than Shwe. The 1988 transition to a market economy only went as far as to protect the entrenched elites – the military and their supporters – in the main national industries, despite taking on the basic principles of a market-based economy. Throughout the next two decades, Myanmar grappled with increasingly severe sanctions in major markets, such as the United States and the European Union. International sanctions both undermined the economy and the political legitimacy of the GoM, and necessitated a deepening of Myanmar’s economic and political relations with China. In the 1990s Myanmar’s countryside grew rife with poverty and oppression, while the other economies in the region underwent the ‘Asian Miracle’. In the twenty years following 1990, Myanmar’s per capita GDP grew by 2.7% annually while the rest of Asia averaged at 4.2%. In 2011, the SLORC, by now referred to as the State Peace and Development Council, transferred power to a new government led by President U TheinSein. By-elections which were held in April 2012, in which the National League for Democracy won 43 of 45 vacant seats, including an elected seat for DawAungSuuKyi. Since 2011, the GoM has undergone significant steps in the democratic reform process that have been welcomed by the international community. Slowly, international sanctions have been lifted as it becomes clear that the GoM has decided to open its economy, and reform its polity.In the political sphere, economic sphere, and in relation to its internal conflicts, the pace of change is staggering. Politically, the country has moved from military rule to multi-party democracy; economic reforms aim to transform a largely centrally planned economy to a more open market-based one; and finally, negotiated ceasefires in the on-going peace process have halted several of the prolonged conflicts in the country’s border areas.
  • While the Davos crowd speaks bullishly in such terms referencing Myanmar’s geostrategic advantages, ample natural resources, and positive governance trends,
  • all the while dependency, inflation, inequality, and environmental degradation are becoming all too predictable problems.
  • the dominant narrative for Myanmar’s development future is a copy-paste of the Asian economic model: increasing capital investment and labour participation by attracting foreign capital, and creating low-wage jobs. Setting aside its well-known pros and cons, it is self-evident that the Asian Model was developed for a different global/regional economic time. Meanwhile, Asian Tigers are falling into Middle-income traps at the end of this same economic pathway. So if all we can offer Myanmar’s development future is this 60-year old blueprint, we will have failed to innovate.
  •  The learning objectives of this workshop is to: i) Brainstorm specifics of how the Asian Model is (or is not) outdated in relation to Myanmar; ii) Outline the ways that the economic development environment has changed compared with other Asian development cases (e.g., late-80’s South Korea; early-90’s Vietnam); iii) Develop specific new programs that could be emphasized in development policy, practice, and research to challenge the pre-existing narrative of Asian economic development, particularly for Myanmar.
  •  The learning objectives of this workshop is to: i) Brainstorm specifics of how the Asian Model is (or is not) outdated in relation to Myanmar; ii) Outline the ways that the economic development environment has changed compared with other Asian development cases (e.g., late-80’s South Korea; early-90’s Vietnam); iii) Develop specific new programs that could be emphasized in development policy, practice, and research to challenge the pre-existing narrative of Asian economic development, particularly for Myanmar.
  •  The learning objectives of this workshop is to: i) Brainstorm specifics of how the Asian Model is (or is not) outdated in relation to Myanmar; ii) Outline the ways that the economic development environment has changed compared with other Asian development cases (e.g., late-80’s South Korea; early-90’s Vietnam); iii) Develop specific new programs that could be emphasized in development policy, practice, and research to challenge the pre-existing narrative of Asian economic development, particularly for Myanmar.

Pete Silvester - Re-configuring economic development approaches Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Reconfiguring Economic Development Approaches: How Myanmar can/will reshape development futures Development Futures Conference Sydney, 21 & 22 November Pete Silvester MPA, BCom, BA (Hons.) Partner, Morris & Silvester
  • 2. Who we are • Myanmar-based strategy consultants, since August 2012 • Pride ourselves on: – Evidence-based problem solving – Knowledge of development, and of Myanmar – Integrity (GHD Integrity Management System) • Only take on projects which: – Have sustained positive theory of change – We know we can deliver Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 2
  • 3. Pete Silvester Allison Morris Nilar Wynn Zar Chi Development Consultant and Policy Expert Development Consultant and Policy Expert Researcher and consultant Office Manager Formerly with: OECD, Aidha (Director); CERI; Womens Refugee Network; Berry, Appleman & Lieden LLP. Has worked with Morris & Silvester for CARE-Myanmar, Emerging Markets Consulting (for Volkswagen and Oxfam), and HelpAge International. Myanmar national Formerly with: Booz & Company; The World Bank; OECD; Australian Government. Master of Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Master of Public Affairs from Sciences Po, Paris. First Class Honours in Development Studies, University of Melbourne Sunday, 22 December 2013 Master of Public Affairs (Magna Cum Laude) from Sciences Po, Paris. Bachelor’s of International Studies from Emory University. Holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Professionally trained in computers and tourism management Myanmar national Holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yangon University INGO Forum Review 3
  • 4. Who we work with Development • • • • OECD CARE World Bank HelpAge International Private Sector • • • • University of Indiana, Kelly School of Business Emerging Market Consulting Ringier AG West Indochina CSR Partners • • • • Kaufmann Foundation (GEW) European Union British Council Ooredoo, MBE, and others Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 4
  • 5. We’re also Myanmar’s first incubator Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 5
  • 6. Romp through Myanmar history 1947 Colonial period ends 1947 Bogyoke Aung San assassinated 1948 Independence 1958 First (temporary) coup d’état by the military 1962 Military coup: Burmese way of socialism 1988 Following unrest, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) takes power through an internal coup. Myanmar is declared a market economy. 1990 National League for Democracy (NLD) wins election, but results are 1990annulled by SLORC. Sanctions imposed. 1997 Myanmar joins ASEAN. 2005 Capital moved from Yangon (formerly Rangoon) to Nay Pyi Taw 2008 Cyclone Nargis devastates the Irrawaddy delta, killing up to 150 000 2010 Elections boycotted by NLD 2011 General Than Shwe steps aside. U Thein Sein becomes president. 2012 NLD wins 43 seats in by-elections. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is elected. 2014 Myanmar to chair ASEAN for the first time Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 6 2015 General elections to be held in December
  • 7. At a glance • Population: 50-60 million (?) • Population growth rate: 0.7% p.a. • GDP per capita: $580 p.a. • HDI: 0.483 (150th) • Connectivity: Very low • Infrastructure: Shocking • Opportunities: Amazing! Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 7
  • 8. Current dominant narratives • Davos bullishness – Geostrategic advantages – Natural resources – Very reform-minded (business friendly) government Sunday, 22 December 2013 Development Futures Conference 8
  • 9. Current dominant narratives • Meanwhile, a familiar story… – Inflation (development bubble) – Growing inequality – Environmental degradation – Corruption – Violence Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 9
  • 10. Current dominant narratives • Asian economic growth model – Increase production factors – capital and labour – Attract foreign investment – Start with low wage industry, and earn your way up the value chain Is that all we’ve got? Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 10
  • 11. Our objective for today To develop plausible futures that challenge the pre-existing narrative of Asian economic development, particularly for Myanmar. Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 11
  • 12. Roles – Facilitator (me): - Provide minimal background info - Encourage you to open your mind and shed your preconceptions - Guide brainstorming through some basic stages Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 12
  • 13. Roles – Participants (you): - Bring your knowledge, leave your preconceptions - Think macro, long term - 10 years to 50 years - No so much about current status quo and current drivers, but possible future drivers and future status quos - Also think micro when describing a future - Be a story-teller - Get creative - Have fun - Silly ideas are more fun, and are usually the best ones - If your professional persona isn’t fun, leave it outside Sunday,- December 2013 22 Own the space INGO Forum Review 13
  • 14. Identifying assumptions of the Asian Model of development What are the “assumptions” of the Asian model? Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 14
  • 15. Drivers of change Which of these identified “assumptions” are going to persist, which will change? What current and future forces are going to change or negate the Asian Model narrative? Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 15
  • 16. Link up a framework Which drivers could plausibly effect another? Link them. Which drivers don’t seem to link very well? Kill them. Are there common themes and stories emerging? Cluster them Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 16
  • 17. Write narrative Pick your favourite cluster. Make up a story about the links and write it down. Richly describe the world in your story: Characters. How the world works. Events. Development outcomes. Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 17
  • 18. Tell your story Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 18
  • 19. Thank you Pete Silvester Partner, Morris & Silvester | Co-founder, Project Hub Yangon #203 United Condo, 39 Alan Pya Pagoda Road, Yangon psilvester@gmail.com +95 (0) 9 3121 6412 | +61 413 350 007 Twitter: @petesilvo | @HubYangon Sunday, 22 December 2013 INGO Forum Review 19