IMF chief lauds Myanmar's currency reform

IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Saturday praised Myanmar's overhaul of its complex exchange-rate system, the new government's most radical economic reform yet in a bid to lure investors.

The International Monetary Fund has been working "discreetly" with the Myanmar monetary authorities, particularly on the recent currency reform, Lagarde said at a news conference.

"We've been working with the central bank of Myanmar on that very, very actively," she said in response to a reporter's question.

"It's a tribute to them that they have made this change... and that they've been so successful."

Myanmar began a managed flotation of its currency, the kyat, on April 2.

The central bank set a reference rate of 818 kyat to the dollar, bringing the official currency rate in line with its value on the black market.

The central bank said the float would allow market forces to determine the value of the kyat while leaving room for it to influence the unit's value.

Analysts said the simplified currency regime would help facilitate trade and investment as Myanmar gradually opens up.

"We continue to provide any technical assistance that they need," Lagarde said. "This is happening, you know, on a daily basis."

The currency overhaul is part of burgeoning reforms to modernize an economy left in disarray by decades of military rule and isolation.

Myanmar, long a global outcast, has been rapidly rehabilitated since polls last year saw the election of a nominally civilian government.

Earlier this month, democracy campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent decades under house arrest under the military regime, was elected to parliament.

Western nations have begun lifting sanctions against Myanmar, also known as Burma, to encourage the sweeping reforms.

"Some of the sanctions have been lifted already," Lagarde said.

"There is a momentum that is clearly initiated and my dearest hope is that it continues."

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

  • Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones VERA Files - The Inbox
    Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones

    Text and photos by Jane Dasal, VERA Files Nasugbu, Batangas—At the break of dawn on Good Friday, Celilia Zafra donned a black dress and shrouded her face with a black cloth. Then she walked to a place called “putol na … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options