- April 7, 2015
Nathan Associates has returned to Myanmar to help carry out an economic program, picking up on a relationship that began six decades earlier when the firm advised the newly independent country on economic and social development.
Through the USAID-funded ASEAN Connectivity for Trade and Investment Project, Nathan Associates will help Myanmar carry out the changes outlined in its Framework for Economic and Social Reform, which was approved in December 2012. The framework calls for an overhaul of economic governance to create an environment attractive for trade, investment, and private sector growth, and to help lay a strong foundation for inclusive economic development while strengthening the rule of law, increasing transparency, and enabling citizens to be active in reforms. Such reform will also help the country fulfill its commitments to the ASEAN Economic Community and under the U.S.–Burma Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and the U.S.–ASEAN Enhanced Economic Partnership, as well as the obligations of WTO membership.
Nathan Associates’ original work on Burma inspired the new framework, said Zaw Oo, a key economic adviser to Myanmar President Thein Sein, at a conference December 4 in Washington, D.C. Robert Nathan, renowned economist and founder of the firm, helped write the first development strategy for Burma in 1953 and advised the Burmese government until 1962. The full story is in The Best Made Plans: Robert R. Nathan and 20th Century Liberalism, by Kenneth D. Durr (Montrose Press), published in 2013.
USAID reestablished its mission in Myanmar/Burma in 2012, half a century after closing it in response to a military coup. The country is making the transition from military domination to democracy. Nathan Associates is pleased to be back in country and working with the government and people of Myanmar.