Myanmar economy to shrink by 18 percent this year: World Bank hinh anh 1

People wait to withdraw money from an ATM outside a branch of Myawaddy Bank in Yangon on February 23. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Myanmar’s economy is expected to shrink by 18 percent this year due to political turmoil and a resurgent of COVID-19 pandemic, according to the World Bank (WB).

The political instability has paralysed the economy, with many banks shuttered and authorities unable to issue bills or collect taxes.

Shutdowns, strikes, and internet blackouts have reduced liquidity and constrained the banking sector, the WB said, with the local kyat depreciating by around 23 percent against the US dollar.

The proportion of the population living in poverty in Myanmar was likely to more than double by the beginning of 2022 compared with 2019 levels, it said.

Investors rushed to Myanmar after the civilian government took power, paving the way for democratic reforms and economic liberalisation in the country of more than 50 million people.

However, after the recent coup, some foreign investors have suspended operations or pulled out completely.

Earlier this month, Norwegian telecoms giant Telenor announced it was selling its Myanmar subsidiary, which is one of the leading operators in the country, with 18 million mobile phone customers./.