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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-31) World BankMyanmar has experienced a series of total and partial internet shutdowns since the military coup in February 2021. These restrictions have varied in intensity across the country and over time, ranging from the complete shutdown of all wireless broadband services and nightly shutdowns of fixed line services between February and April 2021, followed by limited access to a whitelist of websites and services and intermittent subnational shutdowns starting in May 2021. The restrictions on internet access have had a profound impact on investments in the sector, subsequently affecting the growth of digital infrastructure and digitally enabled services in Myanmar. Internet restrictions have also had important implications on household welfare, firm operations, and growth of the digital economy in Myanmar. New regulations, market exit by private sector providers, and continued internet restrictions threaten to reverse the progress made over the last decade. Continued internet restrictions can lead to further restraint of online economic activity and closure of many young digital start-ups that rely on consistent, reliable, and widespread internet adoption to reach markets.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-31) World BankTransport and logistics services in Myanmar have been substantially hit by the impacts of the February 2021 coup and the surge in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Logistics companies have been affected by rising fuel prices, border closures, and a shortage of shipping containers. While the initial effects after the military coup on the transport sector were extremely severe, there have been signs of some recovery of transport services since May 2021. Public transport in Yangon experienced a significant reduction in passenger demand in early months after the coup, subsequently recovering some ground by December 2021. Higher fuel prices and currency liquidity shortages significantly increased the cost of inland transport services. Transportation and logistics services are expected to be severely impacted by continuing high fuel prices, mobility constrains, political instability, and evolution of the pandemic. The export and import via container are expected to recover gradually due to agricultural and garment industry-led demand. However, improvement of exports and imports in the medium term is uncertain given the complexity of trade relations with international trade partners. In addition to effects of the coup and political conflicts, risks related to the pandemic will also significantly impact logistics supply chains and mobility in the near to mid-term.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-31) World BankMyanmar’s energy sector has been severely affected by the dual shocks of the February 2021 coup and Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Developments in the energy sector after the coup have undermined nascent energy sector reforms over the last few years, including reforms that led to improved service delivery, restructured electricity tariffs, and increased electricity access. Constraints in human resources resulting from the dismissal of over 4,400 staff in key entities and departments under the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MoEE) has put power sector operation at risk. Public boycott of electricity payments and rising costs of electricity due to dollar-denominated independent power producers have adversely affected the financial viability of the power sector. The political instability in the aftermath of the coup has led to significant operational and financial burdens on the sector, affecting the sector financial viability and fiscal sustainability. Investor confidence has plummeted amid uncertainty and a worsening investment climate, jeopardizing the implementation of approved power projects, including renewable solar. While the global commodity rally continues, there are serious challenges ahead, including the need for skilled labor to ensure electricity reliability, maintain the security of power infrastructure, and increase electricity revenues.