Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has attracted ridicule for airing grand development plans at a time when the economy is in crisis, but even the regime’s more rational economic goals are unlikely to be achievable.
The military regime is set to drop meaningful structural reforms from an economic recovery plan initiated by the former National League for Democracy government, and is instead promising to slash red tape in a bid to shore up collapsing business confidence.
As the coronavirus spread around the world from China in February, the Kayin State Border Guard Force smuggled into Myanmar thousands of Chinese workers who had been stranded in Thailand following their New Year holidays.
Economic turmoil and government measures to curb the coronavirus have dealt a cruel blow to workers in the informal sector, where layoffs go unrecorded and people out of work lack access to social security.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.