YANGON – Myanmar could be taken off the list of Least Developed Countries by 2025, a report by the United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development has said.
Speaking at the launch of the report, titled Least Developed Countries Report 2016, on December 15, Mr Thomas Kring, economic advisor to the UN Development Program in Myanmar, said 16 of the 48 countries on the LDC list, including Myanmar, could graduate within the next eight to nine years.
The LDC is a list of countries that the UN says show the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, including on income, education, life-expectancy and economy.
Myanmar was added to the list in 1987, a national humiliation that helped spark the nationwide anti-government uprising a year later.
“Coming out from LDC is a big step and a historical milestone,” said Ms Renata Lok-Dessallien, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Myanmar. “But it is important to be aware that it is not the ultimate goal.”
Moving off the LDC list is a “sign of strong economic and successful development,” she said.
Kring said that moving off the list would help Myanmar cooperate more effectively with non-LDC countries and help improve its export market. However, one effect would be that aid from some countries would likely decrease, he said.
“I don’t say all aid, just some will stop. Not all international support is based on being on the LDC list or not,” he said, adding that Myanmar’s democratic transition might lead to some countries continuing their support after the country has left the LDC list.
“Also, aid and support depends on government negotiations with other countries,” he said.