Myanmar welcomed the proposed 21st century Maritime Silk Road and the the establishment of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), believing that both initiatives can help bring new economic opportunities for Myanmar and its people. Therefore, Myanmar pledged to cooperate with China in these sectors and has signed MoUs and agreements with China.
Although OBOR has plenty of potential, there are several difficulties and problems to achieving the objectives. First, there has been no thinking on how existing programmes of border area development could be coordinated to provide better basic services and social protection to the ‘border landers’ on both sides of the respective international borders. Present policies are hindered by bureaucratic constraints as well as inadequate infrastructures and financial institutions. Second, unfavorable security environment inhibits the successful realization of the OBOR and thus cooperation in this aspect is required.
Sitting on the cross road of China’s Go West Policy on the one hand and India’s Look East Policy on the other, Myanmar possesses an important strategic location. Myanmar should make use of this geopolitical advantage and cooperate with neighbors in energy sectors.
This article was originally the conference paper for Silk Road Forum 2015 and has been granted authorization to use by Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies.
Executive summary is based on the article. Copyright © Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies. All rights reserved.