Myanmar, the so-called last frontier for business opportunities in Asia, will be establishing a stock market by 2015 with the help of Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Tokyo Stock Exchange Group Inc.
Many Japanese and foreign investors believe that the envisaged stock market will open up numerous business opportunities. At the same time, however, some experts have pointed out that after five decades of the isolation from the global community, Myanmar’s transformation from a pariah state to a modern economy will not be quick.
The ability of markets to help transition states to part of the international liberal order is a foundational component of the Washington Consensus and much of the US’ foreign policy. Oddly, however, our reluctance to directly engage with pariah regimes means the export of institutions which would help such a transition rarely occurs.
Fortunately, less politically constrained states like Japan can act as jumpstarters for this sort of thing. In the case of Myanmar, the formation of a functioning stock market domestically will help local firms secure access to credit in international markets, ensuring growth and productivity increases are promoted in the country.