Social Protection as an Entry Point to Inclusive Growth in Myanmar

Type Report
Title Social Protection as an Entry Point to Inclusive Growth in Myanmar
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher The Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA)
City Tokyo
Country/State Japan
Given significant political progress and a series of economic reforms, Myanmar is
anticipated to become a new tiger in emerging Asia. The rapid transformation process is
vigorously supported by the international community. Investors all over the world are showing
their interest in tapping this promising market located in the midst of the growth region. Economic
sanctions set by the western countries have been gradually removed. In these circumstances, the
country’s economy is forecast to grow to four times the current US$50 billion to US$200 billion
by 2030 if prerequisites such as infrastructure and labour productivity improvements are
effectively accomplished to achieve an annual GDP growth rate of 8 percent (McKinsey 2013).
However, growth alone is insufficient, but should also be inclusive. Inclusive growth,
according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), focuses on a subset of a traditional growth
episode. In order to achieve inclusive growth, economic growth is a necessary condition but not
sufficient. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what characterizes growth episodes that qualify
as inclusive. There are two dimensions suggested by the ADB – one focuses on process and one
focuses on outcomes. Inclusive growth focussed on process is based on inputs from a large
number of people or allows equal opportunity to all people who wish to participate in growth
process. On the other hand, inclusive growth focussed on outcomes is based on sharing the
benefits to a large number of people or redistribution to those who are naturally excluded from
direct benefits of growth.
Social protection which strengthens social resilience is a channel to realize inclusive growth.
Social protection, a policy and programming framework aiming to reduce socioeconomic risks
and people’s vulnerabilities with the objective of assuring equitable human development, supports
fulfilment to both dimensions of inclusive growth – process and outcomes. For example, a social
safety net scheme as a part of social protection intends to provide the poor with a set of
government programmes such as food stamps, welfare payments, free health clinics, and
unemployment insurance which is a certain type of redistribution of growth outcomes. On the
other hand, social protection intervenes for the benefit of the poor providing opportunities for
access to education, healthcare, employment, market, infrastructure, financial resources and other
rights that promote the capacities of the poor and thus their potential to participate in the growth

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