Myanmar coup leader calls for action on ‘ailing economy’

23 Feb 21

The head of Myanmar’s military government has told his officials they need to take action to revive the country’s struggling economy, state media has reported.



Yangon, Myanmar. Image © iStock

General Min Aung Hlaing, whose junta seized power in a coup at the beginning of February, told his ruling council that the country repeatedly sees budget and trade deficits that have weakened its currency.

“The council needs to put its energy into reviving the country’s ailing economy,” he was quoted as saying by the government-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

“Economic remedy measures must be taken.”

He added that state spending “must be reduced as much as possible”, and urged officials to improve electricity, water, transport and communications infrastructure, and to develop health and education services.

Particular investment will be needed in agriculture and livestock, he said, calling for new training schools, colleges and universities to be opened to teach people in these fields.

He also said the mass protests against the coup were damaging the economy, and “in order to avoid losses to the country”, the protesters should understand the need to cooperate with the new government.

Many Western countries are considering sanctions against Myanmar, including the US and EU member states, to press the military not to crack down violently on the protests.

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