Zaw Oo is a senior research fellow and director of research at the Centre for Economic and Social Development of the Myanmar Development Resource Institute, a leading Myanmar think-tank based in Yangon. Zaw Oo previously taught at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand. He also serves as a member of President Thein Sein’s National Economic and Social Advisory Council.
Why is he in the news?
President Thein Sein on August 8 appointed three new advisers to join a nine-member advisory board, which was established in March 2011 to advise the president on political, economic, and legal issues. Zaw Oo, together with Aung Tun Thet, is to serve as economic advisor to the president. He spoke out in August against the government’s minimum crop price scheme, calling instead for improved access to credit, market-friendly alternatives for farmers, and investments in roads and electricity.
What can we expect?
Thein Sein’s decision to expand his advisory board reinforces foreign investors’ confidence in the government’s commitment to strengthen Myanmar’s economic and legal frameworks. As one of Myanmar’s most respected economists, Zaw Oo’s appointment to the elite advisory committee highlights the important role the president attaches to the country’s small pool of experts in development, fiscal, and monetary matters. Zaw Oo will likely have significant influence over Myanmar’s economic policy and reforms in the near term.