Strategic Option of ICT Driven Development Trajectory in Myanmar



Khin Sandar and Chihiro Watanabe


While Myanmar shared one of the richest lands in South Asia with affluent natural resources and qualified human resources, it has suffered long lasting economic stagnation since 1962. However, conspicuous economic growth, after the take off strategy 1997 (1999-2007), was highest among 10 member countries of ASEAN, China and India, and has demonstrated their potential ability to transform their constraints into a springboard for innovation. This reminds us of Information Communication Technology (ICT) driven development trajectory demonstrated by the world ICT top leaders, Finland and Singapore. Both transformed their indigenous constraints into India, and has springboard for ICT advancement and prompts us a hypothetical view that such a trajectory could be a promising strategic option for Myanmar in awaking its latent competitive power. This paper presents an empirical analysis considering ICT driven developing trajectory in 146 countries. The analysis involved four major steps. Firstly, Myanmar’s possible development trajectory was estimated, based on innovation diffusion theory, by identifying its current position in the global ICT versus per capita income development trajectory. Secondly, Myanmar’s current position in the global ICT driven economic development trajectory was identified based on the theories of timing of emergence of functionality development and CHASM (deep trench compelling new ventures start-up). Thirdly, given Myanmar’s position in anticipating support from ICT advanced countries for its ICT advancement, effects of support were analyzed by decomposing the governing factors to ICT advancement. In addition, Myanmar’s institutional identity supportive to effective utilization of ICT support was analyzed. Fourthly, based on the foregoing analyses together with the analysis of the similarity and disparity between world ICT top leaders, Finland and Singapore, possible scenarios for Myanmar’s ICT driven development trajectories, growth oriented or welfare and happiness seeking were compared.


Myanmar, ICT driven development trajectory, institutional source, coevolutionary acclimatization, CHASM


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RNI Registration No. CHAENG/2016/68678