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SIIA Chairman Simon Tay and council member Joseph Tan interviewed on Myanmar by-elections

Updated On: Apr 11, 2012

SIIA Chairman Simon Tay was recently interviewed on BBC World as well as Channel News Asia regarding the most recent Myanmar by-elections.

On Monday, April 2, Assoc. Professor Simon Tay was interviewed by BBC''s Sharanjit Leyl on how the lifting of US sanctions would benefit Myanmar.

In a seperate interview with Channel NewsAsia on Monday, April 9, he also provided his perspectives on the same topic in the wake of the by-election results, which were announced on April 8. 

An April 10 report in The Business Times also quotes both Simon and SIIA council member Joseph Tan on the economic impacts of the lifting of sanctions.

In the article by Felda Chay, Assoc. Prof Simon Tay was quoted saying: ''The by-elections in Myanmar can be the best possible step forward to a cleaner and more open political process. The opening should be further encouraged. Asean has rightly called for the West to unwind sanctions, and the US move is the right step to reward reformers and encourage further reform.

''Businesses can and should look at Myanmar afresh and Asean as a whole can gain from this. But even if political reform continues, there are more basic economic questions that investors must look at and issues with the ethnic minorities remain to be settled.''

Council member Joseph Tan was also cited. He said: ''First, with the black market in Myanmar trading its currency at a much weaker level than the official exchange rate, the two markets will converge upon liberalisation, and this will likely have a major impact on the currency...

''Second, with a likely depreciation of the currency, reserves will be drained if authorities seek to defend the currency. As Myanmar''s foreign exchange reserves are only about US$7 billion it can ill afford to do any intervention. Without intervention, a sudden depreciation in the currency will lead to economic instability and inflation. It would be better for Myanmar to stagger its free float as recommended by the International Monetary Fund, rather than liberalising all at once.''

The article is titled: Yoma and Interra gain from Myanmar fever.

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