Myanmar and its “quantum leap” from a cash-based economy to a mobile-first economy took centre stage in discussions at the recent prestigious Meridian Diplomacy Forum in Washington D.C., USA. With public officials from various departments in U.S government in attendance, the forum signified continuous momentum and interest in the cultural, political and economic connections between the U.S. and the five Mekong countries of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The forum also convened global business leaders, academics, and experts, discussing the vast opportunities in Myanmar, including its repositioning globally as a digital and mobile-first economy, and what is needed to attract foreign investment and drive diplomacy with policymakers across the globe.
Speaking at the event to share Myanmar’s story of accelerated socioeconomic development was Myanmar investment envoy from KBZ Bank Erin Murphy, who later shared, “Myanmar’s growing mobile network and developing financial sector has not only rapidly bridged urban and rural communities across Myanmar, but also established critical connectivity with its Mekong neighbours. This is strengthening the appeal of Myanmar’s sectors to foreign investment and positioning the country for continuous engagement with the United States and leading governments across the world.”
Along with Erin Murphy, embassies and ambassadors in Washington supported the event as speakers and provided insight into the culture, history, and investment opportunities in the Mekong region. Managing Director of Myanmar Shalom, Sammy Samuels, spoke on a panel discussing the positive impact that in-bound tourism in Myanmar is bringing both economically and socially to the country. Senator Jim Webb spoke favourably of his experience working and engaging in Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, reiterating the importance of the Mekong countries to the United States.
KBZ Bank was a co-sponsor of the event, representing Myanmar’s advancing financial sector and standing as a proud example of the country’s leading institutions driving transformation and accelerating mobile-first development that benefits millions of people. Ms. Erin Murphy added, “KBZ Bank’s vision of 100% financial inclusion in Myanmar goes beyond inclusivity and aspires for true financial connectedness. Achieving this requires the right mindsets, regulatory framework, and social development, including digital and financial literacy. With the increased collaboration between public and private institutions to address these, Myanmar can make a quantum leap and become a true model for development in the region.”